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by December 12th, 2018

Snowshoe and Skiing tours in Chile

Untouched winter landscapes, dreamlike volcanic slopes and lots of sunshine in the central Chilean Andes offer snowshoe- and ski tours in a class of their own. At higher altitudes, the snow usually extends into early summer. Especially in the months between September and November you can do ski tours during the day and relax in the afternoon at the swimming pool. In the colder south of Chile, the hot springs are more suitable. More demanding ski tours usually lead to the numerous volcanoes, such as the Antuco volcano, Chillan, Lonquimay, of course to the active Villarrica volcano or to the top area at the Osorno volcano.

Easier tours, which are also suitable for beginners, can be found at the Laguna del Maule, just south of Santiago. Easy to reach on an asphalt road, you can explore barely touched terrain with snowshoes as well as with touring skis. Tour descriptions and routes can be found on the Trekkingchile App. Very helpful is the hiking map “Laguna del Maule Winter Trails” which additionally shows the slopes which should be avoided because of a possible avalanche danger. You can rent snowshoes in Talca or take part in guided tours.

Here I present a few routes in this scenic area, which can easily be explored on your own.


Laguna Cari Lauren

Even in summer this tour is a dream but with snow it is really insane. Laguna Maule remains frozen and covered with snow for a long time. The ascent is easy, not very steep but steadily uphill. Only the cold wind can bother  along the Argentine border. The Andes peaks are crowded together and remind us strongly of our big brother in Asia – the Himayala. Strangely enough we had found coral fossils as well as colorful sedimentary rocks in the middle of the volcanic rock. From the Laguna a scenic route leads up to just below 3000m.


Detailed route description with map

La Guapa

This round starts at the border control and leads to the north side of Laguna del Maule along a long mountain ridge. On the way you can admire huge dark black obsidian chunks and cooled lava flows. From the highest point at about 2700 we get a great 360 ° panoramic view from Cerro Azul in the east to Cerro Campanario at the Argentine border. Beware of the overhanging snow cornices on the ridge!!


Detailed route description with map

Lo Aguirre

South of the pass road, the Aguirrebach stream leads up the mountain ridge, to the north it plunges the vertical basalt wall into the depth as a waterfall. There are two valleys here. The flat Cajon Grande is well suited for beginners, but the snow is often very soft in the afternoon when the sun is shining. The Cajon Chico, on the other hand, is only recommended for experienced walkers, but offers better views. The last meters up to a striking summit at 2720 m can be very icy.


Detailed route description with map

El Pico

El Pico is the result of the beak-shaped shape of the Cerro Colorado. Because of its exposed location, this striking summit offers one of the most beautiful views in the Mauletal valley. During the last years we always had to cross the river over snow bridges. At the moment the bridge, which has always been closed, is supposed to be accessible. But the upper course has to be crossed more often anyway, so the tour should only be done with lots of snow. The ascent is partly quite steep. If you have the possibility to be picked up, you don’t have to go back the same way, but you can go directly to the border control. Fantastic!


Detailed route description with map

La Boca

The tour La Boca, the mouth, got its name because of the circular crater rim of the volcano cone Bobadilla. Those who always wanted to cross the crater with touring skis or snowshoes from the edge of the volcano are in the right place here. Landscapewise a pleasure with views to the mighty Cerro Campanario, this tour is easy to go but well worth  it.


Detailed route description with map

El Zorro

El Zorro is just a small round trip which can be done easily with snowshoes. The beauty of the area is the snow that lasts until spring. The descent is too short for touring skis but a great opportunity for beginners to practice.


Detailed route description with map

El Pitufo

If you are travelling with children, ask El Pitufo, the name says it all. Pitufo means smurf. Even on foot or with a sleigh this little round is a lot of fun. Only the first ascent is a bit demanding because of its steepness.

Detailed route description with map

Overview of all tours, click here: Laguna Del Maule winter trails