Before the Chile-Argentina border crossing we wanted to visit one last national park in the lake district of Chile, the Parque Nacional Puyehue. It is located between the Lago Puyehue and the border with Argentina and is famous for its many waterfalls, hot springs, and ski reserve.
There are two separate areas that can be visited in this park, the sector Aguas Calientes and the Sector Anticura.
Searching on the internet the only accommodation we found, that was directly in the park, was at Aguas Calientes. But sadly all the options there were extremely expensive and way beyond our budget. Therefore we reserved a cabin at the Lodge el Taique. It’s a nice place but with 120€ per night still above what we are normally willing to pay. In hindsight, we could have easily stayed for half the price at a nice cabin in Anticura. But these cabins were neither on Google nor on Booking.com visible.
The best thing about our cabin at the El Taique Lodge was the view of the nearby volcano. From the road to the lodge, you could even see two volcanos at the same time.
We first went to the Sector Aguas Calientes of the Parque Nacional Puyehue. Directly at the park office is a very nice short (1.25km) trail, the Sendero Rápidos del Chanleufu, that leads to some beautiful cascades surrounded by an awesome rainforest. By the way, there is no entrance fee in this sector.
As you can expect from the name Aquas Calientes there are a couple of different hot springs in this sector. You have the choice between an expensive luxury spa, a simple hot pool (see image below), and digging your own hot pool at the edge of the river.
From Aquas Calientes leads a lovely road through the national park up to the Centro de Ski Antillanca. There are a couple of beautiful viewpoints along this road.
During the last km before reaching the ski area, the road passes a beautiful forest with trees covered with lichens.
At the end of the road in Antillanca, we found another trace of German culture in Chile. The German school of Osorno has a nice wooden house directly at the ski center.
Next, we visited the Anticura Sector of the national park. In this sector you can find many beautiful waterfalls (Los Saltos de Anticura). Most of them can be reached with just small hikes of 1-2 km length. For some of the trails you have to pay an entrance fee, others are free.
Here is a list of the waterfalls in this sector (in the order of the images below, except no image for the Salto el Pudú):
- Saltos Los Novios
- Salto del Indio
- Salto Río Anticura
- Salto de la Princesa
- Salto Repucura
- Salto el Pudú
The Parque Nacional Puyehue is definitely worth a short visit. In the next post we will reveal if we managed to cross the border to Argentina with our car registered in Chile.