The Calbuco volcano in southern Chile erupted twice a few weeks ago, spewing more than 210 million cubic meters of ash around the Los Lagos region to the west of the Andes Mountains and causing more than 6,000 people to be evacuated from their homes. While the immediate aftermath of the eruption was crazy, with a lot of flights canceled and with the fear that it could become a big disaster, things were much better a few days later.
The volcano is located in the Patagonian lake district on the Chilean side of the Andes Mountain Range. In the Patagonian Lake District the most important touristic areas are Bariloche (in Argentina, east of the Andes range) and Puerto Varas (in Chile, west of the Andes range).
Because the volcano is located east of Puerto Varas, and the wind was blowing from the south and from the west, ashes were blowing northeast of the volcano.
For this reason, ashes affected the area from Puerto Varas to the east, but it was nothing compared to other eruptions in the past. The ashes also flew to the Argentine side and affected the area north of Bariloche (200 km north), but not Bariloche itself. In fact, less than one week after the volcano erupted, flights and excursions in the area were operating normally.
Fortunately, what happened with the volcano was more of a spectacle than harmful. Things are returning to normal and this should not affect the Patagonian tourist season (starting in October) at all. Besides, with over 90 active volcanoes, volcanic activity is nothing new to Chile. Locals just hope that tourism to the region continues as normal.