Pucón Pucón by Nicky Hartnell

This article was written by Global Graduates, published on 24th June 2010 and has been read 2961 times.

City of Tourism If you're striving for some peace and quiet, looking to set up camp for a few months in the middle of nowhere, with Spanish spoken to you day, noon and night, and with llamas for company, Pucón might not tick the right boxes. Alright, maybe the llama one at the very least. A huge tourist spot/haven/hell (you decide), this Southern town in the middle of Patagonia greets thousands of tourists each year, especially during the summer months in the Southern hemisphere, and over the Easter break. But (and this is a mighty But) you've only got to look around you to see why. Some come here for the nightclubs, others the cheap hostels, but by and large, the majority of Brazilians, Argentinians, Americans (the list goes on...) hot-step it to this enclave to see the magnificent sights – a huffing and puffing and I'll-blow-smoke-rings-every-now-and-then volcano, a huge lake and some of the most stunning landscapes known to man just happen to all be, well, right here.
If 'do you speak American' doesn't seem like the right kinda place for you, you can always head out to the small cluster of villages scattered about the surrounding forests. Or why not try white water rafting on the glacier-fed rive, Rio Trancura? Or maybe, just maybe, you'll fancy somewhere a little more cosmopolitan, with a good dollop of natural beauty, whilst tucking into a Mexican taco? Whatever your reasons for coming here, whether it's to call it a home for a few months, ride through the town to set off into wild Patagonia, or just because you're in need of a bit of tourism in your life, you could do a lot worse than pukka Pucón.

Why should I choose Pucón for my year abroad?
If you're into skiing and snowboarding, this is the place to be in the Winter months. Mightily adventurous, you'll find a different activity to do each week, and you'll get more than your money's worth if you get to know the local tour guides (helloooooooo discounts!). And if you're looking to shy away from the tourists, you can always go a little further down South the Costa Rica to get away from it all and step foot into the Chilean reserves, practising your Spanish in doing so. This part of the world really looks and feels like something out of an action movie, with glaciers and snow and tranquil lakes and rivers and penguins and flamingoes all fighting for first prize in the Nature tournament. 

Granted, the town itself doesn't have much to do, in terms of culture and dilly-dallying the streets, but what it has in sheer adventure are still around, despite the tourists. There are loads of restaurants to choose from, but our special mentions have to go to La Marmita de Pericles for its smashing fondues and steak (how could you resist in Alpine territory?) and Il Baretto for the lushest pizzas. A few places here and there offer regular burgers and fries combos, but you'll see just how much this little town knows how to party in the evening, with bar after bar rammed with tourists, locals, tourguides and just about every Tom, Dick and Harry moving their feet and knocking back the Pisco Sours. Mama's and Tapas is a far cry from home, with their huge beers and cheesy music - or wait, maybe it's not; the hybrid Anglo-Hispanic name pretty much describes how you'll feel here - a local and an outsider all at the same time.

So why not travel down South, get some touristy know-how and get an adrenaline rush just by seeing these awe-inspiring sights, let alone trying them out for a test-run?!

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