Puyehue National Park (www.parquepuyehue.cl) is one of Chile's best-organized national parks, offering a variety of trails to suit all levels, well-placed park information centers, lodging, camping, restaurants, and hot springs. The 107,000-hectare (264,290-acre) park sits between the Caulle mountain range and the Puyehue Volcano, and is divided into three sectors: Anticura, Aguas Calientes, and Antillanca. Visitors head east toward Argentina to access Anticura, where they'll encounter a park ranger information station just before the border, as well as trail heads for day hikes and the 16km (10-mile) backpacker's trail up and around the Puyehue Volcano. There's also a self-guided, short hike to the Salto del Indio waterfall, where you'll see 800-year-old evergreen beech trees, known locally as coigüe.

To get to Antillanca, visitors pass first through the Aguas Calientes sector, where there are hot springs, 28 rustic cabins (five beds in each; all with kitchenettes) a restaurant, campgrounds, and a park information center (tel. 64/331710 or 64/331711). The most popular excursion in this region is the ascent to a spectacular lookout point atop the Raihuén crater, reached by foot or vehicle about 4km (2 1/2 miles) past the Antillanca hotel and ski resort. This mirador can be reached only during temperate months (or during ski season via the center's ski lift) and is not worthwhile on a heavily overcast day. The view stretches into Argentina. The park ranger information stations are open daily from 9am to 1pm and 2 to 6pm, or you can contact Conaf for info (tel. 64/197-4573). They sell an information packet about the region's flora and fauna, and issue fishing licenses. To get here, you need to catch a bus in Osorno or book a tour with an operator out of Temuco, Puerto Montt, or Puerto Varas.

Other Attractions -- Along the road to Puyehue, at about Km 25 on Rte. 215, just before the ramshackle town of Entre Lagos, is Chile's first car museum, the well-designed Auto Museum Moncopulli (tel. 64/210744; www.moncopulli.cl). Admission is $4 (£2.70) adults, $2 (£1.30) students, and $1 (70p) kids; it's open from December through March 10am to 8pm, April through November 10am to 6pm. Owner Bernardo Eggers has assembled a collection of 42 Studebakers from the years 1928 to 1964, plus other vehicles, such as a 1928 Model A fire engine.


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