Why mountain bike in the Chilean Lake District?

  • Get off-road to explore the lakes, volcanoes, forests and national parks of one of Chile’s prettiest regions at your own pace.
  • Bike trails ranging from leisurely road trips to adrenaline-rushing volcano descents and everything in between.
  • Multi-day rides along the stunning Seven Lakes Circuit and Llanquihue Lake Circuit.
  • Jump on a bike for a day as part of a larger multi-activity trip.

Day rides in the Chilean Lake District

Biking from Puerto Varas

Cycling with Osorno Volcano view, Chile

Cycling with Osorno Volcano view

A host of bike trails spread along Lake Llanquihue and into the neighbouring national parks from Puerto Varas, the southern gateway town to the Chilean Lake District.

The Paso Desolacion trail is a great day ride that leads from Lake Llanquihue through Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park. The route winds up from the shoreline through beech forests to stark volcanic lava fields, before descending to Lake Todos los Santos. There are plenty of fast descents on the second half of the ride, and some truly stupendous views throughout.

If you prefer something a little more relaxed, the route west from Puerto Varas takes you along back roads through the towns of Llanquihue and Frutillar. It’s a pretty ride along the lake, overlooked by Osorno Volcano, with some quaint Germanic alpine architecture along the way. Sometime dubbed the Beer and Bike route, as there are several stops along the way to refresh yourself at a local microbrewery.

Day rides from Pucón

Mountain biking in Chile's Lake and Volcano District, around Villarrica, Patagonia, Chile

Mountain biking around Pucón in Chile's Lake District

As one of South America’s premier outdoor sports destinations and Villarrica and Huerquehue National Parks on its doorstep you can hardly throw a spanner in Pucón without it landing on a bike trail.

By far the most dramatic experience you can have on a bike in Pucón is to tackle the Downhill Rukapillan trail on Villarrica Volcano. The 1000m descent of Villarrica’s rocky slopes on a steep but well-marked trail will have your adrenaline pumping in no time, but it’s not all about the downhill as there are plenty of opportunities to stop and drink in the truly sublime views of Pucón and Lake Villarrica that the ride affords.

Just outside the northern boundary of Villarrica National Park, the Cerduo Bike Park has five well-marked trails across hills and rivers overlooked by Villarrica. The combined Puma-Carpintero trail has some exciting descents through forest and old lava fields.

The volcanic landscape means that there are plenty of hot springs within an easy bike ride of Pucón – the Alto Palguín-Chinay trail takes you to one of the nicest. Alternatively, the ever-popular Ojos de Cabargua Loop takes you across the Trancura River east of Pucón and into the forest, where waterfalls leap into the pretty Ojos de Cabugua pools.

Multi-day rides in the Chilean Lake District

Lake & Volcano Scenic Route

Mountain biking around Chile's Volcano and Lake District, Patagonia

Mountain biking around Chile's Volcano and Lake District

Some of the most scenic stretches of road in the Chilean Lake District can be combined into one long tour to allow you to experience the best of the region on two wheels. Starting from Temuco in the north, the route passes through Conguíllo National Park, an area dramatically shaped by the still-active Llaima Volcano, and then heads south to join the Seven Lakes Circuit. This leads you around Villarrica Volcano and threads between two stunning lakes to the town of Panguipulli. After a short transfer, the route joins the Llanquihue Lake Circuit, making a slow progress along the shores of the lake – one of the most gorgeous stretches of cycling in the country – before concluding under the gaze of Osorno Volcano with a trail through Vicente Pérez National Park to Petrohué on Lake Todos los Santos.

Mountain biking in the Chilean Lake District FAQs

  • How do I choose the best trip for my experience level?

    We offer tours including single day bike tours to multi-day off-road adventures, so it’s worth considering what type of biking you enjoy.

    • Do you want a multi-day camping tour on gravel roads?
    • Are you a mountain biker looking for a bit of adrenaline, leaving vehicles behind? 
    • Is a day or two of biking enough to get you out and about, allowing you to include plenty of other options for the rest of the trip?

    Ask our specialists how to tailor your trip to make it perfect for you.

  • What types of biking are there?

    Road Biking

    Good quality paved roads means that the Chilean Lake District is one of the best places in the country to tour by bike, with several excellent lakeside routes around Puerto Varas and Frutillar.

    Mountain Biking

    The Chilean Lake District is threaded with trails for mountain biking. There are short day rides to be had, offering scenic views or vertiginous volcano descents, or longer multi-day days biking on backroads from one stunning lake to the next.

  • How much support will I have?

    Choose the level which is right for you. A fully guided tour means a support vehicle to carry your luggage (and give you a ride if the weather turns), plus local biking guides who will be your best source of information about hidden trails, or secret views waiting to be discovered.

    If you just want to set out yourself on an impromptu trip during a free afternoon, there are plenty of opportunities to rent bikes in Puerto Varas and Pucón.

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