This national reserve is one of the nicest and most attractive places between Santiago and Puerto Montt. There are plenty of hikes, rivers, lakes and volcanoes. See also climbing in Vilches...

Photo: María José Cristi
  • Location: East of Talca, Vilches, Parque Alto Los Lircay
  • Relevant maps: JLM No. 9 Araucanía, detail map 1:50.000 Huaso Trails
  • Access: 2-day hike to base, 1 day to top (ca. 2000m)
  • Characteristics: Easy trail and ascent, moon-like landscape of white volcanic ash, warm springs at base, highly recommended trekking
  • Various: Park entrance fee, camping sites available in park, free camping on trail
  • Season: Snow in winter, has been done as randonnee.

Download official flyer of National Park folleto_parque.zip (1.1 MB)



The hike starts in a national reserve, where you can inquire the details. It is a 5-6 day round trip, including the ascent of the volcano. The hike leads you through woods and river valleys to a moon-like, ash-covered landscape within an active volcanic area. Do not miss the warm pools at the base of the volcano. We found it one of the best trekking tours of Chile.


Volcan Descabezado, photo: M.Waldhoer
Volcán Descabezado. The ascent can be done everywhere. Take poles!

Snow and ash can hardly be distiguished.

Above the glacier, wholly covered by ash and pumice.

In the warm rivers the pumice rocks are flowing away.

Neighboring volcano with a crater before that has been active not so long ago.

Near the base, photo:M.Waldhoer
On the way to the base camp.