Whether you are a pleasure-seeker or an outdoor enthusiast, you will find plenty to do in Pucón and Villarrica, which are home to casinos, restaurants and indoor and outdoor markets as well as hot springs and national parks.
These cities combine the cosmopolitan legacy of the German colonists who settled here in the 19th century with the customs and traditions of the Mapuche people. This diverse heritage can be appreciated in the cities’ architecture and a wide variety of activities such as games of chance in the casino and dinner in a traditional Mapuche ruca (dwelling) in downtown Villarrica.
In fact, your visit may seem all too short! No matter how long you have to spend here, don’t miss out on a chance to visit hot springs like Coñaripe, San Luis, Huife and Termas Geométricas or see the natural wonders of Huerquehue National Park, including as Lake Verde.
When you have had your fill of the restaurants on Pucón’s Calle Fresia, Villarrica’s market, Lican Ray resort on neighboring Calafquén Lake, and Lake Caburgua and its “Ojos” (cascade pools), head to Mamuil-Malal Pass, a well-traveled 200 km highway that joins Pucón and San Martín de los Andes in Argentina and offers incredible vistas of the native araucania forests.
|Curacautín – Lonquimay||Huerquehue and Villarrica National Park|
|Pucón Currarehue||Hot Spring Routes|
|What to Bring||Villarrica’s Ruca||Calle Fresia in Pucón|
|The climate in this part of Chile is variable, so bring cold weather gear if you visit during the winter and rain gear if your trip falls during summer, when it can be hot (30°C) and sunny one day and cool (18°C) and rainy the next.||Located at the corner of Pedro de Valdivia and Julio Zegers streets, the ruca is a traditional circular Mapuche dwelling with mud-plastered walls and a cone-shaped roof. Inside, you will be offered traditional Mapuche food made from ingredients such as the piñón (Araucania pine nuts), and merkén, a traditional condiment made from dried smoked chili peppers. You will also have a chance to marvel at the Mapuches’ renowned silver jewelry, weavings and native wood carvings.||The city’s main street, which runs right down to the Plaza de Armas, offers a wide variety of shops and eateries that range from German-style cafés to steak houses that stay open until the wee hours. The shops stock local gourmet products and handicrafts.|
|“Ojos” del Caburgua (Eyes of Caburga)||Lican Ray|
|These “eyes” are actually two natural pools located near the lake of the same name where three 15- to 20- meter high waterfalls come together. Located 18.5 km from Pucón on the road to Lake Caburgua, the “ojos” can be visited on foot, by bike or on horseback.||This small summer resort town is surrounded by forests of native trees including pellín (a type of oak found in Chile and Argentina) and interesting geological formations. It is located near the northern part of Lake Calafquén and 30 km from Villarrica and 50 km from Pucón. Try to visit during February, when the town celebrates its anniversary.|