The Chaitén volcano is a caldera-type volcano located 10 km northeast of the city of Chaitén and 34 km south of Caleta Gonzalo. On May 2, 2008, it erupted after centuries without activity, which caused massive evacuations of the population of the city of Chaitén and surroundings, great damage to the Pumalin Park, and changed the face of the sector. Within its crater two new domes of about 200m in height appeared, changing the summit. The forest that dominated the entire sector was largely destroyed by the pyroclastic material spewed out by the volcano. This latest natural disaster allowed the Pumalín Park administration to open a trail up to the crater rim up one of these slopes now cleared of the normally thick forest in the area.
Starting from the Carretera Austral, this trail allows you to climb its slopes along a well-marked path to a viewpoint near its caldera. Being an active volcano, you cannot climb to the very top, but from the viewpoint you have a good view of the central cone, of the area near the volcano, and you will be able to see uninterrupted fumaroles at a very short distance. During the walk, old tree stumps can be seen with the tops torn off that are still intact with new ones sprouting around them.
The Chaitén Volcano trail is one of the favorites of all visitors to Pumalin Park! The panoramic views on this hike are simply amazing. The landscape is quite unreal and the vibrant colors give the feeling of being on another planet 🙂
Starting point: From the Carretera Austral, Los Gigios bridge, 34 kilometers south of Caleta Gonzalo.
Check a video of the viewpoint here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hQjsmeOVCA