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.
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.
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.
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.
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.