Osorno (volcano)

Osorno Volcano is a 2,652-metre (8,701 ft) tall conical stratovolcano lying between Osorno Province and Llanquihue Province, in Los Lagos Region of Chile. It stands on the southeastern shore of Llanquihue Lake, and also towers over Todos los Santos Lake. Osorno is considered a symbol of the local landscape and, as such, tends to be the referential element of the area in regards to tourism and marks the beginning of Chilean Patagonia.

Volcán Osorno y lago Llanquihue desde el sector Los Riscos 2.jpg
Osorno Volcano and Llanquihue Lake
Highest point
Elevation2,652 m (8,701 ft)[1]
Coordinates41°06′00″S 72°29′35″W / 41.10000°S 72.49306°W / -41.10000; -72.49306[1]
Parent rangeAndes
Mountain typeStratovolcano
Volcanic arc/beltSouth Volcanic Zone
Last eruption1869[1]
First ascent1848 by Jean Renous
Easiest routerock/snow/ice climb


The current name comes from a nearby town, Osorno, where it was visible to Spanish settlers. Native populations gave it different names, such as Purailla, Purarhue, Prarauque, Peripillan, Choshueco, Hueñauca and Guanauca. The latter two names were the most common in the mid-18th century.[2][3]


The volcano has a height of 2,652 meters (8,701 feet) and its imposing conical feature looms over lake Llanquihue, across from the cities of Frutillar, Puerto Varas, and Llanquehue. There has been no volcanic activity for over one hundred years. Skiing and hiking have become a common activity on the mountain.[4]


Osorno is located almost 45 kilometers (28 miles) northeast of Puerto Varas. Its height means that it can be seen from the entire province of Osorno, even in some places on the island of Chiloé, which dominates region's landscape. In recent years it has become a popular tourist attraction.

The volcano is accessible from Puerto Klocker, Ensenada, Petrohué and at its base is the town of Las Cascadas.

Volcanic activityEdit

Osorno is one of the most active volcanoes of the southern Chilean Andes, with eleven eruptions recorded between 1575 and 1869, and 1835.

On January 19, 1835 during the second voyage of the Beagle Charles Darwin was near Ancud and witnessed an eruption of the volcano, which he recorded, noted, and made him suspect the existence of a relationship between the simultaneous activity of geographically distant volcanoes.[5] However, the data on which it was based were, at least in part, wrong, since they reported an eruption in Aconcagua, which was almost impossible, since it is not a volcano, but rather a paleovolcano or extinct volcano.[4][6]


The basalt and andesite lava flows generated during these eruptions reached both lake Llanquihue and lake Todos Los Santos. The upper slopes of the volcano are almost entirely covered in glaciers despite its very modest altitude and latitude, sustained by the substantial snowfall in the very moist maritime climate of the region. This mountain also produces pyroclastic flow, since it is a composite volcano.[7]

Some say the volcano looks similar in appearance to Mt Fuji in Japan.[8][9]

Osorno volcano sits on top of a 250,000-year-old eroded stratovolcano, La Picada, with a 6-km-wide caldera.[10][11]

Image galleryEdit

A panoramic view of Osorno Volcano from Llanquihue Lake on 11 Feb 2010. The image is created from six separate photos stitched together.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "Osorno". Global Volcanism Program. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 2010-05-06.
  2. ^ Kinzel, E.; Klenner, H. (1985). Puerto Varas: 130 años de historia, 1852-1983 (in Spanish). p. 409. LCCN 85198482.
  3. ^ Steffen, H (1936). Contribución a la historia del descubrimiento y exploración de las cordilleras sudamericanas (in Spanish). pp. 88–186.
  4. ^ a b "Sierra magazine, Jan/Feb 2006, travel column, "Good Going"". Archived from the original on 2017-07-05. Retrieved 2006-02-02.
  5. ^ "Darwin's earthquakes". Darwin Correspondence Project. 2016-01-18. Retrieved 2022-03-04.
  6. ^ "The American Museum of Natural History: A Trip Around the World". Archived from the original on 2006-01-28. Retrieved 2006-02-02.
  7. ^ "Ranking de Riesgo de Específico de Volcanes Activos" [Risk rank of active volcanoes] (PDF) (in Spanish). 20 February 2020. Retrieved 14 November 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ "Osorno Volcano, Chile". www.patagonia-calling.com. Retrieved 2022-03-01.
  9. ^ "Osorno Volcano |". Alluring World. 2017-08-16. Retrieved 2022-03-01.
  10. ^ "Volcanoes of South America". Global Volcanism Program. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 2010-02-23.
  11. ^ "Servicio Nacional de Geografía y Minería: Volcán Osorno". Archived from the original on 22 February 2018. Retrieved 14 November 2022.

Further readingEdit