Exploring Miradores Los Crateres

I’m a big city kid, but when we’re travelling I find that unless you have a local to show you around, despite their differences, big cities all feel like big cities. My favourite parts of our travels have always been when we are active, which makes Pucon a great place.

With Ella we’re a bit limited, i.e. we won’t be climbing to the summit of Volcan Villarrica, like those in the picture below, but there’s still some good hiking to be found.

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Those little dots are groups of people we’d like to be joining on their way up.

In researching family friendly hikes, Katy came across this blog post, which gave us not only the name of a family friendly hike, Miradores los Crateres, but helpful directions for getting to the start of the trail.

At 8km round trip, with a well marked trail, it sounded like the perfect hike with Ella. It was also the closest we could get to the top of the volcano with a 3 year old in tow.

Our only concern was whether our rented Corolla with weirdly fancy rims on it, would make it to the trailhead given the description of the road, “The road starts out paved, but will eventually turn into a fairly rough dirt road. Cars without four wheel drive should take caution, especially if your car sits very low to the ground.”

The road was definitely rough, and also rocky, and uphill. Surprisingly the car made it and we were on our way.

The hike was, as advertised, not too difficult but interesting enough to be fun. Ella was great and managed to walk the first 3km, almost all uphill, by herself before running out of steam and hopping on Katy’s back in the carrier.

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The highlight for Ella was calling out all the geckos as they scurried off the trail. Surprisingly, this did get a bit old for Katy and I after the first thousand or so. Not Ella.

The trail brings you to Los Cráteres en Sendero, a lava field of caves and interesting rock formations.

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After a picnic with a view we headed down the mountain, notably more quickly with Ella on Katy’s back, and into town.

Given her performance on the hike, Ella had earned some R&R on the volcanic beach back in Pucon.

Up next is more adventure, this time rafting on one of the many rivers around Pucon. Rapids and a 3 year old. What could possibly go wrong?

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