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Within the manicured grounds of Plaza Aníbal Pinto in the city center, you'll find the sizable La Araucanía monument depicting the clash between the Mapuche and the Spanish. There's also a gallery here with temporary exhibits.

Walk up Calle Bulnes to Portales to enter one of Chile's best markets, the Mercado Municipal, open Monday through Saturday from 8am to 6pm (8pm in summer), Sunday and holidays from 8am to 3pm; April through September, the market closes at 5pm. Rows of stalls sell high-quality woven ponchos, knitwear, textiles, woodwork, hats, mate gourds, and assorted arts and crafts, but what's really special here is the abundance of silver Mapuche jewelry. Around the perimeter, fishermen and food stalls aggressively vie for business, while butchers in white aprons hawk their meats from behind dangling sausages and fluorescent-lit display cases. Another market, the Feria Libre, at Aníbal Pinto, offers a colorful chaos of fruit and vegetable stands as well; the highlight here is the traditional Mapuche Indian vendors who come in from reducciones to sell their goods. The market is open Monday through Sunday from 8:30am to 6pm; from March to December, it closes at 5pm. Note: Watch out for pickpockets.

For a sweeping view of Temuco, take a taxi or hike up the heavily forested Cerro Ñielol, which also features four trails and a restaurant near the summit. It's open daily from 8am to 10pm; admission is $2 (£1.30) adults, $1 (70p) children (tel. 45/298222). At the site marked LA PATAGUA, you'll find a plaque commemorating the agreement signed in 1881 between the Mapuche and the Chilean Army for peaceful settlement of Temuco.

Temuco also has a Museo Regional de La Araucanía, Alemania 084 (tel. 45/730062), open Monday through Friday from 10am to 5:30pm, Saturday from 11am to 5pm, and Sunday from 11am to 2pm. The museum features exhibits charting Indian migration and history, along with displays of Mapuche jewelry and weapons; the Mapuche learned silver working from the Spanish, developing it into one of their most important forms of artistic expression. It also houses exhibits on immigration. Admission costs $1.50 (£1).

Railway buffs will like the Museo Nacional Ferroviario Pablo Neruda, Barros Arana 565 (tel. 45/227613; www.temucochile.com), showcasing locomotives from 1908 to 1962 and the 1923 Presidential Coach, along with a working antique train sometimes used in short trips. It's open Tuesday through Sunday from 9am to 6:30pm; admission is $2 (£1.30).

Guided Tours in Temuco & Beyond -- Multi Tour, Bulnes 307, (tel. 45/237913; www.sur-expediciones.com) offers a wide variety of bilingual excursions, including city tours, day trips to Conguillío National Park, and cultural trips to indigenous communities. These cultural trips include visits to a ruca, a typical Mapuche home, and the opportunity to visit with Mapuches.

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.