Our small town (20,000 inhabitants) is located 800 kilometres south of Santiago in the Chilean Lake District. It is surrounded by national parks, mountains, rivers, and lakes. The highlight is the smoking Villarrica-Volcano which dominates the view.
Its enormous natural potential has made Pucón a centre for adventure tourism and outdoor activities. You can easily spend a week or more doing a different trip each day.
Pucón also offers a wide range of restaurants, pubs, discotheques, handicraft shops, and even a fancy casino. There are three banks in town with an ATM where you can get cash with your VISA or MasterCard. Exchange rates are not the greatest, especially for traveller cheques, so we encourage our future guests to exchange their money in bigger cities like Santiago or Temuco before arriving at Pucón.
During the Chilean holidays in January and February, Pucón is a very popular summer destination. The quiet little town then offers more nightlife opportunities, sports competitions, and concerts while still keeping its rustic charm.
Climbing Villarrica Volcano
For many travellers, this is the reason to visit Pucón. The climb is not technically difficult, but you need to be in good physical condition. The tour agencies charge 70-90 US$ and will provide you with all of the equipment, including boots, ice axe and crampons, transport and guide. You leave Pucon at 7 AM in a van to reach the starting-point at 1400 metres above sea level (Pucón is only at 220). From there you walk uphill for 4 to 6 hours to the top at 2847 metres. If you are lucky, you can see boiling lava in the crater and enjoy the view of about ten volcanoes around you.
It is important to know that If you want to go on your own, you have to be an accredited member of a mountaineering club. You can also rent the gear in town if necessary.
Huerquehue National Park
This small park offers hikes to beautiful mountain lakes in the middle of an araucaria forest (monkey puzzle tree). It is a very special experience. The most popular trip is a one-day-hike (recommended in winter too), but you can also cross the entire park on a four-day-hike.
In the surroundings you can take different horseback riding excursions through beautiful forests, waterfalls, and small lagoons while galloping along a volcanic high plain. There are tours from half a day to nine days. People without previous experience can do the short trips without problems.
Pucón is the main centre for rafting in Chile. You have two options that are only 15 kilometres out of town: the Trancura Bajo which is rated class II-III, or the Trancura Alto which is more difficult and a class IV. Both excursions are done almost everyday, even in winter. During summer in Pucón start the longer-day-trips to the famous rivers Bio Bio and Futaleufú, both class V. Pucón is also the right place for kayaking. In addition to the rivers mentioned above, you can enjoy the Palguín, Fuy and Maichín. In summer there are also classes for beginners.
After renting a bike, we can provide you with a local map and recommend a trip according to your interests and physical condition. If you want, we can organize transport to your starting point and/or a guide. The most popular trip leads you to Lake Caburgua and back through a lovely farm land where you are passing waterfalls and forests along a river with crystal-clear water at a point with a view of three volcanoes.
In Pucón there are more than seven different hot springs with water temperatures ranging from 34 to 45 degrees Celsius. Most hot springs have pools, and a few have spas with individual tubs that offer other services such as a professional massage. Some springs are still rustic, though. There is a style for every adventure taste.
Different travel agencies offer tours in the area including visits to lakes, waterfalls and hot springs. We are here to provide you with personal tips of the most reputable tour companies in the area. We will also help you plan an individual tour as well if that is what you would prefer.
From end-October to mid-April, it is possible to swim in Lake Villarrica and relax on its beach of black, volcanic sand. During summer season, there are rowing or sailing boats for rent. You can also water ski, windsurf, or jet ski.. In January-February, the beach is very crowded, especially in front of the fancy Gran Hotel Pucón. A short walk away on the beach and you will be able to find quieter places as well.
Fishing season is open from the second Friday in November until the first Sunday in May. You can catch Trout, Rainbow and Brown, and sometimes Salmon. The best spots are Liucura river, upper Trancura and the lagoons in the mountains.
There is a small ski centre on the Villarrica volcano with nine lifts. It is very popular with snowboarders because of the good snow conditions. The season starts in June and lasts usually till October. You can rent equipment in town. It is an unforgettable experience to descend a smoking volcano on a clear day looking down into the central valley where you can see four lakes...
It is possible to climb the volcano by skis (randonee), take a look at the boiling lava, and then descend down to 1800 meters skiing.