A 10-hour overnight bus ride from Santiago, delivered us to the adventure-filled, adrenaline-junkie loving town of Pucon.
Pucon is known for it’s adventurous activities and it’s very active volcanos. In fact, Villarrica Volcano had a huge eruption just a few weeks before we arrived. [See pics], shooting 3ks in the sky. Tourists freaked, locals thought it was amazing. I wish I could have been there! Unfortunately, because of this natural disaster, most of the tours were canceled. The volcano tour clearly wasn’t running, and some of the canyoneering tours were closed as well since the lava destroyed the canyons we were supposed to explore. Luckily, one canyon was still in working condition so we took full advantage of that.
The town of Pucon:
We met up with our friends, Liz and Danny, again, who we’ve now seen in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile. Such fun traveling with friends! We all visited the natural hot springs of Los Pozones, where the tour operator warned, “No alchol, or be discret.” (Yes, that’s the actual spelling.) So of course we brought some pisco. It was also advertised that there were six hot springs to roam around. Unfortunately, when we arrived, we discovered five hot springs were cold and the other had about 40 people in it. Seeing as were we stuck there for two hours, we made the most of it. A fun experience, but would suggest visiting one of the other hot springs further outside of town. This basically just satisfied our need for a jacuzzi.
The next day, we jumped on a canyoneering tour. I’ve done this once before in Costa Rica and it was definitely a highlight of my entire trip! Jumping in pools of water, climbing down streams and small waterfalls, but instead of cliff jumping, we had more rappelling in my Costa Rica tour. We even rappelled down a 100ft waterfall and it was unbelievable! I was really looking forward to doing that again, since to me, the rappelling part was the best. But to my surprise, on this canyoneering tour, rappelling is for the weak. And clearly, I’m no wuss.
There were four cliff jumps ranging from 10-40 feet. The first jump is 20 feet and everyone has to jump so the guides can see if you’re skilled enough to safely jump the higher ones. It’s basically an audition. There were 7 of us in the group. Only myself, Michael, Danny, and Liz passed the jump test and were given the OK to attempt the larger cliffs. YES, I DID IT!
First jump (aka audition):
Michael, always the pro.
Then we got to the 40 ft jump. The other people “ziplined” down. I say “zipline” because this was anything but a zipline. It was basically a line that you fell down and skimmed across the water quite abruptly. And honestly, looked more terrifying than the actual jump. The guide asked the four of us if we wanted to jump or zip line and after I said jump, he threw the rope down and there was no turning back. In a way, that made the jump easier for me. In the past, at Lake Powell, I typically get peer-pressured by Michael into jumping off giant rocks, and it usually takes me a while to get the courage up to actually jump. I always do, but it’s still nerve-wracking. However, with this, since I had no alternate route, it was just 1, 2, 3, JUMP! Man, what a rush! Such fun!
Of course, Michael killing it.
The rest of the tour consisted of smaller jumps, which were a piece of cake after the monster one, rock water slides, and boulder hopping. We had an incredible time and it was great to burn off some energy and be EXTREME!
Town is still on high alert for another eruption and the volcano was very active and smoky the entire time we were there. On our last night in town, there was a small eruption, just a few meters in the air, but no alarms, and no excitement. Bummer! But I know my dad is happy about that 🙂
Michael and I have been having a friendly AirBnB competition to see who can book the best accommodation. He won in Rio, I won in Buenos Aires. However, in Pucon, he was very confident in his pick with “a private home in a new development, pool, bikes, etc.” Unfortunately, when we arrived, we noticed a woman in the window and some shoes outside. Thinking this was odd, our hearts dropped and Michael quickly realized he had booked a “private room” in a woman’s home instead of the entire house. Oops! She was quite lovely, from Switzerland, and has lived in Pucon for four years. If we were younger, and on a more strict budget, we probably would have just sucked it up for two nights and stayed, but one look at the room and Michael quickly decided to book elsewhere. She was very understanding and even gave us a hand drawn map of the town and her restaurant and tour recommendations. We felt terrible, but overall it was the right decision for our mental/physical health and piece of mind.
Pucon, your town is lovely and we will be back to conquer your other tours! Stay hot!
2015 Bucket List Complete:
- Hot springs
- Volcano hike
- View the 10 Volcanos in the Ring of Fire from Pucon
- Active town – SO much to do!
- Cars actually stop for you and give you the right of way, which hasn’t happened anywhere else in South America
- Bad timing with the eruption – Canceled tours