How to begin describing two towns located minutes away from each other and seeming to have it all: breathtaking views, unforgettable hiking, numerous restaurants, and shops, as well as friendly locals, not to mention the countless activities. Undeniably amazing!
Villarrica is an old settlement that sits on the southwestern rim of Lago Villarrica. This town has one of the most gorgeous landscapes Mother Nature ever created. Standing on the edge of town, looking onward beyond the lake—a dramatic scene of a perfectly shaped, active volcano Villarrica (that has destroyed this town several times) unfolds, creating an overpowering feeling of how precious life is and how easily it can be destroyed. Another appealing factor is there aren’t that many tourists strolling around. The town of Villarrica is remarkably inexpensive, has great beaches, and a large market full of handcrafted artifacts. The market, spreading over various hidden streets, also provides a good opportunity to try delicious traditional Chilean food at a low cost. Leave some energy to venture around!
About 25 miles away from Villarrica is the thriving town of Pucon. Full of tourists, hikers, many shops and restaurants, it also boasts the famous national park Villarrica located only a few minutes away from town center. During the summer months, the town fills up with an overwhelming number of hikers, hungry to climb to the top of snow-capped volcano Villarrica. Others enjoy white water rafting, swimming in the lake, or bathing in the hot springs located all around the volcano. I found this town to be amazing, and when I’m asked what city I would recommend visiting in Chile, I would say Pucon—simply great atmosphere, nice people, and breathtaking views.
These two towns are worth pausing to discover the beauty within. Whether it will be climbing to the top of a smoking volcano or white water rafting, it will be a memorable experience. Allow enough time to see all the attractions and spend a day at the beach.