After a few days of rain on Easter Island followed by hours of travel, it was great to arrive in Pucon and find the sun shining.
With 4 days in Pucon we have the luxury of spreading out our itinerary a little. After dropping our stuff off at the apartment, we headed out for a little walk around town to get some lunch, pick-up groceries, and get a feel for the town.
On a sunny day Volcan Villarrica is clearly visible and adds to what is a mountain town like many others I’ve visited. There are adventure/tour shops around every corner, outnumbered only by the restaurants. The big difference was the puffs of smoke that serve as a reminder that Villarrica could erupt again at anytime.
After fuelling up, we headed out to get our first taste of what the area around Pucon has to offer.
Our first stop was Caburgua Lake, about 23 km north east of the city. The lake has two main beaches Playa Blanca with white sand and Playa Negra with, you guessed it, black sand. We decided to skip paying to enter Playa Blanca and drove over to Playa Negra for a little splash.
From the beach we drove over to visit Ojos del Caburgua, a nearby waterfall, and the Laguna Azul (blue lagoon).
While not the largest, Ojos del Caburgua is one of the nicer waterfalls we’ve visited. The water was incredibly clear and a beautiful blue. They’ve clearly done some recent work (you could still see the wood chips scattered on the ground) to improve the view points which were plentiful and well situated.
After the waterfall it was time for dinner and, much to Ella’s delight, some ice cream. In Santiago we had been told that Chileans eat a lot of ice cream. Their per capita consumption is over 8 litres person, nearly double that of the next highest in South America, Argentina.
There does seem to be ice cream parlours all over the place and this number seemed impressive. At least it did until looked up the global numbers. Canada is higher with just over 10 L and, surprisingly, New Zealand beats out the US to top the global charts. (To be fair, some reports do have the US on top.)
Tomorrow we’re off to hike to the Miradores Los Crateres trail to get a closer look at Volcan Villarrica. Maybe we’ll work off some of the ice cream we’ve been eating.