Your day-by-day itinerary
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. It looks out upon one of Chile’s most famous volcanoes: Villarica.
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 days hike instead, just let us know and we can include this for you.
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.
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 towns 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.
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.
After Puerto Varas, most travellers drive to Puerto Montt and fly to their next destination from there. Your flight departure times 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.
Combine this trip with...
Where to next? This trip goes together perfectly with these: