9.2723° S, 71.9776° W
PUCÓN HAS A LOT OF OPPORTUNITIES FOR ADVENTURE, BUT IN OUR OPINION ONE OF THE BEST THINGS TO DO IS HEAD OUT FOR A HIKE. BELOW ARE 8 OF THE TOP HIKING TRAILS IN AND AROUND PUCÓN.
Pucón, Chile is a mecca for outdoor adventures. So much so that it has garnered the nickname, "The Adventure Capital of Chile." We know that because of its multitude of outdoor adventure possibilities - from rafting to canyoneering, it can be tough to narrow down exactly what to do while visiting.
But after spending a month living in the small mountain town, we realized that one of the best ways to explore the area is via your own two feet.
Hiking is truly an awesome way to check out the local scenery of the place you are exploring. In the case of the Pucón area, this means a lot of forests of the famous araucaria or monkey puzzle trees, clear mountain lakes and snow-capped volcanoes. Plus, hiking will definitely give you the chance to get a more off the beaten path view of what makes Pucón so special.
So if you are sold on spending some of your time out on the trails, then keep reading to discover 8 of the top hikes to do while visiting Pucón.
TOP 8 HIKES NEAR PUCÓN, CHILE
1 | Villarrica Volcano
Villarrica National Park is definitely one of the most popular places to explore in Pucón - especially if you are looking to check summiting a volcano off of your bucket list. If you want to do the iconic hike up to the summit of Villarrica Volcano - an adventure often rated as one of the best hikes in the whole country of Chile (now that is saying something) - then you will need to go with a tour and guide, which you should have no problem finding along the main road (O'Higgins) in downtown Pucon.
The hike up to the top of the volcano does include a bit of snow travel - which is why a guide is necessary. Come prepared with the proper clothing, including firm boots that can be worn with crampons (the firmer the better), sun and wind protective clothing, sunglasses and sunscreen.
❔GOOD TO KNOW: if summitting a volcano seems like a bit much, but you still want to hike around the area, then consider checking out one of these two hikes: Los Crateres Viewpoint (4.9 miles total) and Cuevas Volcanicas (1.9 miles total). The latter explores some caves (cuevas).
DISTANCE: 5.6 miles / 9 kilometers round-trip
DIFFICULTY: medium to tough
TIME NEEDED: 6-8 hours
SPECIFIC GEAR: solid hiking boots, sun protection (especially proper eyewear), some snow gear
2 | Huerquehue Lakes Trail
Located on the banks of Lago Tinquilco (Tinquilco Lake) and high up in the forested hills near Pucon, Huerquehue National Park is one of the top places to head to if you want to explore high mountain lakes, see some raging waterfalls and check out some local flora and fauna. In fact, Huerquehue National Park is one of the best examples of a Valdivian temperate rainforest, which is an ecoregion found on the west coast of southern South America and mostly within the countries of Chile and Argentina.
The most popular hiking trail in the national park is the Los Lagos or Huerquehue Lakes Trail. This long-ish loop starts and ends at the park entrance station (where the public bus that you will take from Pucon drops you off).
The Los Lagos trail is partly on a quiet dirt road until you reach Refugio Trinquilo - a building off the side of the trail. From there the trail is totally singletrack - and uphill. Luckily, almost the entire trail is shaded - which makes it definitely bearable and really quite pleasant even on the hottest of days.
► Check out our full article on exploring Huerquehue National Park and the Los Lagos Trail here.
DISTANCE: 6.5 miles / 10.4 kilometers round-trip
TIME NEEDED: 3-6 hours
SPECIFIC GEAR: solid hiking boots, a camera, bug spray
EXPLORE MORE | HIKING IN HUERQUEHUE NATIONAL PARK IN CHILE: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
3 | Volcan Quetrupillan
This is a great hike to do if you want to check out the surrounding area of Pucón, spend a full day outside adventuring, and see some other nearby volcanoes (or volcans).
The hike takes between 4 and 5 hours to get up to the top of the volcano rim and about half that time to come back down. Altogether it is about 10 miles round trip and a little over 3,000 feet (915 meters) of elevation gain - which you will get to do over the entire hike instead of right at the end (aka it is a gradual climb for the most part). There is also a very clear trail almost the whole way up; though, once you get within 500 meters of the summit you will need to maneuver up a sandy scree field to reach the actual rim (this is definitely the most physically challenging part).
But man the views from the top are 100% worth it! From the edge of the caldera (which is now completely filled in with ice and snow), you will be able to see Villarrica Volcano, Lanin Volcano, Mocho and Choshuenco Volcanoes, Llaima Volcano and if the clouds are not too thick, Sollipulli, another dormant, ice-filled volcano (read about that epic hike below).
► Check out our short cinematic adventure film on summitting Quetrupillan.
DISTANCE: 10 miles / 16 kilometers round-trip
DIFFICULTY: medium to tough
TIME NEEDED: 7-10 hours
SPECIFIC GEAR: hiking boots that can handle dirt, scree and some snow, waterproof pants, a warm jacket, sun protection
4 | Voipir Glacier
Now if you want some awesome views of Villarrica Volcano but not the crowds, then instead consider heading to the trailhead for Voipir Glacier, which is located on the western side of Villarrica National Park.