This past weekend, my program organized a trip for all of us to a city in southern Chile called Pucón. We’ve been planning this trip for a while, so it was pretty exciting for it to finally arrive. The city is lovely, about 1.5 hours away from the ocean to the west, and 1.5 hours away from Argentina to the east. There’s an incredible volcano as the backdrop for Pucón, which makes the view breathtaking.
The bus ride there was twelve hours, but it was overnight in a relatively comfortable “semi-cama” seat, so most of us got some sleep. We rolled in about 8 am on Friday and headed straight to our cabañas to drop our things off. The cabañas were a lot nicer than I imagined, with two bedrooms of bunk beds, a full bathroom, a master bedroom with a master bath, and kitchen and living room area. It was even complete with maid service, so we weren’t expected to do our own dishes. (A college kid’s dream!)
That day, we went to visit the Mapuche, which is a tribe here in Chile. They were very warm and accepting, making us lunch and even showing us how to craft using their techniques. Then we were given options on what to do Saturday and Sunday. Both days there were free activities, which involved going to the termas (hot springs) on Saturday and going to the National Park for a nine kilometer hike on Sunday. But there were also activities with a tour guide company, in which you could either hike the volcano, go white water rafting, or ziplining, and the program would pay up to 20.000 CLP (about $40) for one, and any other was on you. Lots of people went up the volcano, but the termas sounded more fun to me, so that’s where I was Saturday. And Sunday I went rafting and ziplining, which were both awesome. Rafting was hilarious, and our guides kept trying to push us in and making us laugh. And ziplining was breathtaking, going over the river and being high in the sky.
Everybody left Sunday evening to get back Monday morning, but a friend and I stayed the night to spend the next couple of days in Chiloé, a little Chilean island about five hours south. I’ll update again once I’m home from Chiloé!