The 10 most frequently asked questions about Pucón (plus one bonus question!)
Pucón has so much to do and so many places to stay that it is not difficult to see why travelers become a little bewildered! After years of helping lovely visitors just like you make the most of the stay in Pucón, we decided to put together a short list of the questions we have responded to many many times. This list could actually have been twice as long, if not more, but we strived to narrow it down so that you can get all the answers to your burning questions right here!
Off we go…. Come along for the ride!
How long should I stay in Pucón?
Ok, this one is a tough one to answer as a lot depends on the length of the whole trip you are taking, not to mention your budget. We suggest a minimum of 3 nights, and that is a bare minimum. You can see about a 10th of what Pucón has to offer in a three-night stay, so do consider a week at least! We have known many people check in for 3 nights and end up staying a whole month so beware…. Pucón is a tricky place to move on from! A while back we did put together a blog with a packed schedule for a three-night stay. If it is really all you have, check it out here!
Can I reach the crater of Villarrica volcano?
Yes! Ok, quick caveat here…. If you are in relatively good physically shape, did not succumb to the all-night bars the evening before, don’t have vertigo or a lack of perseverance, and as long as the weather is good on the day of your ascent, there is no real reason why you can’t make it. Check out a previous blog herewhich was actually entitled “Can I reach the crater?”
Is it safe to climb Villarrica volcano?
If you are referring to “is it safe because it is a very active, live volcano”, then the answer is, yes, as safe as we can humanly make it. When the volcano is showing signs of increased activity, the volcano ascents are suspended. If you are referring to “is it safe because I might fall over up there”, then please think back to how you deal with situations where you feel a little out of your comfort zone. If you deal with them well, you should be as safe as anyone else. If you break down, cry, thrown your toys out of the cot or prefer to run for the hills when the going gets tough, maybe take an option to go trekking in one of the national parks. Your guide will insist, very kindly and calmly of course, that you stick to the pace, rest when he/she says, listen at all times and generally tow the line. If you do all of that then yes, safe as any adventurous outdoor activity can be. Just don’t teeter on the edge of the crater peering into the lava!
(Winter season only) Can I hire ski equipment in town?
Yup! You can. In many places. Everything you could need for skiing that won’t fit in your backpack can be hired in town. If you want to head away from the beaten track and try out some Narnia themed back country skiing, head out to Las Araucarias ski resort on Llaima volcano, where Sol y Nievehas their own ski rental.
How long can I stay in the hot springs?
As long as you like! Especially if you have just climbed to the crater of Villarrica volcano. Until your skin resembles a raisin and you are really really thirsty! Unless of course you are pregnant and then you shouldn’t be in there at all! In reality you should not stay in hot thermal spring waters for more than 40 minutes at a time, but given that most resorts have cold dip pools, or just the good old river alongside to jump into, you should be fine. Disclaimer: if you have any medical conditions please speak with a doctor before heading out to the hot springs. For a low down on the options around Pucón check out our previous blog here.
Should I bring a backpack or wheeled luggage?
Totally up to you! Depends on personal choice, length and style of trip, the type of accommodation you wish to stay in, what you travel mate is carrying / dragging around with him or her. For more detail we have a whole blogdedicated to the topic which you can read here.
Are the rivers around Pucón really so much better than in other places?
There is a reason why many kayakers and rafters have the rivers around Pucón on their bucket lists! Pro kayakers say the runs are incredible, experienced rafters are amazed by the speedy tight descents, and beginners…well they are just in awe from the outset! The views from the rivers are spectacular and the guides are so stoked that they get to live their dreams every day. The rivers may not be as cobalt blue as they are further south in Patagonia but if you say you have kayaked the rivers around Pucón you are up there with the pros! Do it! More info here.
What is hydrospeed?
Quite a fascinating way to travel down river in the rapids without a raft! Don’t ask too many questions. Don the wetsuit, listen to the instructions and get ready for a day filled with adrenaline fueled shrieks of joy! You will have some bruises to show at the end of the day but it will definitely have been worth it. Of course, we have a dedicated blogabout what a hydrospeed excursion in Pucón entails. Read on!
What can I do on a rainy day in Pucón?
Raft, kayak, hike, … life goes on and it is only water! If being outdoors in the rain is not for you, head to the hot springs. Most have indoor pools, but to be brutally honest, that takes away half the fun! Hanging out in relaxing hot water as the snow or rains falls around you is a revitalizing experience that everyone needs to have done at some point in their lives. Yes, you will be cold when you get out, but you will be so relaxed you won’t care. If you are in a family or friend group and you like the idea of kicking back and having a good old Chilean bbq on a rainy day, contact Sol y Nieve hereand book in for a bbq day at their private country retreat in a secret location just outside Pucon!
Is there anything I can’t do in Pucón?
No ice skating and no bowling. No cinema either. But who needs a cinema when you have some of the most incredible views on earth just waiting for you at the end of that trekking trail, or from the edges of the river, or just simply the sunset over the beach. Stop asking what you can’t do and get here and do everything there is to do!
(Bonus question) Did Queen Elisabeth II really stay in Pucón?
Ok, you caught us out. This is not actually a frequently asked question…. But it is a curious one, and it is true. 2018 is actually the 50th anniversary of a two night stay that Queen Elisabeth II and Prince Phillip enjoyed in November 1968 when they were welcomed to the iconic Hotel Antumalal, a lake edge Bauhaus gem, just 2 km out of town!
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