On a clear day the magnificently impressive Villarrica volcano can be seen from almost anywhere in the town of Pucon. This snow capped cone also overlooks wonderful lake Villarrica. Together the lake and volcano make Pucon into an outdoor sports heaven. Hiking, climbing, white water rafting, skiing and dirt biking. You name it, they’ve got it!
As if the town isn’t blessed enough there’s also multiple thermal baths around town, so when you’re sore from your sporty activities you can unwind in one of the many hot springs.
The enormous lake Villarrica has a nice dark-gray beach which is only a five-minute walk from Pucon city center. If the weather is nice, get yourself a cerveza from the supermarket and marvel at the beauty of the lake.
Most people come to Pucon to climb the Villarrica volcano. Due to snow and the exposed nature of this hike/climb you need to have a guide to accompany you.
The mount of Villarrica volcano can only be done as a tour. Early in the morning you will be transported to the base of the volcano were you gradually start you ascend by hiking.
Sometimes you can take the chairlift up. If this is in service the best advice is to take the lift so you save 90 minutes walking up and you have a better chance to reach the top. You need gear to hike up like crampons and cold weather clothing, because the last part of the trip you walk on ice/snow.
You can only take this tour by good weather so you need to be prepared to wait for a couple of days to go up to the volcano. If the weather is perfect you can have a quick look inside the volcano and see the lava. Be warned, the hike is very strenuous and the total hike up takes you about 7 hours, also not everybody makes it to the top.
In total the tour takes about 9 hours depending on the weather conditions. (we met one guy who managed to reach the top with one other person in a group of 6). We slept in Pucon for 5 nights and only on one of the days we were there it was possible to go up the volcano.
If climbing the volcano Villarrica sounds to much of a challenge to you then don’t worry, Pucon has many other things to do and spots of natural beauty to discover.
Things to do/ see
Where to sleep in Pucon
One of the best hostels we ever slept in. We booked a Japanese style double room, this means you have a bed and you can barely stand up inside the room but it is cosy and if you look outside the window you can see the volcano. Outside the rooms they made lockers for your stuff. Hot shower and good Wifi.
Super clean and a very well equipped kitchen with a personal plastic box in the kitchen to store your food in.
20 us dollar per night/ 2 persons. We stayed 5 nights. You can pay by card or US dollars here so you can save the 19% IVA.