If you’re into adrenaline-pumping activities, Pucon, Chile, is the place for you. Pucon lies in the heart of Chile’s Lake District and is known as an adventure tourism hub, with some calling it ‘South America’s adventure capital’. You can do everything from water sports to white-water rafting and skiing and snowboarding in its surrounding snow-peaked mountains. The terrain in Pucon is incredible, ranging from nearby beaches to hot springs and snow-covered mountains to be found. You could easily be entertained for weeks! Here are the best things to do in Pucon, Chile.
1. Slide Down Volcán Villarrica
Volcán Villarrica is easily Pucon’s most famous attraction. The volcano, which erupted in March 2015, is safe for tourists and sees many adventure-seekers hike to the top of the crater to catch a glimpse of the hot bubbling lava inside the volcano. The hike is around five hours to the top, and beginners and experts alike can tackle it. While the view is amazing, going down is actually the highlight for many — as you can slide back down the volcano using sleds. How cool is that?!
2. Hike in Parque Nacional Huerquehue
Parque Nacional Huerquehue is a stunning national park filled with ancient trees, crystalline lakes, and lagoons. While it’s one of Chile’s smaller national parks, it certainly still packs a punch. The park is best known for its ancient Araucaria trees that are currently in danger of extinction. There are also huge thundering waterfalls, such as the Nido de Águila, enduring hikes, hot springs, and mountain peaks to summit.
3. Horse Ride
The scenery in Pucon is stunning, and what better way to see the mountains, countryside, flora and fauna than on horseback. You can even horseback ride in some of the area’s national parks such as Villarrica and Huerquehue.
4. Go White-Water Rafting on the Trancura River
The Trancura River is known for its fast rapids and super-fun water activities. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced white-water-rider, there’s a section of the river for everyone. For those looking for pure adrenaline-inducing fun, head to the higher section of the river, where you can white-water raft on grade III and IV waters — it’s not for the faint-hearted!
5. Go Zip-lining
For zip-line aficionados, there are several options in Pucon. From national parks to forests close to Pucon downtown, there are tons of ziplining locations, and you can find tours being sold through hotels, hostels, and agencies in town.
6. Ski on the Villarrica Volcano
Ever wanted to ski on an active volcano? Well, you can at the Villarrica Volcano — a small ski area but nonetheless, incredibly fun. There are ski trails for all abilities. Plus, if an unexpected eruption happens, you know you can ski to safety. Check out Chile’s best ski resorts for some more inspiration.
7. Go Canyoning
Abseiling waterfalls and canyoning is one of the top activities in Pucon, Chile. You can see incredible gorges, cascades and rock pools in a way that viewing from afar doesn’t satisfy. One of the best places to go canyoning is the Nevados Canyon, where you can do jump six feet into crystal clear pools.
8. Kayaking on White Water
Want to kayak on grade III waters? It’s so much fun on the Trancura River. There are several companies offering kayaking tours and it’ss a great way to explore the rivers if you’re looking for something a little calmer than white water rafting.
9. Take a Dip in Hot Springs
The Termas Los Pozones is a top spot for those looking to dunk in thermal baths. There’s a fast-flowing river running through the canyon next to the Termas Los Pozones and there are several different hot pools with varying temperatures. The hot springs are linked by stone pathways, so you can hop between them and make your body temperature go from hot to cool. Visit in the evening, when you can relax in the hot springs under a canopy of stars.
And if you’re exploring more of Chile, have a peek at the 10 stunning sights in Patagonia.