Hiking in Chile:
South of Santiago but north of Patagonia lies Chile’s Lake District. Its undisputed center is Pucon, which lies at the edge of the Villarica Lake and in the shadow of the Villarica volcano. The small town looks like a Swiss village of gingerbread houses and café-lined sidewalks, as well as spectacular restaurants. Just an hour’s flight south of Santiago (fly into Temuco), the region is an ideal destination for Chile-lovers who have already experienced Santiago, the Atacama Desert, Easter Island and Patagonia.
November through April is the ideal time to visit (during Chile’s summer), when the lake is refreshing, days are warm and the sun is shining throughout the days’ activities. Favorite treks include hiking up the volcano, which is capped with snow throughout the year, and through forests of monkey puzzle trees (gorgeous, tall pine-like specimens). In winter (June through September), guests can ski the surrounding mountains and the Villarica volcano, which is located on the Argentina border.
Located a mile outside town, Hotel Antumalal is a 1950s throwback resort. The hydrangea-lined driveway leads to the main building, which can only be described as a study in 20th-century architecture (in fact, the hotel is on many Chilean architecture schools’ syllabus). The owners, a Czech couple who moved to Chile in the 1940s, were attracted to the area as it reminded them of the Swiss Alps, the area they loved and missed. Still family-owned and -run, the lodge has hosted presidents and royalty, including Queen Elizabeth II and exudes an old-world charm, perpetuated by the lovely staff.
All rooms feature large picture windows—enforcing the Lloyd Wright concept that nature is the best décor—as well as fireplaces. Rooms are comfortable if a little haggard but bathrooms leave much to be desired. With 22 guest rooms, including two private cottages, the hotel feels intimate, but the restaurant is so good, it attract non-guests for dinner. Evenings begin with drinks (try a pisco sour) and homemade potato chips by the fireplace or on the terrace, enjoying the spectacular sunsets. In fact the name, Antumalal, means “corridor of sunset,” and was a big reason the owners originally picked the spot.
Search By Keyword
Amazing wildlife and sensational safari camps are keys to why...
New on Indagare
Give the Gift of Indagare The perfect present for travelers: a membership to Indagare. Buy now
Indagare Insider Trips: Cuba, Myanmar and India: We’re planning trips throughout the year. Contact Indagare (212-988-2611) to be added to the wait list.
- Community: Share advice with fellow members asking about your favorite travel discoveries.
- Indagare Insiders: Three-day itineraries for families in London and art lovers in Vienna. Plus, fashion insider Chiara Ferragamo’s picks on what not to miss in Florence, Bonnie Gokson, owner of Hong Kong’s lofty Sevva on Hong Kong, Culinary Insider: Budapest.
- Rant & Rave: Indagare members can share their advice with the community by logging in first, then clicking here: Rants & Raves.
- Give the Gift: Indagare: Give the gift of travel intelligence with a membership to Indagare. For details or to order, call us at 212-988-2611 or click here: Gift Membership.
- Indagare Plus: Remember that hotels marked by an Indagare Plus symbol offer preferential rates and benefits to members.
- Indagare Share Feature: Share articles, postcards and reviews with family and friends on such networking sites as Twitter, Facebook and Delicious. Simply click on the three small dots that symbolize our connect icon, at the end of every article, and follow the link to the networking site of your preference.
- Sample Indagare: With free bi-weekly email blasts on new hot spots and insider tips when you sign up for our mailing list.
- Profile feature: Members share your profiles, comments, favorite articles and IQs. Just click on the Profile tab on the upper right of your screen and look for the Edit My Profile blue tab.
- Indagare means to discover, explore, seek, scout in Latin.