The Chilean Lake District rests in Southern Chile, hosting a beauty and surprising exuberance where you can find volcanic cataclysms, iceberg sculptures, rain and snow, torrential rivers, natural hot springs, temperate rain forests and crystal clear lakes. You will find a landscape in movement, one that is constantly changing before your eyes.
Along the Southern side of Lake District is Pucón, a small touristy town where you will found the imposing Villarrica volcano which is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Chile. The village is used as a base for all excursions that are being organized nearby. Over time Pucon has grown from a high society vacation spot to an adventure hub for backpackers looking to explore the region. Inside the town itself you can head down to the lakeside beach and admire the lake or the volcano.
Aside of the lake, one of the main attraction in Pucon is climbing the Villarrica volcano, which can easily be done on a day trip. You can also visit the Mapuche Museum which displays musical instruments, masks, rock sculptures, pipes, and other items representative of Mapuche culture and history.
Not far from the Villarrica, you will find the Volcanic Caves and can take a short tour deep into the electrically illuminated cave via wooden walkways that bring you close to the crystallized basalt formations.
Pucón has also numerous natural hot springs around seventeen natural hot-spring pools, many of them secluded, dot the dense native forest. Each thermal bath has its own private bathrooms, lockers, and deck. The village and its surroundings is a very popular destination for outdoor sports. You can easily spend the whole week enjoying the following activities: horse riding, quad driving, mountain biking, skiing (in the winter), canoeing, fly fishing and rafting.
Another destination to consider is Huerquehue National Park This park is situated 33 km from Pucon. It´s a beautiful, pre-Andean park with an area of 12,500 hectares, characterized by its mountainous geography and crystalline lakes and lagoons. Easily accessible in the summer, this park offers the visitor a wide range of recreational options, from simply admiring nature to camping and sport activities and you may even catch a glimpse of the majestic condor.
Puerto Montt is the capital of the Lake District and due its strategic position this city constitutes the starting point to move to the tourist-attractive places in the south in general. In addition, the port links it to the most southern cities, and its International Airport El Tepual.
Puerto Varas also is one of the most well known cities in Chile and one of the most beautiful ones on Lake Llanquihue. Just 20 kilometers away from Puerto Montt, Puerto Varas gathers the poetry of its rosebushes and the typical regional flora with the streets that end at its magical waterfront.
How do I get there?
The easiest way to get to Pucon is via Temuco Airport. From there are multiple buses that go straight to Pucon. Furthermore, there are also buses and planes leaving from Santiago to Pucon.
To reach Puerto Montt and Puerto Varas you’ll want to fly into the International Airport El Tepual, the most important air terminals in the country. It’ll land you right in Puerto Varas, which is just a 30 minute drive to Puerto Montt.