Osorno Volcano. Volcano in Chile, South America

Osorno Volcano

Volcano in Chile, South America

Osorno Volcano, Patagonia, Chile, 2002 Photo © Terry Feuerborn

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Osorno Volcano

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	Osorno Volcano
Osorno Volcano.
Osorno Volcano, known as the ‘King of the South’, is a stratovolcano that is located in the Andes Mountains, at the edge of Lake Llanquihue in Chile.
It has an altitude of 2,652 meters, and its impressive conical shape rises majestically opposite to the town of Frutillar (Wikipedia Article), of which only the clear waters of Llanquihue Lake separate it.
This volcano has not been active for over a century and a quarter. On its slopes, there are shelters that enable tourists to enjoy some winter adventure sports, such as skiing, snowboarding, and many others. In summer, when the snow has melted, the volcanic fissures can make for a very dangerous hike.

Legend says that according to Mapuche (Wikipedia Article) mythology, an ancient and powerful spirit called “Peripillán” (a great evil spirit who was banished and thrown to the ground, giving rise to the volcano) lives and is imprisoned in the Osorno Volcano.

Ensenada Casa Ko Sunrise - Osorno
Ensenada Casa Ko Sunrise - Osorno Volcano. Photo by Adam Allegro


It is winter from June to mid-September. There are some periods of frost, which makes for some interesting weather. In July it is considered to be the coldest month on average. Its summer is from January to March with an average temperature of 21°C or 21 °C. It can get chilly, even in summer and especially when you are at higher altitudes, so be prepared.

To Do

Osorno - Osorno
Osorno - Osorno Volcano. Photo by Joe Dunckley
Many families can travel by car through a road that is well-paved. You can go with a tour, or travel in your own car, needless to say that if you go by yourself it is cheaper than going on a tour, even though there are many tours with different prices. At 1,200 meters from the bottom, there is a restaurant & several cafeterias as well as a ski resort. At the ski resort, you can rent the equipment necessary for you to enjoy a good skiing experience.

If you desire, you can pay $ 20 USD to go on a gondola ride. These rides will take you about 200 meters above the snow. The scenery is impressive; you can enjoy a beautiful view of the volcano, and the beautiful Llanquihue Lake. It’s a great experience that you have to try, including families with little ones.

Its Surroundings

  • National Park Vicente Pérez Rosales is where you can enjoy the beauty of this park. No matter which path you choose, if trekking, mountain biking or road cycling, either way the experience and the nature are unique. There are excursions offered where you’ll learn about the park, the flora and fauna, the animals, and more.
  • Lake Todos Los Santos (All The Saints), a blue-green lake where you can enjoy the picturesque views while doing some kayaking or enjoy a boat ride offered by many guides. You can also find a few fishing lodges around for those who love to fish.
  • Petrohue River is where you can experience one of the most beautiful rafting trips ever.
  • Village La Ensenada, there are a variety of restaurants that offer typical Chilean food. In the month of April, a festival named “Festival de la Murta” is celebrated in which the locals celebrate the endemic fruit (fruit used on the preparation of various gastronomic recipes). Here, you will also find many camping spots where you can unwind and enjoy some quiet time.

 - Osorno Volcano
Osorno Volcano. Photo by globetrotter_rodrigo

The Good

  • The climb is an unforgettable alpine experience.
  • For those that decide to climb this volcano, you will find yourself surrounded by a beautiful Patagonian wilderness.
  • There are different tours offered to suit everyone’s budget.
  • The nature and the beauty it offers is a great way to get an escape from the norm.
  • There is more to do than just climbing.
  • It’s a place that you can explore with your family.
  • On a clear night, you can see the volcano surrounded by stars. It is simply beautiful.

The Bad

  • Depending on the weather, it can be a very dangerous hike.
  • While descending, the ice can be very challenging.
  • Not many people speak English.

Osorno - Osorno
Osorno - Osorno Volcano. Photo by Joe Dunckley


  • If you decide to hike the volcano during summertime, please take into account all the conditions before doing so. It can be very dangerous, especially because of all the unseen, melted snow in all of the crevasses.
  • Bring special gear for trekking such as axes, pitons, and ropes.
  • If you have no trekking experience, it’s better for you to avoid trekking this volcano. If you do have experience, avoid going by yourself. Either a small group or an experience guide is recommended.
  • Dress in layers, even in summer. It can get really cold.
  • Do not expect people to speak English. Many of the tours do have some employers that can communicate in English, but most of the locals don’t. So be prepared for that.

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Author: Steffanie Paredes. Last updated: Jan 31, 2015

Pictures of Osorno Volcano

Osorno y agua - Osorno Volcano
Osorno y agua - Osorno Volcano. Photo by Diego Peñailillo

Volcan Osorno - Osorno Volcano
Volcan Osorno - Osorno Volcano. Photo by Diego Peñailillo


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