East of Volcán Llaima, the sprawling lava flows of El Escorial dammed the Río Truful Truful to form Laguna Arco Iris and Laguna Verde; to the north, beneath the Sierra Nevada, Laguna Conguillío has a similar origin.
Near Conaf’s Centro de Información at the southwest corner of Laguna Conguillío, the Sendero Araucarias is a short woodland nature trail suitable for any hiker. For a longer and more challenging excursion that’s still a day hike, take the trail from Playa Linda at the east end of Laguna Conguillío to the base of the Sierra Nevada, which rewards the hiker with overwhelming views through nearly pure araucaria woodland. This route continues across the mountains to Termas Río Blanco, but it’s a hazardous one on which hikers have died.
At Laguna Captrén, at the park’s northern entrance, the Sendero de Chile was the initial section of the nonmotorized trail intended to unite the country from the Peruvian border to Tierra del Fuego. At Laguna Arco Iris, to the south, an early settler built the wooden Casa del Colono as a homestead cabin. From Laguna Verde, also known as Laguna Quililo, a short wooded footpath reaches the beach at La Ensenada.
Conaf’s Sendero Cañadon Truful-Truful, a 900-meter nature trail, follows the river’s course where erosion has uncovered the rainbow chronology of Llaima’s eruptions and ash falls. Along the 800-meter Sendero Los Vertientes, subterranean springs emerge from the volcanic terrain.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Chile, 2nd edition