Top Things to See and Do in Pucon, Chile

Volcano | Jamie Ludlow / © Culture Trip
Lucy Pierce

Pucón is a beautiful town in Chile with a charming alpine feel, located on the shores of Lake Villarrica and at the foot of the Villarrica Volcano. For many visitors, adventure sports are the top priority, with skiing and snowboarding, hiking through national parks, white-water rafting, kayaking and many more outdoor activities to enjoy. We take a look at the top things to see and do during your visit.

Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.

Villarrica Volcano

You can’t miss this imposing volcano, which poses in the background of this sweet, rustic town, coated with a dusting of snow during the winter months. Many agencies will offer the opportunity to hike up to the top of the volcano, which usually takes around five hours. It’s best to pay a deposit rather than the full amount, in case you can’t climb because of bad weather. In winter, you can also ski on the volcano.

White-Water Rafting

Pucon has world-renowned white waters that produce great waves and fun for all levels, from beginners to experts. There are grade III and IV waters along the higher part of the Trancura River; families and children can go to the lower part of the river, where the rapids are slower and gentler.

Termas Geométricas


The geothermic baths near Pucon are fed by natural hot springs, the heat being generated by the volcanic and geothermal activity in the area. It’s a very romantic and peaceful spot. There are many other hot springs in Chile, but these are the best!

Horse Riding


What better way to see the incredible landscapes than by horse? Cabalgatas (horse rides) can be found at Centro Ecuestre San Pedro or Rancho de Caballo, or you can ask your hostel or hotel for assistance. Rancho offer up to six days of riding, and for those that enjoy being surrounded by nature, this is the perfect getaway. San Pedro, by contrast, offer dressage and show jumping classes as well as hacks.

Have a Chill Day

Mundo Elefante is a cute and quirky health food cafe and yoga studio. They offer delicious vegan waffles and cakes, which are perfectly accompanied by a strong cup of coffee or a nutrient-rich smoothie. Once you’ve filled up on their goodies, why not treat yourself to a relaxing yoga session?

Sunbathe on the Beaches

Some of the beaches in this area are black because of volcanic activity, so don’t forget your flip flops, as when the sun’s out, it sure can scorch your feet! The summer months are from December until March, during which time Pucon is a magnet for families and students.

Water Sports on the Lakes

Caburgua, Chile

Pucon sits on Lago Villarrica, where you can enjoy water sports as well as taking out a pedalo or kayak. Lago Caburgua is a little outside Pucon, but is another a great place for relaxing or doing sports.

Hike Through the National Parks

The abundance of national parks and forests make the Pucon area great for happy hikers. On your way to the Huerquehue National Park, visit the beautiful azure pools and waterfalls at Ojos del Caburgua. You can also explore the Villarrica National Reserve or chase waterfalls through Santuario el Cani.

More Activities

If you haven’t quite had your fix of sports, why not go skydiving? Another possibility is canyoning, where you will be descending alongside a stunning waterfall. Once you reach the canyon, you can enjoy the natural slides and jumps, as well as doing some zip-lining. Politur offer some great excursions. Fishing enthusiasts will have plenty of choice in this area, too.

Search the Artesan Markets

The town has plenty of places where you can buy trinkets from independent artists. Whether you opt for some handmade silver jewellery laden with lapis lazuli, or you want a comical Indio Pícaro, it’s all here!

Culture Trip Summer Sale

Save up to $1,395 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article