FATMAP by Strava

Volcán Villarrica - Rukapillán

Volcán Villarrica

Spring skiing paradise!

Ski Touring Difficult

7.4 km
1.4 km
1.4 km
5-6 hrs
Low Point
1.5 km
High Point
2.8 km
Volcán Villarrica - Rukapillán Map

This iconic volcano, with its perfect cone shape, named "Rukapillán" in Mapuche language - which means "House of the spirit" - is one of the most active volcanoes in South America.


Its characteristics and the impressive view over the town of Pucón and Lake Villarrica make it simply an unmissable volcano, and one of the most visited in the area.

The route itself has no significant difficulty or technical sections, but as it is exposed to a lot of wind and there is usually ice, meaning that conditions change throughout the season. That is why the ascent is not only a matter of fitness; the weather influences a lot and it is recommended to have some experience trekking on snow with crampons and ice axe.

Access by the normal route (northwest face) starts at the base of the mountain, from the ski center. First you have to go up chairlift 5, the one furthest to the left of the ski resort. At the top of the chairlift 5, continue to the left (southwest) towards the "capilla" (chapel) where you can take a break.

From there continue up towards the obvious plateau and then the last ridge to reach the top.

At the top you will see a continuous fumarole and on many occasions it is possible to see the lava inside the crater. If you turn back to the valley you will be able to see the Villarrica lake and the Lanín, Llaima, Quetrupillán and Lonquimay volcanoes.

It is recommended to go down the same way as you came up so as to avoid the glaciers and crevasses on the other side of the volcano, especially in spring.



Serious gradient of 30-38 degrees where a real risk of slipping exists.

Medium Exposure (E2)

2 out of 4

As well as the slope itself, there are some obstacles (such as rock outcrops) which could aggravate injury.


1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

between June and October


  • Ski Mountaineering

Equipment required

  • Skins
  • Crampons

Guidebooks in this area