Few foreign visitors spend the night in Chillán (visitors to Termas de Chillán do not stay here and drive up daily), unless they're looking for a place to rest after driving along the Pan-American Highway. During the day, great local color and cheap prices can be found in abundance at the Municipal Market across the street from the Feria de Chillán, where simple restaurants serve seafood and local dishes, some featuring Chillán's famous sausages (though I've never figured out what the fuss is about -- they're merely okay). Be forewarned of pushy waitresses who stalk the passageways and practically clobber you over the head and drag you into their restaurant; it can be very entertaining but a little overwhelming! The Feria is open every day. Cheap, hearty meals and hefty sandwiches are served at the Fuente Alemán (tel. 42/212720), on the pedestrian walkway next to the Hotel Isabel Riquelme.
Lodging Outside the Resort
Before reaching the resort, you'll pass through Las Trancas, a scattering of hotels, cabañas, restaurants, gear-rental shops, and other small businesses dependent on tourism. The party is rowdier here than the relatively tame nightlife at the resort, and prices here are cheaper than at the resort. None of the 10 or so restaurants is particularly memorable, so you might find renting a cabin with a kitchen a better proposition; but double-check before you rent that there's a dining and living area, or you'll have only a bed to kick back on. Also, hardly any property in Las Trancas has transportation to the resort, so verify this or else you'll be taking the once-a-day bus or be forced to rent a car.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.