The hotel Encanto del rio is a typical and kind of old-fashioned hotel in Valdivia, Chile. Its main features are that it is located close to the river Callecalle, has some public parking lots in front of the hotel and you can easily walk on foot to the fish market (where the river cruises start) and the city center. On this way you will find some spots where sea lions enjoy the sun. I could watch them for hours…
The hotel Malalhue in Pucón, Chile is nothing special. It is a nice everyday hotel at the main road of Pucón – a town close to Lago Villarrica. When leaving the hotel there are only other hotels around; and maybe a shopping center for daily needs. Pucón is a town that has been built for relaxation, for canoeing, for canopy.
I really love spas and saunas; I already tried a lot of those – but the Termas Geométricas close to Coñaripe, Chile ruled everything out. The area around Lago Villarica is full of hot springs because of the four volcanoes around. I was staying at Pucón and surrounded the Volcán Villarrica by car to access this very remote place for relaxation.
The Lago Villarrica is a very big lake in Chile. It is 23 kilometers long and offers fantastic views on the still active volcano Villarrica. It has destroyed this region more than once during the time of human civilization and there are big signs along the road explaining what to do in case of an emergency.
There aren’t many tunnels in South America. The tunnel Las Raíces is the longest one in the Andes mountain range and second longest of all South America. It has been opened in 1939 and is 4,5 kilometers long. It is located on a road leading from Temuco, Chile to Argentina and connects the wonderful valley of Lonquimay, Chile to the main part of the country.
Not far away from Temuco, Chile you can find the Parque Nacional Conguillío around the volcano Llaima. A place of a very special beauty that worried me a bit: after being stuck with my car in Putú I wasn’t fond of driving on sandy, unpaved roads and most time I was really alone in this area – maybe every 45 minutes another car or motorbike was passing by. But getting to this moon-like volcanic area was worth all this struggle.
If you want to stay at the Trailanqui lodge close to Temuco, Chile you should definitely have a GPS system. I didn’t have one and I prepared myself with satellite images to find the road there. In the end I missed the right crossing and had to search quite hard for the hotel while it was raining heavily. And of course: I had to overtake some natives riding their horses on the street.
Lota is the poorest city in Chile and its history reminded me much of the Ruhrgebiet in Germany. It is also within the same transformation processes that run a bit more slowly here. The whole region was living from coal mining and the mines have first been socialized under Salvador Allende and later privatized again under Augusto Pinochet. When cheaper coal from Colombia arrived here the whole economy broke down.