For many visitors to Pucón, the surreal red glow of the active Villarrica Volcano looming over town is an image that sticks with you, burned in the back of the retina. One of the area’s most popular adventures is the full-day hike to the lip of the crater, where you can get a closer look at the bubbling lava inside.
Taking that experience and adding a lifetime’s worth of adrenaline, one tourism operator is now offering the chance to bungee jump… out of a helicopter… and into the crater of the Villarrica.
The “Volcano Bungee” was set up for an MTV reality series, but demand brought the opportunity to the general public – for a price. There’s a US$10,000 price tag for the jump, which also includes a day of whitewater rafting and a day of chilling out in the local hot springs. Yowza.
The helicopter takes off about 35 miles away and flies into the crater, where a 350-ft bungee cord drops the jumper within 700 feet of red-hot molten lava.
After staring a red-hot fiery death in the face, the helicopter swoops back to the airport, letting you ride the long-line back at 80 mph (130 kph) over one of Chile’s most picturesque natural settings.
There’s no word on how many people have yet taken the trip – or how many of those people have actually jumped! – but the opportunity is already gaining a reputation with adrenaline junkies around the world.
Mexican newspaper El Nuevo Día sandwiched the Pucón adventure between running with the bulls in Pamplona and swimming with crocodiles in Australia, on it’s list of “10 Most Extreme Adventures” in the world.
Zimbio.com put the Volcano Jump on it’s “Most Dangerous Tourist Attractions” list – right alongside a visit to Chernobyl – and BackpackerSecrets.com calls it “the world’s wildest bungee jump.”
The tour operator is known for arranging outrageous bungees all over the world, but the Volcano Bungee seems to have captured the imagination. As Bungee.com says, “Why? You are looking for the adventure of a lifetime!”