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Chile volcano tourist selfie in front of Chile Volcano

Zigzagging through Volcano Valleys

Bite-sized trip

  • Itinerary:
    Temuco - Pucon - Puyehue - Puerto Varas or vice versa
  • Duration:
    6 days / 5 nights (flexible)
  • Price:
    from £775 per person (excluding flights)
Speeding across Chile's Pan-American Highway may be the quickest way to travel through Chile, but what's the rush? Why not take the back roads through the beautiful Chilean Lake District instead. This part of Chile is less touristy, but just as beautiful. During this 6 day road trip you'll go 'zigzagging through volcano valleys' in your own hire car.
Chile Pucon landscape mountain view
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Day 1 – Temuco – Pucon

Today you’ll fly to Temuco in central Chile. After landing you’ll collect your car and 30 minutes later see your first colossal volcano. After a couple of hours you’ll reach Pucon – a touristy but charming, German-influenced town. Your accommodation for the night is a guest house in a quiet area just outside the town centre that looks out upon one of Chile’s most famous volcanoes: Villarica.

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Day 2 – Lava hiking

There’s really only one reason travellers go to Pucon: to climb Villarica Volcano. It’s a long, challenging hike so we’ve included a shorter more easy-going excursion instead. After breakfast you’ll be picked up from your hotel and driven to the starting point. Here a guide will lead you and a small group of hikers on a 2.5 hour trek across lunar-like, pock-marked terrain scattered with deep craters.

After a while you’ll cross into ancient green woodlands and hike across empty riverbeds that were once overflowing with hot molten lava. The hike is entirely doable for anyone with a decent level of physical fitness. When the trek is finished you can head into town for some lunch and spend the afternoon at the beach surrounding the lake. If you’d like to challenge yourself and do the full day hike instead, just let us know and we can include this for you.

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Day 3 – Pucon – Puyehue

After breakfast you’ll pack up and move on. Instead of taking the shorter 4 hour drive along the highway, you’ll set off along the more picturesque 6 hour route. You’ll drive past the incredibly still waters of Lake Calafquen and zigzag past volcanoes towards Panguipulli. This town is every bit as quaint as its name suggests and is a good place to stop for lunch as there are plenty of options available.

Back on the road you’ll follow the road signs to Los Lagos, travelling on the highway for a while but switching back to a more scenic road shortly afterwards. This road will take you all the way to Puyehue. Occasionally you’ll catch a glimpse of massive volcanoes and lakes until finally you’re rewarded with a complete view of them at your accommodation for the night.

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Days 4 – Puyehue – Puerto Varas

After breakfast you’ll hit the road again. After about 4-5 hours you’ll arrive in Puerto Varas. The town has a very German feel and the view walking down to the supermarket is one of a kind. The town’s winning feature is its location right next to Lake Llanquihue with the Osorno Volcano behind it. You’ll stay in a guest house with a cosy living room just a 5 minute stroll away from the centre of town.

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Day 5 – Free time

Today your time is your own. You could take it slow and go for a stroll by the lake or go rafting, canoeing or mountain biking. You can also drive by the lake all the way to Petrohue Falls. It’s a nice drive and even though the falls aren’t very tall, they’re quite wide, and powerful enough to feel the cooling spray.

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Day 6 – Departure

After Puerto Varas, most travellers drive to Puerto Montt and fly to their next destination from there. Your flight departure time will determine what time you’ll have to leave the Chilean Lake District, but it’s only about an hour to the airport from your hotel.

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Zigzagging through Volcano Valleys

For this bite-sized trip we offer the following options

Chile Pucon accommodation bedroom
Chile Pucon accommodation sitting area
Chile Pucon view of the accommodation white dome
Chile Pucon outdoor seating area
Chile Pucon accommodation exterior landscape nature

Upgrade to our In Style accommodation

  • Price:
    From £898 per person (excluding flights)
  • Included:
    In Style accommodation, excursions, transport and meals as described above

For this bite-sized trip we have an alternative option available for your accommodation. Our In Style version is something a bit more special or unique but still with lots of local flavour! If you would like to upgrade your accommodation for this bite-sized trip select our In Style option below.

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This bite-sized trip can be combined well with

Chile Santiago de Chile ornate building
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  • Santiago de Chile
  • 3 days / 2 nights (flexible)
  • from £215 per person (excluding flights)
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Argentina San Carlos de Bariloche mountain lake landscape
Bite-sized trip

Passage to Argentina

  • Puerto Varas - Bariloche, Argentina
  • 2 days / 1 night (flexible)
  • from £615 per person (excluding flights)
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