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Overview

At the east end of Lago Villarrica, Pucón proper is a hedonistic summer destination with restaurants, bars and dance clubs open all hours of the night. With that reputation, many visitors to this stunningly beautiful area prefer to stay just out of town rather than adapt to a wall-to-wall service sector along the principal street and many others in its densely built downtown. At the same time, beneath the steaming caldera of Volcán Villarrica, Pucón's also part of a scenic area that can boast forested mountains with abundant hiking trails, rushing rivers, placid Andean lakes and abundant hot springs. The volcano, part of its namesake ...

At the east end of Lago Villarrica, Pucón proper is a hedonistic summer destination with restaurants, bars and dance clubs open all hours of the night. With that reputation, many visitors to this stunningly beautiful area prefer to stay just out of town rather than adapt to a wall-to-wall service sector along the principal street and many others in its densely built downtown. At the same time, beneath the steaming caldera of Volcán Villarrica, Pucón's also part of a scenic area that can boast forested mountains with abundant hiking trails, rushing rivers, placid Andean lakes and abundant hot springs. The volcano, part of its namesake national park, is a destination for guided climbs on which visitors can peer into the crater and, then, descend the snow-covered slopes in a controlled slide. Other parks, such Huerquehue, are known for wooded trails that zigzag through dense monkey-puzzle forests, while rafters and kayakers test their skills on the Class IV rapids and falls of the Río Trancura. Horseback riding, at places like the Mapuche guesthouse Ruka Rayen, is another option. At the end of an active day, or perhaps the entire next day, recovery can take place in rustic hot springs options, the steaming volcanic pools of the Termas Geométricas, or even a resort like Hotel y Termas de Huife.

Wayne Bernhardson
About the Expert

Wayne Bernhardson is the author of Moon Handbooks to Argentina, Buenos Aires (including coastal Uruguay), Chile (including Easter Island), and Patagonia (including the Falkland Islands).

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Wayne Bernhardson for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Cautín Province, southern lake district
  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency: Chilean Peso
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    The shoulder seasons of November-December and March-April can be more agreeable than the frenetic summer months of January and February.