Pucon Hot Springs in Chile, a Relaxing Andean Getaway

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Editor’s Note: Yes, we know Pucón is in Chile, but hey, it’s just a jump across the border.

Pucon, Chile indoor hotsprings

If hearing the word “hot springs” makes you want to throw off your clothes and soak up in the warm water and steam in the air, you may want to consider jumping across the border into Chile to find the small town of Pucón. Hot springs are scattered throughout South America, but to do some intense hot springs hoppin’ all from one location, Pucón is the place for you. I arrived in Pucón Chile with a friend. We were on a mission to discover the natural hot springs that had been nestled within the spectacular Andean landscape. And hot springs we found.

Argentina and Chile have thousands of hot springs that have been a consequence of the volcanic activity and igneous rocks that have formed in the past. There are numerous volcanoes scattered throughout the countryside and a few of these volcanoes can be seen from the high peaks in Pucón. After climbing Volcan Villarrica, we decided that our muscles deserved a day of relaxing in the hot springs in the area and we picked a few to visit.

We were staying at Apart-Hotel Del Volcan which provided us with great advice and information on Pucón and all of the activities to do there. They gave us a map of the area and all of the hot springs available to visit. This small map with a 20 mile radius listed at least 15 hot springs spots to visit. The local Chileans have definitely learned how to capitalize on the hot springs in the area and have constructed many businesses around them. It wasn’t likely that we would be hiking to any undeveloped hot springs in the middle of the mountains, but with the range in style and locations, we were sure we would find the perfect hot springs to match our needs and desires.

Our first hot springs stop provided quite a surprise with the fancy hotel/resort that accompanied it – Termas Puyehue. This magnificent place was constructed to target the traveler with deep pockets. Staying the night at the resort wasn’t in our budget but a few hours at the hot springs was right up our alley. It is a hotel that includes a spa offering full services and types of massages I had never even heard of, a fancy restaurant, gift shop, a golf course, tennis courts, and a number of pools that were naturally heated by the hot springs.

It was a beautiful location but the hot springs appeared to be more of a heated man made pool which wasn’t exactly our style so after a couple of hours we decided it was time to move on. We took a look at our options and selected the next place to visit.

Pucon, Chile hotsprings signTermas Huife was our next stop. There was also a hotel built along side this hot spring that had various indoor and outdoor pools. But it was much more natural and cozy. The highlight of this place was the hydrotherapeutic pool where the various stations within the water massaged our sore bodies. It sat right alongside a big river outback that had stunning views and a very relaxing quality which we enjoyed while snacking on some onces in the café. (A Chilean term for a snack that can be ordered at any time during the day.) It was a great place to relax but we were anxious to find a hot springs that hadn’t been so developed so we decided to stop by Termas Los Pozones which the front desk staff at our Apart-Hotel had recommended.

Pucon Chile Termas (hotsprings)All of the good things we heard about Termas Los Pozones proved themselves to be true. I wasn’t sure what we were getting ourselves into when a little woman came running down the steps of her home that was built on the other side of the street from the entrance to unlock the gate, collect our money, and let us in before locking it and returning to her home; but inside we found exactly what we were looking for. Termas Los Pozones had been organized into a set of eight or nine pools that all retained their natural appearance. River rock was used to outline the hot springs and the dirt path following the river led us down the row of progressively heated pools where we were able to find the one that we were most comfortable in.

It was very well-kempt yet it managed to retain its natural state and had tons of character. There were no fancy hotels in sight; in fact the only buildings visible to the eye were the ones that provided a place for the hot springs soakers to place their personal items. Here we truly felt like we were in a hot springs that had been stumbled upon in the middle of the Andean mountains. We decided that it would be hard to find a hot spring any better and we soaked in Termas Los Pozones until our wrinkled bodies couldn’t handle it any longer.

At the beginning of our trip we planned on visiting as many of the hot springs in the area as possible but I think our bodies were thankful when we decided to settle on these three. Each hot spring stop we made was very fun and had something different to offer. At the end of the day we found the hot spring that best matched what we were looking for but perhaps the next time I am in the area I will have to try on of the other hundred that I missed.

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