Chile has it all. I started my trip in this country in the Atacama Desert – the driest place on earth, and now I’m in the Chilean Lake District – it’s difficult to believe these 2 places are in the same country – massive lakes, forests and snow-capped volcanoes all around – incredible!
My original plan was to spend 2 nights in Pucon and then continue my trip south into Patagonia but immediately upon arriving and walking through the small, quaint town I realised I’d be spending much more than 2 days here.
Having arrived from Santiago, a massive city – I welcomed the small town feel of Pucon. There isn’t a doubt in my mind that the town exists solely for tourism and the powers that be are well aware of it and go out of their way to ensure no one leaves disappointed.
Most of the houses here are built of wood and are within easy walking distance to Lake Villarrica – a big lake beneath the active Villarrica Volcano. It gets pretty cold in the evenings so most of the houses have wood fires burning so the town has this lovely woody smell – it ticks all the boxes for me.
If you are looking for a place to try out some amazing food, especially some incredible bakeries – Pucon won’t disappoint either. I fear I blew the budget daily thanks to my insatiable sweet tooth.
From an outdoors point of view, the major attraction here is climbing to the summit of the volcano but beware – it’s highly weather dependant and tours simply don’t operate unless the conditions are perfect. Secondly, it’s expensive – well north of $100. I didn’t climb it as the conditions weren’t ideal and no tours were departing. My budget thanks me too if I’m honest.
The other big attraction is Huerquehue National Park, an hour bus ride from Pucon. There’s a trail one can do called the Los Lagos trail which winds up to 3 lakes. I was totally taken by surprise at how beautiful this hike was. Being the end of winter, the park is still covered in snow and ice. I’ve never walked through an environment like that before. It was a novel experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it and would do it again in a heartbeat.
If you find yourself thinking of doing this trail in September – be warned that it is extremely muddy and icy but it’s totally worth it – definitely one of my highlights!
I ended up spending 5 nights in Pucon and now am heading south to Puerto Varas. I’ve finally set an end date for my trip and my itinerary for the next month is jam packed!
Cheers for now.