Ok straight up, Pucon is the best place ever. Now there’s a lot of epic places I haven’t been yet …so that doesn’t mean a whole lot. But if you’re into the small adventure town vibes, this is your spot. It reminds me of Banff, if Banff never got over run by tourists. If you’re familiar with Western Canada then it reminds me exactly of Wateron- except cooler cause it’s in Chile…
ALSO, my story for how I ended up in Pucon just really summarizes me as a person. I had JUST arrived to Santiago less than 12 hours ago ready to explore a new city. So, I go downstairs to have breakfast and am sitting there eaves dropping on everyone’s conversation b/c what else do you do when you’re sitting at breakfast alone… and this guy (shout out to you Bo!) starts talking about how he’s going to Pucon later that day. I had heard of Pucon and had really wanted to go but it seemed too far and I didn’t think I’d have time to add it to my schedule.So, of course I was super intrigued when I found out he was headed there from Santiago! I began asking him about it and turns out it’s only a 10hr overnight bus ride away!!
So me being me… I asked him if I could join him …cause obviously this guy knew what he was doing… he said yes, probably not thinking I was serious…until I found out what time his bus was at and booked the same overnight bus… seriously I have no shame. Anyways, so that’s how I ended up spending a few days in what ended up being one of my favourite places!
So why do I love it so much?? It’s a small town, really just one strip of a main road. Along the road you’ll find cute little coffee shops with the BEST food, you’ll find cool little craft beer bars, outdoor gear shops and a bunch of tour operators…that’s it. This town revolves around the simplistic and the outdoors and it’s just the best.
So if you’re planning a visit to Pucon here are my recommendations.
Stay at Chile Kiwi Hostel
Normally I don’t put my recommendations in order of priority… but this HAD to be first. Ranked one of the best hostels in all of South America, this hostel has everything your little hippie heart could desire. It’s ridiculously cheap for what you get, its LAKEFRONT… it’s also huge, equipped with two kitchens, a tree house, the world’s best staff… oh and they have kayaks available for you to take out on the lake…did I mention this hostel is LAKEFRONT?? Ok.. just wanted to make sure you heard me. Check out their website here.
p.s little side story… the guy who opened the hostel is from New Zealand (hence the Kiwi part) who came to South America and fell in love with a Chilean girl… so he packed up and moved here and opened his hostel.. Chile Kiwi… cute af.. I know.
Hike Volcano Villarrica
“Oh cool, another hike”…. NO. This is not your every day hike. This hike involves cramp ons and ice picks as you climb one of Chile’s most active Volcanos. Oh and did I mention that the upper part of Villarrica is permanently covered by snow and has 40km2 of glaciers…. Yeah this isn’t child’s play. *If you have more specific questions about the hike… leave them in the comments below and I’ll respond!*
Go Kayaking at Sunset
Since you’re already staying at Chile Kiwi Hostel, you may as well take advantage of the gorgeous lake it sits on and the awesome kayaks they have available for you to use. Obviously you can go kayaking at any time of the day… but we went at sunset and it was pretty spectacular. Also, get a great view of the volcano you just hiked!!
Visit the Thermas Geometricas (Geometricas Hot Springs)
I am honestly not normally a fan of hot springs. I’d rather do an activity or go on adventure than go to some big, hot pool that’s over run by tourists and sit there with a bunch of old sweaty men. HOWEVER, this place is pretty freakin epic. The thing I like about it, is they have maintained the “au naturale” feel of the hot springs. They haven’t built them up to just be some giant pool. There are 2 waterfalls… and get ready for the best part… there are 17 DIFFERENT HOT SPRINGS. Bam. You walk up to one spring… see an old sweaty dude.. say nooopee… and have 16 others to choose from. It was never hard to find our own hot spring to hangout in. They also range in temperatures so there’s something for everyone. Just check out the pictures… it’ll be enough to sell you.
If you’re planning a visit to Chile, check out my other posts for more recommendations, here!