9.2723° S, 71.9776° W
LEARN EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HIKING TO THE TOP OF THE LARGEST VOLCANIC CALDERA IN ALL OF SOUTH AMERICA WITH THIS IN-DEPTH ADVENTURE GUIDE.
Nevados de Sollipulli, or just Sollipulli, is an absolutely stunning (and massive) ice-filled volcanic caldera and volcano complex. Located just north of the adventurous town of Pucón in central Chile, Sollipulli - while definitely not the most famous volcano in the area (that likely goes to Villarrica) - is still 100% worth seeking out, especially if you are interested in seeing a slightly different type of volcanic landscape.
The trail to the caldera rim is less than 8 miles round trip (or 12.8 kilometers), with just around 3,000 feet of elevation gain (but somehow it doesn't feel that steep while hiking...). Plus, while the Sollipulli caldera is definitely the star of the show, along the trail, you will also be able to check out a large araucaria forest, take in some amazing views of nearby Llaima volcano and maybe see a bright blue glacier lake.
If this epic Chile hiking trail sounds like fun to you, then keep reading for our full Sollipulli hiking guide.
➳ Check out the Alltrails hiking map here.
\\ How to Get to the Sollipulli Trailhead
Located in the heart of the Araucania region in central Chile, the Sollipulli trailhead is relatively easy to reach from multiple towns - including the highly popular outdoor adventure town of Pucón, as well as the capital of the region, Temuco.
While public buses do run between some of the towns nearby, from what we gathered, it would not be possible to take a bus all the way up to the trailhead. It is highly likely that the closest you could get to the start of the hike if taking public transportation would be at the turn-off from the main highway and onto the dirt road. From that point you would still need to hike up (and we mean up) another 12.3 kilometers / 7.6 miles before ending at the national reserve and the start of the trail.
Therefore you would instead need your own form of transportation. Luckily, it is pretty easy to rent one in either Pucón, Villarrica or Temuco.
➳ Learn more about renting a car in Chile here.
DRIVING DIRECTIONS TO THE NEVADOS DE SOLLIPULLI TRAILHEAD
If starting in Pucón, you will need to head out of town on the International Highway towards the town of Villarrica. Once you pass through Villarrica, turn right immediately after crossing the bridge outside of town. Take this road (S-69) until it meets up with S-61 (approximately 38 kilometers / 23.6 miles later) in the town of Los Laureles. Do know that once you pass through the very small town of Pedregosa the road turns to dirt (it is quite washboard-y).
Once you get to Los Laureles, turn right onto S-61 and keep driving for about another 1.5 hours. Along the way, you will pass through the towns of Cunco and Melipueco, the former of which has a couple of restaurants and gas stations.
Once past Melipueco, keep an eye out for a large sign for Reserva Nacional Villarrica. Soon enough you will see a turn on the right onto S-571, another dirt road. Take this road until it T’s off with S-575. Turn left here and keep driving all the way up until the road eventually ends at the reserve entrance station.
💬INSIDER TIP: we highly suggest having an offline driving map with you just in case you get turned around on the backroads up to the trailhead. We used maps.me and had no problems making our way to the entrance station of the reserve.
TOTAL DISTANCE: 147 kilometers / 91.3 miles
TOTAL DRIVING TIME: 2.5 hours
Make your way out of the large city of Temuco on S-51, which heads towards the town of Miraflores. Drive S-51 until it meets up with S-61. Once here, turn left and drive into the town of Cunco. Just like the directions above, once out of Cunco keep driving on S-61 until you reach the turn-off for Reserva Nacional Villarrica and road S-571. Once on S-571 (and eventually S-575) drive for another 12.3 kilometers until you reach the trailhead.
TOTAL DISTANCE: 120 kilometers / 74.5 miles
TOTAL DRIVING TIME: 2 hours and 15 minutes
EXPLORE MORE | THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO HIKING IN HUERQUEHUE NATIONAL PARK IN CHILE
\\ The Best Time to Hike Sollipulli
You can hike the Sollipulli trail year-round - though sometimes the re