Think polar expeditions, fur lined hats, thick winter gloves and the clamorous barking of a pack of dogs and you have just about got a visual on what dog sledding in the Andes is all about. However, you don’t have to go to the poles, in fact you can have a go at this activity just 40 minutes from Pucón, and there are year-round options so you don’t even need the snow (making the fur lined hat and thick winter gloves also optional too!).
Dog sledding, or “Mushing” (from the French marche meaning “to go” or “to run”) dates back thousands of years to Siberia and North America where even a diphtheria outbreak was thwarted by using dogs to help medicine reach sick patients.
Your own experience starts with a visit to the kennels so you can see the huskies at home before watching them prepare for work. The barking will reach a crescendo when they see visitors arrive to greet them to be prepared! The dozens of dogs all have their own name, plus personalities, that you will get to see during your visit. All the pups are reared to run and their limitless energy is apparent when you see them jumping and yapping excitedly when they hear footsteps approaching their kennels.
The area where the sled excursions take place is home to ancient Araucaria trees, endemic plant species and the brilliantly red headed Magellanic Woodpecker. During the snow season the whole place looks like Narnia, and seen from the back of a dog pulled sled you could expect the White Witch to appear at any moment. It is the sound of the dogs that make this mode of travel from A to B so very different from taking a quad bike or a Skidoo ride through the snow. The panting, barking, playful snarls that emanate from the huskies indicate a camaraderie and contentment that their inherent boundless energy is being put to full use. There is something so very natural about using canine energy to speed you through the forest instead of relying on electric, battery or fuel power.
Seeing the ranch is an experience in its own right, but going out on the sled is the culmination of the day. Afterwards you can help take the harnesses from the dogs, feed them and play for a while with the little ones before retiring to the outdoor bonfire pit for a Chilean barbecue and tales of Andean crossings and husky anecdotes, all accompanied of course with a perfect Pisco Sour while the meat slowly roasts over the fire.
There are few places that offer this experience, and fewer still in such close proximity to your hotel. Lake Lodge can help you organize the day and will be excited to hear all about the adventure on your return to the peace and tranquility of the lodge.
In Pucón, Lake Lodge will be waiting for you with these views and the most comfortable beds and duvets in town! If you have a confirmed reservation with us at Lake Lodge we can help you to organize the husky dog sledding activity. Contact us here for our rooms rates and to make a reservation.
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