5 Unmissable Day Hikes in Chile

Cerro Castillo

If you forget your hiking boots when travelling to Chile you’ll soon regret it. There are so many hiking options to choose from, each with their own unique traits. Thick rainforests, glacier-fed lakes, lunar landscapes and even drifting icebergs will pass you by. Here are 5 unmissable day hikes in Chile to add to your itinerary.

1. Cerro Castillo, Carretera Austral

The great Cerro Castillo laguna top

Cerro Castillo’s Alpine Lake

This starts with a hike through a lush forest, continuing across boulder fields, deep snowdrifts and finally peat bog before arriving at a spectacular glacial lake. Cerro Castillo is a 6-8 hour return trip where free camping is available right at the trailhead by a river. This is a surprise star attraction of a rough and ready road trip along the Carretera Austral. Read a full guide to day hiking Cerro Castillo

2. Grey Glacier, Torres Del Paine

Grey glacier Torres Del Paine

Grey Glacier on a rare clear day! Accessible via a day hike from Pudeto.

This mighty glacier forks like a snake tongue as it reaches the edge of the magnificent Grey Lake of Torres Del Paine. Edge your way along the slopes of the mighty but misty Cerro Paine Grande with the optimism, hoping to catch more than a glimpse of the spectacular scenery while the weather permits. Read a full guide to day hiking Grey Glacier

3. Enladrillado, Altos de Lircay

Enladrillado summit

Enladrillado summit. An eerie snow-covered plateau with naturally formed pavers

It’s not often that you reach a snow-covered mountain summit over 2000m that is dead flat and the size of 4 football fields. The eerie lunar landscape of Enladrillado has to be seen to be believed. An endurance test of 8 hours is made easier by a constantly changing scenery on this very special day hike. Read a full guide to day hiking Enladrillado

4. Volcan Villarrica, Pucon

Villarrica ascent

The never ending march of the penguins up the steepening ice slope.

More a mountaineering expedition than a casual hike! Villarica is a violent, risky and lung-burning slog through scree and snow to the summit of one of Chile’s most active volcanos. With gas masks fitted you peer into the molten angry core of the mountain followed by an exhilarating sled ride back down. Read a full guide to day hiking Volcan Villarica

5. Cerro Bandera, Dientes de Navarino

Cerro Bandera

Cerro Bandera summit overlooking the Beagle Channel

Isla Navarino is home to the 5-day (35km) Dientes de Navarino circuit hike. However, from Puerto Williams, you can hike up to Cerro Bandera in a day to get a taste of hiking in this very remote part of the world. Cerro Bandera a 5-hour return hike up to 620m. Read a full guide to day hiking Cerro Bandera.

About The Author

Warren

Ever since venturing out the back gate into the bush as a kid, I've had a curiosity to escape and explore as often as I could. It's fair to say that my curiosity has continued to grow instead of fade as the years go on. Sixty countries later it was about time to turn a few scribbled notes into some legible stories and tips to share for anyone with a similar curiosity as me.

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The great Cerro Castillo laguna top
Grey glacier Torres Del Paine
Carretera Austral Vehicle