advertisement

Getting There

By Plane -- Visitors normally fly into Temuco's Manquehue Airport and then arrange transportation for the 1- to 1 1/2-hour ride into Villarrica or Pucón. Most hotels will arrange transportation for you, although it's usually at an additional cost. Transfer & Turismo de la Araucanía (tel. 45/339900), a minivan service at the airport, will take a maximum of 10 guests (minimum four) to Pucón for $50 (£33). Pucón's airport is equipped to handle jets, but for the time being no airlines fly here.

By Car -- From the Pan-American Highway south of Temuco, follow the signs for Villarrica onto Rte. 199. The road is well marked and easy to follow. If coming from Valdivia, take Rte. 205 to the Carretera Panamericana Norte (Hwy. 5). Just past Loncoche, continue east, following signs for Villarrica and Pucón.

By Bus -- Tur Bus (tel. 600/660-6600 toll free, or 2/270-7510; www.turbus.cl) offers service to Pucón from destinations such as Santiago, stopping first in Temuco and Villarrica. The trip is about 9 to 11 hours and generally a night journey; the cost is about $32 (£21) for an economy seat and $53 (£35) for an executive seat. Buses JAC (in Santiago, Av. Providencia 1072; tel. 2/235-2484) has service from Santiago to Pucón every half-hour from 6:30am to midnight from its Santiago terminal at Balmaceda and Aldunate (tel. 45/231330).

Getting Around

There are dozens of tour companies providing transportation and tours to all points of interest around Pucón; they generally advertise everything in their front windows. However, this is another place where renting a car is a great option if you want to get out and leisurely see the sights. In Temuco, Hertz has an office at Andrés Bello 792 (tel. 45/318585), and they operate a branch in Pucón at Ansorena 123 -- actually, an agency called Enjoy Tour (tel. 45/442303). In Pucón, try Pucón Rent A Car, Colo Colo 340 (tel. 45/443052); or SPU Comercial Rent A Car, 191 Ansorena (tel. 45/444485). Sierra Nevada, at the corner of O'Higgins and Palguin (tel. 45/444210), also rents cars and mountain bikes. Rates start at $45 (£30) per day for a small car.

Visitor Information

The Chamber of Tourism (tel. 45/441671) operates a helpful office at the corner of Brasil and Caupolicán streets; it's open daily from 9am to 8pm December through March, and from 10am to 6:30pm the rest of the year. However, the staff does not speak English very well. The city of Pucón has an excellent website at www.pucon.com.

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.