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The Perfect Pucón, Chile Itinerary | How to Spend 5 Days Adventuring

9.2723° S, 71.9776° W

Sunny view of Villarrica Volcano and Pucon in Chile.

PUCÓN IS ONE OF THE TOP TRAVEL DESTINATIONS IN ALL OF CHILE. WITH SO MUCH TO DO, IT CAN BE HARD TO NARROW DOWN HOW TO SPEND YOUR TIME IN THE BEAUTIFUL MOUNTAIN TOWN. BELOW IS WHAT WE BELIEVE IS THE BEST 5-DAY PUCÓN TRAVEL ITINERARY. CHECK IT OUT.

 



Pucón is often touted as one of the adventure capitals of Chile - some even say it is the adventure capital of this very adventure-focused South American country. Either way, it is safe to say that Pucón has a lot to offer travelers. From numerous navigable rivers to tons of hiking trails (or senderos) to plenty of amazing day trips (including to dozens of hot springs), you can likely spend more than a year in this centrally located town and still not see everything.


If you are looking to visit Pucón and are hoping to fill your days with lots of epic outdoor adventures, then this travel itinerary is for you. Jam-packed with lots of amazing things to do, this 5-day travel itinerary for Pucón will hopefully help you plan the perfect trip.




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THE PERFECT 5 DAY ITINERARY FOR PUCÓN, CHILE

 






DAY 1


On your first day in Pucón, you should plan to check off one of the most popular activities in town: rafting! Luckily, there are a ton of rafting outfitters in town. To find the one that is right for you, just walk down O'Higgins - the main street in Pucón.


While rafting is definitely the most common way to explore the rivers that twist around Pucón, it isn't the only option. If you are instead looking for something a bit tamer, consider booking a kayak trip down the Minetue River, a much calmer river that is located east of town.


Once done, head back to town for a quick bite to eat and then prepare yourself for another epic outdoor adventure: canyoneering.




RAFT OR KAYAK IN THE MORNING

If you are looking for a bit of an adrenaline rush, then definitely consider booking a rafting tour along the nearby Turbio River. For the most part, you can plan to spend a couple of hours on a rafting tour, which includes just over an hour on the actual river.


The Turbio River itself is very nice: clear water, great scenery, and some really fun rapids. While most trips will head down only Class III rapids, depending on the time of year you are visiting (and your overall comfort level), you can also choose to ride some Class IV rapids (Class V is the hardest).


Now if rafting is too much, you can also book a kayaking tour on the Minetue River, another beautiful waterway close to Pucón. Kayaking, while not as high energy as rafting, is still a great way to spend a couple of hours exploring the nearby landscapes. In our opinion, a kayak tour gives you a better opportunity to learn about the Pucón region - including its bird and plant life.




DETAILS FOR RAFTING IN PUCÓN

💸COST: between 25,000 and 40,000 CLP per person ($29 and $46 USD). The price seems to depend on the level of rapids, the put in and exit points (some agencies have private points on the river), and whether photos and videos are included in your package.

📣TOUR: we booked our rafting tour through Kayak Pucón, which has a shop located right off of O'Higgins. This locally owned tour agency has private entrances and exits on the river, which make it super fast to get in and out. Plus, they are just a super fun group that will make sure you enjoy your time on the river. Check them out.


OR BOOK YOUR RAFTING TOUR ONLINE!



DETAILS FOR KAYAKING IN PUCÓN

💸COST: around 20,000 CLP ($23 USD) per person, this includes the float, transportation to and from the river, all necessary safety gear and a small snack at the end.

📣TOUR: we highly recommend checking out Aborigenturismo, a locally run operator that is a whole lot of fun (they'll even find you a spot to go cliff jumping if you want). Reach out to them via Instagram.




Rafts waiting to be put in the river in Chile.

Group of kayakers in Pucon, Chile.



LUNCH AT SUNDAR VEGETARIANO

Once you arrive back in Pucón, immediately head to this locally owned restaurant that serves up super tasty (and cheap!) vegetarian food.

Sundar Vegetariano is a bit of a hidden gem. For starters, it is pretty tough to find. Located in the back of a small shopping center, Sundar only offers its customers 2 vegetarian choices for lunch (and they are only open for lunch). Plus, the space has just a few wooden tables and a small health food market where you can purchase products like tofu, alternative meats and coconut milk.


But with all of that being said, the food is absolutely delicious and the owner Gopa is beyond friendly and welcoming.



DETAILS

💸COST: a lunch plate costs 4800 CLP ($5.70 USD) and comes with a salad and a fresh juice.

📌LOCATION: the restaurant is easy to miss. Head down Miguel Ansorena road until you see a small fruit stand and cheese shop on the right. Walk to the back of the shopping center and order your food at the counter. Find the exact location here.

🕝HOURS: the restaurant is open from 12:45 PM until they sell out of food.




CANYONEERING TOUR IN THE AFTERNOON

Even though you might be a bit tired after rafting (and hopefully full after visiting Sundar), we still recommend spending your afternoon out on a canyoneering tour.


We booked our canyoneering (or canyoning) trip with Aventur, an operator located right off of O'Higgins near the Pucón Tourism Office, and we cannot recommend them enough. The whole canyoneering tour was absolutely amazing - from the actual rappels down some rushing waterfalls to the opportunity to explore a beautiful river and canyon to just the guides themselves (they were not only very knowledgeable and fun, but they also brought hot tea for us to drink during the really cold parts).


A few important things to know about canyoneering in Pucón include making sure you are wearing shoes that can be worn in the water and which have a strong enough grip to handle walking on rough, rocky riverbeds, and also that you make sure to bring an extra set of clothes to change into afterwards, for the river can be quite cold.



DETAILS

💸COST: it costs 35,000 CLP ($40.50 USD) per person for the 5-hour tour. This includes the wetsuit, neoprene socks, harness and transportation to and from the canyon (plus photos and videos for a bit more).

📣TOUR: we booked our tour the day of, though we would recommend booking a couple of days before during the really busy season (January - February).



► Want to learn more about canyoneering? Check out our Canyoneering 101 guide.






DAY 2


On your second day in Pucón, get up nice and early to catch the bus up to nearby Huerquehue National Park and then spend the whole day exploring the famous Araucaria forests and clear mountain lakes. Then head back to town for an early dinner before ending the day with a drink while watching the sunset.




WAKE UP EARLY TO VISIT HUERQUEHUE NATIONAL PARK

Huerquehue National Park is an amazing destination for outdoor adventure enthusiasts looking to spend the day hiking around the nearby mountains. This sizeable national park is home to numerous mountain lakes, large and impressive Araucaria forests (also known as Monkey Puzzle trees) and some great viewpoints.


The most popular adventure in the national park is to hike the Huerquehue Lakes Trail, a 13-kilometer (8 mile) long lollipop-loop that climbs up from Trinquilo Lake and then circles around numerous clear mountain lakes or lagunas before heading back down the same trail. If you want to do the full loop, then plan to spend at least 4 hours on the trail (more if you want to take your time visiting each lake).



► You can find our full in-depth guide on exploring Huerquehue National Park, including information on how to reach the park and a more comprehensive breakdown of the trail, here.





Sunny view of Huerquehue National Park in Chile.

EXPLORE MORE | OUR ULTIMATE GUIDE TO HUERQUEHUE NATIONAL PARK