My friend Colin had inspired me to undertake some trekking in South America. When we first met in Santiago, he had been heading north, before returning to the United States, and I was heading south. He kindly gifted me one of his guide books for trekking in Patagonia, and offered some great advice while we shared a couple of beers.
Fast forward 5 weeks and I found myself in Pucón, just north of Patagonia and on the edge of a trekker’s paradise. After a couple of days climbing the volcano and exploring the town, myself and my new Swiss amigo, Eddie, decided to embark on a short two day hike into Parque Nacional Huerquehue, which covers 125 square kilometers and is home to Lago Tinquilco and a number of waterfalls, lagunas and unique flora and fauna.
As has been the case with most parts of my trip so far, things didn’t quite go according to plan. We agreed to complete the four day trail in just two days – not impossible considering that our maps showed it was a 36km round trip to the volcanic termas. Upon arrival at the park, the ranger informed us that it was a 50km round trip, which is too far over two days carrying tents, cooking equipment, sleeping gear, clothes and food. Instead, we took a one day 14km return hike and surprised everyone back at the hostal that evening. Here are some photos from Huerquehue, I wish I could have explored more of this tranquil landscape.
- From Pucón, the park is a 30 minute bus ride. One way it is $2000CHP ($4AUD) and return, $3600CHP ($7.20AUD).
- Parque entrance is $4500CHP ($9AUD) for visitors from outside Chile. It costs $15000CHP ($30AUD) if you wish to camp for any number of days.
- There are a two hikes of vary ping difficulty that can be done in one day. The last bus returns at 1700 to Pucón, after that you will need to hitchhike.