A man hiking Villarrica Traverse trail through Araucaria araucana forest on the mountainside in Villarrica National Park.

© art of line/Shutterstock

Parque Nacional Villarrica

Sur Chico

Towering over the adventure capital of Pucón, Volcán Villarica is the centerpiece of Parque Nacional Villarrica, one of the most popular parks in Chile. Highlights of the 630-sq-km park are the three volcanoes: the aforementioned Villarrica (2847m) – which erupted briefly but spectacularly in March 2015; Quetrupillán (2360m); and, along the Argentine border, a section of Lanín (3747m).

The spectacular (and a bit eyebrow-raising from a safety and common sense perspective) hike up to the smoking, sometimes lava-spitting crater of Volcán Villarrica, a popular full-day excursion from Pucón, is easily the park's No. 1 must-do, but you'll also find skiing, trekking, mountain biking and a long list of other adventures within its boundaries.

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