BootsnAll Travel Network

Valdivia briefly, Pucon, and a 40km bike ride

Instead of spend a whole day on buses and in bus stations, I decided to break up the two 3 hour bus journeys from Puerto Varas to Pucon and spend half a day and a night in Valdivia.  Valdivia is near the coast on the banks of a river, it’s not that big and the main centre is on the river front, where a few colonial buildings remain and the fish market is.  I like fish markets, but this one was nothing compared to the ones I saw in Asia, everything was already dead!


riverfront fish market

central valdivia

After walking around the whole town centre, I returned to the hostel, which got progressively colder throughout the evening.  Seriously, both of my hostels in Chile so far now have been cold when going to bed and freezing when waking up!  Wooden stoves/fireplaces may be quaint, but if they aren’t heating the place up they need an upgrade!

Next morning I left for Pucon, amidst nearly freezing temperatures and thick fog.  Fortunately the fog cleared soon after we left on the bus and the temperature rose gradually all day so by the time the bus arrived in Pucon, the sky was clear and the air not frigid.  Here is the view of Volcan Villarrica from Pucon, one of Chile’s most active volcanos (or so I’ve read).

Pucon and Villarrica Volcano

I didn’t arrive until the middle of the afternoon so it was too late to do much of anything, so I had to wait until the next morning.  I decided to rent one of the hostels mountain bikes and do the circuit recommended by the owner.  He said, “3 hours, maybe 4 if you go slow and stop a lot”.  I managed to return to the hostel (that in itself was a success!) about 5 1/2 hours later.  heh.  Having biked for around 40km, up and down the whole way.  I have not been this exhausted since I climbed half dome in Yosemite last September, I also haven’t ridden a bike anywhere near that far on anywhere near those kind of up and down hills for at least 2 years.

The view was good along the way, crossing a few rivers and getting closer to some mountains you can’t see from Pucon itself, also a different side of the Volcano.


Villarrica Volcano

At one point along the way there is a blue lagoon, and a pool feed by 3 waterfalls in different directions.

blue pool

3 waterfalls

3 waterfalls

The farthest point I got to, was Lago Caburgua, where you can start to see the major mountains in the National Park to the East.  Nice view, but getting up the last 5km (all up) to the lake sapped most of the energy reserves I had.

lago caburgua

lago caburgua

On the way back (all 18km of it) the sun hid behind a cloud, I had wind blowing directly at me and the temperature starting dropping quickly.  Not a good way to end the ride, though this is a good preparation for the inca trail which I’ll be hiking in 3 weeks!  I did have just enough energy left to go to the supermarket to buy dinner and before collapsing into a chair at the hostel, to take some pictures of the stunning sunset, one of the coolest I’ve ever seen!

Villarrica Volcano at sunset

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One response to “Valdivia briefly, Pucon, and a 40km bike ride”

  1. Mom says:

    Absolutely beautiful. Nice end to a tiring day!

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