As you already know, Pucón offers an endless list of adventure activities to enjoy, some of them are more readily available during the summer months, and also slightly preferable on a sunny day! Parasailing over the lake for example, or jet skiing, or even some prefer the white water river based activities only when the rays are beating down….
However, the winter months welcome a large influx of tourists to Pucón all searching for the same conditions: fresh powder snow!
Of course being quite a long way down south at the end of the world, we do have quite a lot of that white stuff falling from the skies. But, many people do not know that snow very very rarely falls in Pucón itself. There is plenty on the surrounding mountains, in the national parks and definitely a lot on Villarrica volcano, but you can enjoy a stroll around town without having to pull on your mush boots.
The ski season opens between end June and mid-July depending on the conditions, and usually stays open until mid-October. Many people flock to Pucón just to be able to say they have skied on a live volcano. That in itself is quote a story to tell. You can climb up with you backpack and skies or snowboard on your back, spend some time taking photos of the lava in the base of the crater, and then ski freestyle back down again. Of course to reach the crater you need to go with an escorted group and a qualified guide. The alternative is to get yourself to the ski center base and spend your day riding the lifts and descending the pistes.
Ski Pucón resort is just 25 minutes from the centre of Pucón itself. With 6 ski lifts connecting 17 pistes, plus a 200m long x 50m wide mini snow park for ski and snowboard games, events, action & acrobatics, there is plenty to fill your winter days. The 17 pistes are distributed as follows: 4 easy (green); 6 intermediate (red); 5 difficult (blue) and 2 very hard (black). Of course there are also classes on offer, personal or group, plus daily activities for your skiing bambinos! Day passes in high season for adults cost $ 36.000 and for kids $ 30.000.
If you simply want to get out there and play around in the snow, you can choose to spend a day snow shoeing around the base of the volcano. Alternatively you can pull on your waterproof hiking boots and gaiters and head out to one of the local national parks. There are self-guided tracks in Huerquehue National park and also in El Cañi National Reserve. Whichever option you go for, you will be blessed with endless views over the snowy Andes, and glimpses of the native flora and fauna, often easier to spot against the white powder background.
For those skiers who want to visit more than one resort during your time in the south, you are not just limited to Ski Pucón on Villarrica volcano. You can also head out to ski resorts on Llaima volcano (Las Araucarias), Lanin volcano (Las Paraguas) and Lonquimay volcano (Corralco). Over the Andes in Argentina just a 3,5 hour drive from Pucón you have the vast Chapelco resort in San Martin de los Andes, and the world famous Cerro Catedral further south near Bariloche.
Ski Las Araucarias - Llaima volcano
Your options are endless but one thing is for sure: after a long day on the pistes or trekking in the snow, your body will be grateful for a long soak in one of the many hot spring resorts located around Pucón. They are perfect any day of the year, but in the snow they are simply heavenly.
Enjoy the white stuff! Meanwhile, for tips and additional information contact Lake Lodge here.