Chile

Top 5 Most Interesting Climbing Day Trips

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A climbing and hiking trip is one of the very best ways to see as much of a country as possible. The exertion of the climb is immediately worth it when you reach your summit and experience the most incredible possible views of your destination. You don’t have to be an expert rock climber to experience the joy and exhilaration of a unique climbing trip. Here are five of the most interesting climbing experiences in the world, all of which are completely accessible to novices. Just remember not to look down!

Climb the Villarrica Volcano
Standing at an altitude of 9,440 feet , the Villarrica volcano is one of the only active volcanoes in the world that you can climb in a day trip, making it an essential excursion for anyone visiting Chile and a truly unique and interesting experience. Volcano Live report that Villarrica is one of Chile’s most active volcanoes, although it hasn’t experienced a full eruption since 1971 so it’s perfectly safe to climb. You’ll experience a full range of climatic conditions during your hike to the mountains peak, passing through ice and snow before ultimately arriving at the steaming hot bubbling surface of the volcano: a view that you’ll never forget! Villarrica is one of the world’s most climbed stratovolcanoes, and a day trip to its peak generally last between 7-11 hours (with 4-5 of those being the physical activity of the climb itself). An excursion to climb the mountain is accessible for climbers of all ability levels, but the trip isn’t recommended for children under the age of 12 years old.

Top 5 Climbing Day Trips
Climbing Volcan Villarica, Chile

Climb and Rapel in the Andes
The Andes are famous for the unique and interesting climbing opportunities they afford. In fact, The Andes have been selected as one of the world’s top ten climbs by National Geographic magazine, making a day trip here the perfect taster of a journey so many people travel to experience again and again. Enjoy a trek in “Cerro Manos” with stunning views of Cordon del Plata then spend your afternoon climbing and repelling in the foothills of the mountain for a full-blown adrenaline hit. The landscape you’ll see during this trip is truly breath taking, and if you’re considering a more intensive trip through The Andes to travel to higher peaks of this mountain range then this beginner-level day trip is a fantastic way to dip your toe in the water and put your climbing skills to the test.

Top 5 Climbing Day Trips
Rappeling in the Andes

Climb the Great White Pass
By complete contrast to the heat and humidity of climbing through the Andes, the Great White Pass is a cold climb in the heart of Skagway, where you’ll climb against a smooth granite surface whilst being framed by glaciers and truly breathtaking views. As Iglu Cruise point out, there are many stunning views on your climb including Skagway River, the White Pass Route Railway and the beautiful surrounding areas. The White Pass and Yukon Route Railway website reports that this is one of the most popular excursions in the area, with around 900,000 tourists visiting the area each year, and it’s easy to see why.

Top 5 Climbing Day Trips
Along the route of the White Pass – Yukon Railroad Route – HBarrison

Trek Along The Cocoa Route
If you’re looking for a gentler trip with lower altitudes and very little traditional climbing involved then a trek along the cocoa route in the heart of Venezuela could be the perfect trip for you. This historically important route passes through the Henri Pittier National Park, an area renowned for the natural beauty of its flora and fauna. Due to the changes of altitude levels throughout this route you’ll experience a wide and varied range of different fauna during your trip. You’ll also pass through the incredibly remote Chuao coastal town, safe in the knowledge that you’re following a path used by the by merchants of cocoa beans of yesteryear: a must see for those chocolate addicts among you!

Top 5 Climbing Day Trips
Sunset in the Cocoa Route, Venezuela

Climb The Matterhorn
Finally, you can’t talk about the best climbing experiences in the world without mentioning The Matterhorn, the rugged mountain in Switzerland considered to be the birthplace of modern mountaineering. The Matterhorn is considered to be a very difficult climb, and one that is generally attempted by professional and experiences climbers. However, according to Alpine Ascents, there are several trails on the mountain that are accessible to novice climbers. Both novice and experienced climbers can also receive training at the base of the mountain to prepare for technical ascents. Climb this peak if you want to secure your place in the mountaineering hall of fame, and dramatically improve your climbing skills.

Top 5 Climbing Day Trips
View of the Matterhorn, Switzerland. Credits Adam Baker

Contributor: Susie Higgins

Chile: un destino ideal para caminantes / Chile: an ideal destination for trekkers

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Franz_Shubert_Trekking Chile_Zuvy
Franz y Kathrein, austriaco y alemana de origen, llevan instalados en Chile desde 1993. Con el objetivo de compartir su fascinación por la naturaleza que Chile ofrece, empezaron una operadora de turismo responsable, trekkingchile, que especialmente se concentra en la zona central de país, zona que habitualmente no es considerada por las guías de turismo. Esta semana, Franz nos trae de primera mano sus mejores recomendaciones sobre Chile así como su historia fascinante.

Hola Franz, ¿nos puedes contar como llegasteis a Chile y que os llevó a estableceros allí?
En 1989 empecé a viajar por el mundo y recorrí más de 50 países siempre buscando las mejores caminatas. A Chile, llegué con mi esposa Kathrein Splett en 1993, caminamos en varias etapas desde Santiago a Pto. Montt. Lo que más nos gustó fueron las montañas de la región del Maule y allí nos quedamos hasta hoy.

Franz and Kathrein, of Austrian and German origin, have been installed in Chile since 1993. They wanted to share their fascination with the nature that Chile offers, so they began an operator of responsible tourism, Trekkingchile, which particularly focuses on the central area of the country, an area that is usually not considered by the tour guides. This week, Franz brings us firsthand, their fascinating story and the best Chilean recommendations.

