The beach in the mountains

A beach in the middle of the mountains, a huge volcano challenging you to climb it, and dozens of hippie cafes. This is life in Pucon, Chile.

Written by Michael Turtle

Michael Turtle is the founder of Time Travel Turtle. A journalist for more than 20 years, he's been travelling the world since 2011.

Michael Turtle is the founder of Time Travel Turtle and has been travelling full time for a decade.


Things to do in Pucon, Chile

Many hours drive from the ocean there’s a beach. Hundreds of metres above sea level, people laze on the shore and splash around in the water.

There’s no sand – just grey volcanic rocks for a shore. But there are beach umbrellas, sunchairs and more skin than should be socially acceptable.

This is Pucon and there are lots of things to do.

A mountain beach in Pucon, Chile

About 800 kilometres south of the capital Santiago, this is the premier location for domestic tourism in Chile.

It’s not popular just for the beach, which is on the side of an enormous lake with surprisingly warm water. It’s also a base for a whole range of adventure sports.

Trekking, rafting, canyoning, and so on. This is what the Chileans come for during the summer.

A mountain beach in Pucon, Chile

It’s a laidback town… small and spread out from the lake in a grid.

The shops along the main street tell you everything you need to know about the commerce of the place – restaurants, bars, tour operators, camping stores and clothes shops.

Some people come here to relax but others use it as a base for adventures further afield.

A mountain beach in Pucon, Chile

The volcano at Pucon, Chile

The biggest attraction in town is climbing the Villarrica Volcano which you can climb up and down in a day. But be warned, it hurts!

The whole place has a bit of a hippie feel. The great unwashed and their dreadlocks wander slowly through the town on their way to the organic café.

On the way, though, they pass the fit experienced climbers, the yuppie families from the capital, and the backpackers who are passing through because they were told they should. It’s a happy balance of travellers.

A mountain beach in Pucon, Chile

There’s not a lot to say about Pucon and the things to do here that I haven’t already written. In some sense it speaks for itself and pretends to be nothing that it is not.

I’ve mentioned it here because it’s not somewhere you hear of often.

Before I got to Chile I didn’t know about it. I’ve mentioned the name to other travellers and they hadn’t heard of it either. But it’s worth taking the time to find out more. You’ll like what’s there.


Although the town isn’t large, there are lots of great places to stay in Pucon because it’s such a popular domestic tourist destination.


With a fun atmosphere and great facilities, Lucky’s Hostel has a great location right on the lakefront.


Clean and cozy, Hotel Küyen-Ko Pucón has great value and a beautiful city view.


Along with a garden, rooftop yoga space and outdoor pool, Selina Plaza Pucón also has a wonderful design.


The bright spacious rooms at Hotel Casa Solaria have large comfortable beds and a balcony with lake views.

11 thoughts on “The beach in the mountains”

  1. Excellent! When I was in Chile I spent months in Valparaiso and loved every single instant of it. But I maybe missed out on other amazing places. It’s definitely a place where I need to go again.

  2. Pucon really sounds like a great place.. I really love the view of the mountain.. And it has smoke on the top.. Very amazingly beautiful! 🙂

  3. Excellent article! I’ve been to Pucon several times and it’s always like you describe it, specially the “hippie feel” in there. Everybody shoud take the time to see the city when visiting Chile.



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