If you were to ask a child to draw a picture of a volcano, the image of Osorno would appear on the page. Its silhouette is perfect, dressed in layers of lush forest at the base, a black desert of volcanic rock in the center, and eternal snow and ice blanketing the peak. To walk on Osorno is more than an adventure. It’s a legend.
There, the Mapuche spirit “Peripillán” appears and shows its fury every 200 years: the last great eruption took place in 1835, under the gaze of Charles Darwin. These days, the volcano is calm. The spirit sleeps, and one can walk peacefully from the forests at the base to the glaciers on the peak, along canyons and around craters before touching the eternal ice, with the peak just a snowball’s throw away. This is the Kingdom of the Condor, from where one’s gaze can take in the immensity of Lake Llanquihue, the Andes Mountains, the initial valleys of Patagonia, and the Pacific Ocean.
The trek can be difficult, but the views are breathtaking. On the way back, a cup of hot tea warms the stomach before the bicycle ride down, 15 kms of pure panoramic views until the base of the volcano. The slope is steep and the turns are tight, but the route is perfect, a pure adrenaline rush for a great dose of pleasure. The finishing line is the town of Ensenada, capping an absolutely perfect journey.