3 Weeks in Chile: Part 2, Santiago to Chaitén

Posted on February 23, 2023 in Travel

Wine in Santa Cruz

Viña Maquis Tour

Viña Maquis Tour

We woke up in a hotel near the airport, got breakfast, packed the "China Car"(Chery Tiggo7Pro), as I called it, and hit the road. A 2 Hour drive to Santa Cruz where we have a nice wine-themed accommodation, surrounded by vineyards. Dropped the bags and headed over to Viña Maquis, a 15-minute drive to get a tour and taste some viña, at one of Chilies' more sustainability-focused wineries. I won't go on about it, but the wine was delicious, for wine. I'm actually a beer guy. The tour was informative and the sun was hot as fuck, as has been the case since we started this vacation. Back at our hotel, we basked in the pool with some beers. Yes beer. The beer here in Chile is fucking good! Unlike Costa Rica, my last international vacation location.

Hotel Terraviña https://www.hotelterravina.cl
Viña Maquis https://www.maquis.cl/

The next day was just driving, as we hit the road for over 6 hours to the town Pucon. Pucon is known for adventure tourism and a large active volcano that towers above.

A Guided Hike up Volcán Villarrica and a Visit to Termas Geometricas

Volcán Villarrica Gear

Volcán Villarrica Gear

At 6:30AM we meet our guide from Aguaventura Expediciones at their store around the corner from our accommodations to grab our gear and hop in a van to the base of Volcán Villarrica from where we'll start climbing. 5KM up to some point where the government decided it was no longer safe to continue on, as this was an active volcano. The views were stunning, and the legs were painful. 5KM where every step was higher than the previous. There was very limited technical climbing. Nothing vertical. We did have some ice tools and crampons for the last bit in the snow, but it was nothing serious. To get down we all had a very small bum slide and some tough abrasion-resistant clothing. We were able to control our speed by using the ice tool as we slide. After the snowy bits, the climb down was painful on the legs but was uneventful.

Check out my Strava of the climb here: https://www.strava.com/activit...

Aguaventura Expediciones http://www.aguaventura.com/
Hotel Vientos del Sur http://www.hotelvientosdelsur....
Termas Geometricas http://termasgeometricas.cl/

We spent the rest of the day checking out Pucon on foot and drinking beer. Pucon is a tourist trap for sure, but they have pavement and sidewalks, unlike San Pedro de Atacama.Tthe next day we got a drive to Termas Geometricas, which is a facility to chill in the thermal hot spring pools. There are several at different temperatures. We went in the middle of the day, but I would recommend it at night when it's cooler in the air. The heat was a bit much, but there were two pools that were very cold too. I didn't hesitate to get in those, but I appeared to be on my own with that.

Volcán Villarrica Volcán Villarrica Slide Volcán Villarrica Bump Termas Geometricas

Travel Further South

From Pucon, we drove south to the town of Peurto Octay. I recommend you skip this desolate town. There is some older German architecture to see, but everything is run down, and things to do here are severely limited. We checked out a nearby waterfall called Salto Las Cascadas in the town of Las Cascadas. Actually, it wasn't really nearby. We fled in the morning from our hostel to drive South again, this time towards another hostel in Ancud on the island of Chiloé. Before we got that far we stopped in Puerto Montt for some shopping and food. There is an area of the city called Angelmo with hundreds of craft shops. I'm not sure how much of it is authentic from local crafters, but a worthy place to find some souvenirs to bring home.

To get to Chiloé there is a short straight, about 2km wide. Probably close to a dozen ferries are constantly going back and forth. We arrived without a booking and didn't even have to stop. A ferry was loading as we pulled up and we drove right on. A human on the car deck took a few bucks from our credit card and that was that. Easy. In no time we were driving onto the island, and continued on our way to the hostel in Ancud. We stayed in some nice places and were trying to balance it with some more affordable accommodations. In Ancud we stayed at Atrapasueños Hostel & Tours and it was a bit of a gem. The staff were very nice and accommodating. the room was clean and met our needs, and also they set us up with a tour the next day to Islotes de Puñihuil where we had a short time on a boat checking out many birds including penguins. It was one of the highlights of our whole trip. Definitely recommend it! I don't think you need to book anything ahead of time here.

After the tour, we went back to the hostel to grab our bags and hammer down again, this time to Quellón where we'll get a ferry at the ass-crack-of-dawn. We made a few stops to check out some of the church architecture in some towns on our way down. We decided that we should have skipped Ancud, Puerto Octay, and Quellón and stayed in Castro instead, as it looked like a more interesting city. mind you, Quellón was only for the early morning ferry. The first thing in the morning we loaded onto the ferry we had a booking for, and set sail to Chaitén.

Red-legged Cormorant Penguin Acceso al Transbordador Pargua - Chacao Laguna Sargazo Salto Las Cascadas

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3 Weeks in Chile: Part 2, Santiago to Chaitén

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