The Beauty of Chile

Written on Monday, May 20, 2019 by The Beauty of Chile

We arrived in Santiago and had pre-planned to spend the night in the city rather than at the airport, and we’re so glad we did. Our hotel, the Luciano K, was a welcoming introduction to Chile.  We enjoyed a few drinks and delicious tapas at the rooftop bar before wandering to the nearby nightlife.  The city was alive with sidewalk markets of local wares, musicians playing on the streets and the locals dancing.  After a good nights sleep we headed back to the airport for a short flight to Temuco, which is the closet airport to Pucon where we were headed.

I didn’t really know what to expect from the tiny town of Pucon.  It’s not a hugely known destination for international travelers, but is very popular with the locals.  In the winter it is a ski village and in the summer, it’s the perfect place for adrenaline junkies. The town is at the base of Villarica, an active volcano which is the main draw-card for the area. Everyday hundreds of people take up the challenge to hike to the top.  It’s a tough hike to the crater through the snow and then hikers are rewarded with amazing views into the smoking crater. If you’re lucky, there will be lava too!  The town has a lake beach which is full of holiday makers laying on the black sand and hanging out in the beach bars and cafes.

The area is beautiful to drive around, with scenic lakes, waterfalls and mountains which is typical of this volcanic region of Chile. One of the highlights of our stay in Pucon was afternoon white water rafting. Just a short drive out of town to a superb location on the river, our guide gave us a few pointers along the way and then we were paddling downstream, swooshing through the rapids and enjoying a swim in the cool clean waters of the Andes. This definitely got the heart racing!

The region is also host to many natural thermal spas.  The spa temperatures range from 35 to 48 degrees Celsius.  The afternoon relaxing in the spa baths was the perfect way to recover from the hiking and rafting.  The pools are set in a luscious natural environment of greenery, rocks and waterfalls.  If you’re game, you can also take a plunge in the cold baths which are only 4-6 degrees Celsius and the water icy cold straight from the surrounding mountains.

This region is great to explore and feel like a local.  There is very little English spoken, and very few English speaking visitors either, which always adds a few challenges.  The food and hospitality is great, there are plenty of activities, wonderful scenery and a real holiday atmosphere.


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