Pucon Travel Guide
Skiing Skiing in Pucon revolves around the Villarrica Volcano, making it one of the few places in the world where visitors can ski on an active volcano. Prior to the 2015 volcanic eruption, the resort boasted about 10 major runs, served by a number of ski lifts as well as several natural half pipes; however, the slopes were never opened in 2015 and it is unclear when the resort will once more function at full capacity. When the ski slopes are open, facilities for ski and snowboard equipment hire and a ski school are usually available. Apart from the off-piste options the resort is simple and the slopes are best suited to beginners and intermediates. The views from the slopes are sublime.
Shopping It's seldom a good idea to shop too extensively in a resort town, as the prices are generally higher, and the range more generic than in less commercialised towns and rural areas. In Pucon there are plentiful high-quality carvings, textiles and leather goods and the range is impressive but cheaper crafts can be found outside of the little town. There are a few charming little bakeries and some big supermarkets in Pucon for those choosing to self-cater.
Restaurants Hordes of hungry tourists have ensured a lively and diverse restaurant scene in Pucon. There are plenty of international staples available (foods such as pizza and burgers are popular all over Chile) but there are also some more authentic eateries offering local cuisine. It is possible to eat cheaply or to splurge, depending on budget.
Nightlife The nightlife in Pucon is usually lively, and the town has the reputation of having something fun to do 24 hours a day. Evenings out generally involve plentiful food and oversized beers and, although the nightlife is energetic, it isn't generally sophisticated. There are one or two more stylish venues though. Many bars and nightclubs are open only in summer (November to February), which is the peak tourism season; the town is much quieter during the winter months, though there is always somewhere to get a drink.
Activities Pucon is ideally situated for adventure sports and outdoor activities, as it is framed between a mountain and a lake, and is on the cusp of two national parks and one private reserve. In summer there is whitewater rafting, hiking, hot springs, fly-fishing, birdwatching, horseback riding and volcanic trekking. Winter activities centre around skiing, snow-boarding and relaxing about in the restorative hot springs. There are numerous tour operators based in the town and organising activities is easy.
Negatives Pucon can get crowded so accommodation should be arranged well in advance in the peak summer months.