Day 05, Hiking day or free day in Pucón
Pucón is known in Chile as the main adventure destination in the Lakes & Volcanoes District, and today we’ll head southeast in the direction of Huerquehue National Park, located at the foothills of the Andes, 35 km (22 miles) from Pucón.
The hike starts easy but after a short distance the trail becomes rougher and sometimes steeper, but is still considered a relatively easy hiking level.
After walking 40 minutes at an easy pace, we’ll get to the Nido de Águilas (nest of eagles) waterfalls and then we’ll keep hiking on a steeper terrain, surrounded by gigantic coigües (Nothofagus dombeyi) and mañíos (Podocarpus nubigena). We have arrived at the first lookout point where the views of Villarrica Volcano (2.847 m / 9.349 feet) and Tinquilco Lake are absolutely stunning; here you’ll find great photo opportunities as well as chance to reenergize with a snack. As we continue hiking, our guide will point out some wild flora of the area (i.e. mutisias, orchids and alstroemerias), and if luck is on our side, we can spot some birds that live in the forests of Nothofagus, such as chucao tapaculo (Selorchilis rubecula), black-throated huet-huet (Pteroptochos tarnii) and the magellan woodpecker (Campephilus magellanicus) among others.
After hiking another 30 minutes, we’ll arrive at the Trufulco Falls where we stop for a short time. At this point the trail gets more demanding, but not so much that everyone won’t be able to reach the second lookout point, where the view gets even better.
We catch our breath again and resume the hike along the trail; now that we are over 1000 m / 3.280 feet above sea level we begin to see the first araucarias (Araucaria araucana). Soon we will walk through a mixed forest with many of these trees, considered to be a national monument for their exceptional characteristics.
We have hiked around 2½ hours when we arrive at the first lake called Chico (small), with its clear waters reflecting the image of hundred of araucarias and snow-capped peaks. The trail gets more even and in only 15 minutes we arrive at Lago Toro (Bull Lake). Here we eat our well deserved box lunch and spend some more time taking pictures or simply resting. We can watch the breathtaking landscape and spot some of the birdlife that inhabits the shores of this lake, such as the Andean ducks (Oxyura ferruginea), aiding our observation with binoculars. Following the break, we keep going through an easy terrain and visit the third lake called Verde (green) which is the last attraction of our hike.
Now we can commence a two-hour decent by the same trail to the parking area. Return to hotel in Pucón and free dinner to enjoy in town or at Antumalal restaurant.
Lodging at Green Park 3* or similar
/ Breakfast / Box Lunch /