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Parque Nacional Laguna del Laja - National Park - Chile

This amazing landscape earned its name after the lake was formed from the 1972 eruption of Volcán Antuco, when the lava flow dammed Río Laja. The volcano, which stands 2,985 meters high, is the park’s chief attraction.

Pay the entrance fee ($2) and pick up information at the Conaf hut, or discover information about 1 km beyond at the Centro de Informaciones at Chacay, which offers talks and videos to teach visitors about the park. There is an easy hiking path nearby which leads to the Salto las Chilcas and Salto del Torbellino waterfalls. Heading east from the information center along the road through the park, there is a ski center open from June to October so skiers can hit the slopes of the volcano. During the winter, the 50-bed Refugio Digeder is operational at the Volcán Antuco ski area. It offers meals and rental equipment, as well. For reservations, contact Refugio Digeder. (O’Higgins 740, Office 23, Tel: 41-2226797).

Eventually the road diminishes into a dirt path along the southern shore of the lake that continues to Paso Pichachén and the Argentine border. A walk along here offers breathtaking views of the mountains of Sierra Velluda.


Accommodation in the park is limited. Cabañas y Camping Lagunillas (Tel: 43-321086). A camping site with running water, showers and electricity cost approximately $12 per site, while there are a few cabins ($50 per person) which sleep up to six people and have kitchen facilities as well. Approach the Conaf administration and find a restaurant on the banks of Río Laja. There is a nice and affordable hostel called Hostería El Bosque five kilometers from the park entrance in Abanico. The place has nice grounds and a small swimming pool, while only cost approximately $7 a person for lodging only with an option to upgrade to full board. It is about 12 km from the lake. Tel: 43-372719.


The park can be reached via public transportation from Los Angeles Terminal Rural (Villagrán 501) on ERS which offers five daily buses (three on Sundays) to Abanico. The two-hour ride costs approximately $3. However, there is no public transportation from El Abanico so it is a five-kilometer uphill hike to the park entrance and an additional 6km to the park office - plan to bring water to stay hydrated.

National Park

Here are other activities in and around Southern Heartland that may be of interest: Parque Nacional Nahuelbuta ,

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