Hi Franz, can you tell us how you arrived to Chile and what led you to establish there?
In 1989 I began to travel the world and toured over 50 countries always looking for the best hikes. I came to Chile with my wife Kathrein Splett in 1993. We walked from Santiago to Puerto Montt. What we liked best were the mountains of the Maule region and we have stayed there until today.

Region Los Lagos Chile Zuvy
Chile es un país maravilloso, comparte con nosotros por favor tus lugares favoritos.
En el extremo norte encuentro la ruta entre Colchane y Putre con sus cerros colorados, volcanes activos, la fácil observación de la fauna y los cielos puros lo convierten en uno de los atractivos más grandes del país. De Chile central me atraen los cerros altos con sus glaciares y tienen el clima ideal para cualquier montañero. Uno de mis favoritos es el volcán Peteroa. La costa la hemos aprovechado poco para caminatas, pero hace poco observamos 5 ballenas desde la playa de Arcos de Calan. En la región de la Araucanía recomiendo el volcán Sollipulli y sus alrededores: lagunas escondidas, árboles majestuosas y casi nada de turismo. En la zona más austral prefiero ir a lugares menos conocidos como Pto. Tranquilo y el valle de los Exploradores en vez de los famosos parques nacionales.

Chile is a wonderful country, please share with us your favorite places.
At the north end I find the route between Colchane and Putre with its colorful hills, active volcanoes, easy wildlife viewing and pure skies make it one of the biggest attractions of the country. From central Chile I like its high mountains and glaciers that have the ideal climate for any mountaineer. One of my favorites is the Peteroa volcano. We haven’t taken advantage yet of the coast for trekking but we recently observed five whales from the beach of Arcos de Calan. In the region of La Araucania, I recommend volcano Sollipulli and its surroundings: hidden lagoons, majestic trees and almost no tourism. In the southernmost area I’d rather go to lesser known places like Puerto Tranquilo and Explorers valley instead of the famous national parks.

Putre Aluca Chile
De entre todas vuestras actividades de Trekking Chile, ¿cuales recomendarías por encima de todo, aquellas que sean realmente una experiencia diferente para el viajero?
Las actividades turísticas deben tener un sentido más profundo, el viajero de larga distancia no viene para practicar deportes físicos sino para conocer el país, su flora, su fauna y su gente. Cualquier excursión debe dejar crecer espiritualmente al turista, han de regresar a su país con mayor conocimiento, con experiencias inolvidables llenas de recuerdos con los chilenos y sus comunidades tradicionales. La diferencia no está en la actividad sino en la forma de realizarla.

Out of all your activities in Trekking Chile, which ones do you recommend above all, those that are a truly different experience for the traveler?
Tourism activities should have a deeper sense, the long distance traveler does not come to practice physical sports but for the country, its flora, fauna and people. Any tour should allow tourists to grow spiritually, they have to return to their country with greater knowledge, filled with unforgettable experiences and memories with their traditional Chilean communities. The difference is not in the activity but in how you do it.

Circuito Condores Central Chile Zuvy
¿Cuál es la mejor región para los tours de trekking? ¿Y la mejor época del año para ir?
Cada región tiene su encanto y cada región se presta para realizar trekking. El desierto atrae mucha gente de todo el mundo, es más difícil encontrar rutas establecidas, y el clima y la falta de agua también complican las salidas. Chile Central tiene un clima muy estable, existe un sin fin de rutas con fácil acceso y el paisaje se transforma de lo más árido a los bosques de lluvia. Quizás es la zona con más opciones para el trekking. Lo más visitado es la zona austral con sus volcanes en la región de los lagos y sus imponentes montañas y glaciares en la Patagonia chilena.

What is the best region for trekking tours? And the best time of year to go?
Each region has its charm and each region is good for trekking. The desert attracts many people from all over the world, it is more difficult to find established routes, and climate and lack of water also complicate the outings. Central Chile has a very stable climate, there are endless trails with easy access and the landscape transforms from the more arid to the rainforest. Maybe it’s the area with more options for trekking. Most visited is the southernmost region with its volcanoes in the region of the lakes and impressive mountains and glaciers in the Chilean Patagonia.

Torres del Paine Patagonia Chile
Trabajáis mucho en la conservación de la cultura Aymara, nos podrías resaltar lo que más te llame la atención de sus costumbres, cocina, música, etc?
TrekkingChile esta construyendo puentes entre turistas y comunidades tradicionales. Cada vez hay menos gente que vive conforme a sus culturas ancestrales. Los aymaras en el norte de Chile viven en lugares extremos, tanto por el clima y la altura como por la belleza escénica. Los turistas están buscando el contacto pero no saben como acercarse a las personas. Lo más notable es que muchos de los aymaras también tienen interés en saber algo de la vida de los turistas pero no saben tampoco como acercarse. Con algo de ayuda se están sentando en la misma mesa y están caminando los mismos senderos. Hemos creado el programa “Descubre la gente”o “Meet the People” con la intención de facilitar el contacto entre los dos partes.

You work a lot in the conservation of the Aymara culture, could you highlight what you like most about their customs, cuisine, music, etc?
Trekkingchile is building bridges between traditional communities and tourists. Fewer and fewer people live according to their ancestral cultures. The Aymara in northern Chile live in extreme places, extreme in climate and altitude but also in scenic beauty. Tourists are seeking contact but do not know how to approach people. Most notable is that many of the Aymara are also interested in knowing something of the life of tourists but do not know how to approach them either. With some help they are sitting at the same table and are walking the same paths. We created the “Meet the People” with the intent to facilitate contact between the two parties.

San Pedro Atacama, Chile

Muchas gracias!

Thanks a lot!