All the information to visit the Lanín volcano: how to get there, trekking in the national park and the ascent to the summit.
The border between Argentina and Chile is marked by the high mountains of the Andes. There are a great number of volcanoes in the mountain range, of which one of the most renowned and easily accessible is the Lanín.
Its altitude of almost 3800 metres and the view from the road and the surrounding areas make it an attraction for both tourists and adventurers who want to reach its summit. Here is all the information about how to get to the base of the Lanín volcano by car, access prices and trekking.
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Where the Lanín volcano is located
The Lanín volcano is located on the border between Chile and Argentina within the Lanín National Park in Argentina and the Villarrica National Park in Chile, close to the Mamuil Malal border crossing. Although it is considered active because of its slight telluric movements, it has not actually erupted for more than fifteen centuries. It is called the volcano of eternal snow and its height is 3,747 metres above sea level.
How to get to Lanín volcano by car
In Argentina: from Junín de los Andes by route 23 and then the detour by provincial route 60 to the car park of the Lanín National Park. It is about 65 kilometres, of which the last ten kilometres are gravel in good condition. If you are coming from San Martín de los Andes it is 105 kilometres in total.
In Chile: take route CH-119 from Pucón to the Mamuil Malal border crossing. It is 75 kilometres long, of which the first 60 kilometres are paved.
🔎 Check out our article on places to visit in Patagonia Argentina.
What is the best time to visit the Lanín volcano?
November to april is the best time for trekking the Lanín volcano due to the more pleasant temperature and the presence of less snow. From May to October many of the trails are closed to the public and the ascent to the top of the volcano is only for experts due to the accumulation of ice.
Lanín National Park access fee (2023)
To access the viewpoints and climb the volcano it is necessary to pay the entrance fee to the Lanín National Park. The prices are as follows:
- Foreign adults: 3,500 pesos
- Adults residing in Argentina: 1.000 pesos
- Children from 6 to 16 years old: 500 pesos
- Pensioners: free
Routes and trails around the Lanín volcano
To follow the trails and climb the Lanín volcano, you must register on the official website of the Lanín National Park. Registration is free of charge.
There are different routes, some of which can be done with children. Here are the main ones, including the ascent to the summit:
Trail to the viewpoint of Lake Tromen: duration 1 kilometre (two hours walking there and back). Steep route through the forest to the viewpoint with views of the Lanín volcano and the Tromen lake. There is also a sandy beach on the lake and a picnic area with fire pits. Ideal to go with children, although extreme caution should be taken because the viewpoint has no handrails. Medium difficulty from November to April. Trail closed from May to October.
Lanín Volcano North Base Path: 2.5 kilometres long (two hours of walking both ways) with a flat and well signposted path, going through a lenga forest until reaching 1275 metres above sea level. It is recommended to bring sunglasses, sunscreen, some food and water. Difficulty low from November to April and medium from May to October. It can be done with children.
Ascent to the Lanín Volcano Refuge – North Face: continuing from the base of the volcano, you follow the route called “espina de pescado” and “paso de mula”, where the slope and the snow begin. Then you reach the RIM26 mountain infantry refuge and then the CAJA refuge (Andean club), located at 2600 m.a.s.l., where you can spend the night in domes or tents. It is a five to six hour hike in total. The difficulty is medium from November to April and high from May to October. The use of hiking boots, a torch, water (2 litres per person), food and warm clothing is compulsory.
📷 If you are in San Martin de los Andes, book the day trip with transfers and guide to Huechulafquen lake and Laín volcano.
Summit of the Lanín volcano: from the refuges, the next day you can make the ascent to the summit in six to seven hours. It is only recommended for experts to reach the summit with the appropriate equipment (crampons, ice axes, helmet, sleeping bag, polar fleece, thermal shirt, first aid kit, mountain jacket, etc.). Otherwise, it must be done with a guide. It must be taken into account that this is a very demanding hike due to the ice, the altitude and the terrain conditions.
📝 The Lanín National Park Information Centre checks that the equipment required for summiting is adequate. There are a total of 80 places to sleep in the refuges; as they are vacated, more people are allowed to climb.
Lanín Volcano South Base Trail: It is not the most travelled trail, but you can get to the base of the Lanín volcano on the south side from the Huechulafquen Lake. The trail is 10 kilometres long (20 round trip), of medium difficulty and runs through streams and forests of coihues, lengas and araucarias. The prize? The impressive views of the Lanín volcano and the lake.
Ascent of the Lanín volcano from Chile
This is not the most frequent route to climb the Lanín Volcano, but it can be done on the Chilean side. You have to take a gravel road in bad condition (only advisable with a 4×4 vehicle) that leaves the CH-119 road after 15 kilometres past the locality of Puesco. After two kilometres you reach the place to park the vehicle and start the hike.
In total there are almost two days between ascent and descent, but considering that you have to bring your own tent and there are no shelters as on the Argentinean side. We only recommend this hike if you have experience in mountain routes.
Where to stay near the Lanín volcano
In Lanín National Park there is a camping site where you can sleep in your own tent. The facilities do not have showers and the toilets used are those of the park rangers.
If you want to stay in hotels, the closest city to Junín de los Andes in Argentina is Junín de los Andes. You can see where to stay in Junín de los Andes and book here.
On the Chilean side, there is accommodation in Curarrehue or more choice in the town of Pucon, on the shores of Lake Villarrica.