Pucon

17 02 2009
Villarrica Volcano

Villarrica Volcano

Pucon is a mix of the playground of the wealthy of Chile and an ‘extreme sports’ outdoor town.  The streets are lined with either high-end shopping (Reebok, Adidas, Patagonia -of course-, DKNY, Calvin Klein, Da Kine, Billabong, etc.), fancy restaurants or guide services.  You can do it all here: rafting, climbing the volcano, paintball, horseback riding, mountain biking, zip lines, sailing, partying on the beach at the lake, etc. 

Vacation crowds at lake beach

Vacation crowds at lake beach

The town has many nice buildings in a woodsy German style, and the town feels like an outdoor playground for the rich (like Vail, Teluride, or Park City in the United States).  It´s also at the foot an active  volcano, and the city hall has a light and warning system in the event there’s a need for an evacuation.  We wondered what would happen if the light changed from green to red while we were happily sleeping in the middle of the night, but there’s also a siren in case your not just staring at the light waiting for something to happen.  There are pictures of the guide from our hostel fleeing from lava with terrified tourists who had signed up to climb the volcano.  Lava also destroyed a ski resort in the 1970s, but it has since been re-built.  While we were there, we saw puffs of steam (you can see them in the photo above), but no lava.

Mapuche weaving

Mapuche weaving

We took a side trip to the town of Curarrehue, which has museum of the fiercely independent local Mapuches.  They’re also known for eating pinoñes (pine nuts from the araucaria tree), so we ate some pastries and foods made with these large pine nuts.

We’ve rested from our backpacking trip and we since our budget doesn’t include the arms and legs required to pay for these ‘eco’ adventures, we’re moving on and getting ready to head down to Puerto Montt, and the Island of Chiloe…

Resort building

Resort building

Pucon and volcano

Pucon and volcano

German style buildings

German style buildings

Mapuche museum

Mapuche museum

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3 responses

18 02 2009
alicia

INteresting that the buildings are in a german style, I wouldn’t really expect that. Is it warm there? OUr moms are happily playing on the beach in the bahamas right now, I’m sure they are warm! Meanwhile, it is freezing and raining here in santa rosa….which is good since we need the rain but not fair to think about all the people I know who are currently at the beach 🙂 Hope you had a happy valentine’s day!

20 02 2009
Jason and Alexa

We are on an island right now, so there is beach around us, but it is not warm at all. Our guess is we are about the same distance from the equator as North Washington. And we are still going to head farther south from here.

20 02 2009
Christine

Hi
It sounds like you both had a Happy Valentines Day! I could nearly smell the read, too. It looks so good. I didn’t know that Jason liked monkeypod trees so much but I remember seeing them in Lithia Park, too. Someone up Hunter Creek had one in their front yard – do you remember that? It was very tall and robust. They also had emus, too.

The Mapuche weaving looks like there is an Eastern European influence in the patterns, I think. I wonder if that is true?
love, mom

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