Araucanía Travel Guide

Discover the best things to do, see, and eat in Araucanía. From natural wonders to cultural attractions, this comprehensive guide has everything you need to plan your next trip.

Welcome to Araucanía, a stunning region in southern Chile that boasts breathtaking landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and plenty of outdoor adventures. From towering volcanoes to lush forests and sparkling lakes, Araucanía has something to offer everyone. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know to plan an unforgettable trip to this incredible part of South America.

Introduction to Araucanía

Araucanía is a region located in the southern part of Chile, bordered by the Andes Mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. The area is home to the indigenous Mapuche people and is known for its picturesque landscapes, including national parks, lakes, and rivers. With a population of around 1 million people, this region is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Chile and South America.

List of Places to Visit in Araucanía

When visiting Araucanía, there are endless places to explore and things to do. Some of the must-see destinations include:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Museo Nacional Ferroviario Pablo Neruda: This museum showcases the history of Chilean railroads and is located in Temuco.
  • Museo Regional de la Araucanía: A museum that displays the cultural history of the Mapuche people and the Araucanía region.
  • Fuerte de Tucapel: A historic fort that played a significant role in the Battle of Tucapel during the Spanish conquest.

Natural Attractions of Araucanía: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Villarrica National Park: Located near the Villarrica Volcano, this park offers a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, climbing, skiing, and camping.
  • Conguillio National Park: Home to the stunning Llaima Volcano, this park is a must-visit destination for hikers and nature enthusiasts.
  • Pucón: This charming town sits on the shores of Lake Villarrica and offers plenty of outdoor activities, such as kayaking, fishing, and hot springs.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Araucanía

Araucanía is a hiker’s paradise, with a variety of trails that offer stunning views of the region’s natural beauty. Some of the best hiking and biking routes include:

  • Villarrica Traverse: A challenging trek that takes you through Villarrica National Park and offers breathtaking views of the Villarrica Volcano.
  • Sierra Nevada Trail: This picturesque trail takes you through the forests and mountains of Conguillio National Park.
  • Lonquimay Volcano Trail: A popular route that offers stunning views of Lonquimay Volcano and the surrounding landscape.

Best Things to Do in Araucanía: Activities and Tours

In addition to hiking and biking, there are plenty of other activities and tours to enjoy in Araucanía. Some of the best things to do include:

  • Rafting in the Trancura River: Offering class III and IV rapids, the Trancura River is a haven for adventure seekers.
  • Wine Tasting in Malleco Valley: Sample some of Chile’s best wines in the picturesque Malleco Valley.
  • Cultural Tours: Learn about the history and traditions of the Mapuche people by visiting local communities and participating in traditional activities.

Week-Long Itinerary for Araucanía

If you’re planning to spend a week in Araucanía, here’s a suggested itinerary:

  • Day 1: Explore Temuco and visit the Museo Nacional Ferroviario Pablo Neruda and Museo Regional de la Araucanía.
  • Day 2-3: Visit Conguillio National Park and hike the Sierra Nevada Trail.
  • Day 4-5: Explore Villarrica National Park and climb the Villarrica Volcano.
  • Day 6: Take a cultural tour and learn about the Mapuche people’s traditions and daily life.
  • Day 7: Relax in Pucón and enjoy the town’s hot springs and Lake Villarrica.

Food and Drink Scene of Araucanía

Araucanía’s food and drink scene is a rich reflection of the region’s cultural heritage, with delicious dishes that incorporate ingredients like quinoa, potatoes, and seafood. Must-try dishes include:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Curanto: A traditional Mapuche dish that consists of meat, seafood, and vegetables cooked in an underground pit.
  • Pastel de choclo: A savory pie made with ground beef, onions, hard-boiled eggs, olives, and corn.
  • Sopaipilla: A fried dough that’s served with pebre, a tasty salsa made with tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and other herbs.

Local Beverages

  • Carmenere: A robust red wine that’s a Chilean specialty.
  • Pisco Sour: A classic cocktail made with pisco, lime juice, simple syrup, and egg whites.

Where to Stay in Araucanía: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

There are plenty of accommodation options in Araucanía, ranging from luxury hotels to budget-friendly hostels and guesthouses. Some of the best places to stay include:

  • Hotel Antumalal: A luxury hotel that sits on the shores of Lake Villarrica.
  • Hostal del Centro: A centrally located hostel in Temuco that offers budget-friendly accommodations.
  • Hostal Germania: A cozy guesthouse in Pucón that’s close to the town’s attractions and activities.

What to Buy in Araucanía: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

When visiting Araucanía, there are plenty of souvenirs and local products to take home as a memento of your trip. Some of the best products to look for include:

  • Handwoven textiles and ponchos made by the Mapuche people.
  • Wooden handicrafts and sculptures made with locally sourced wood.
  • Honey and jams made with regional fruits and berries.

Local Culture and Customs of Araucanía

Araucanía is home to the indigenous Mapuche people, who have a rich cultural heritage that dates back to ancient times. Visitors to the region should be respectful of local customs and traditions, including:

  • Greeting locals with a handshake and speaking in a polite tone.
  • Asking for permission before taking photos of individuals or their property.
  • Respecting traditional Mapuche dress and customs.

Best Time to Visit Araucanía

The best time to visit Araucanía is during the summer months from December to February when the weather is warm and dry. However, visitors can enjoy the region’s natural beauty and outdoor activities year-round, with autumn offering stunning foliage and winter providing opportunities for skiing and snowboarding.

Do’s and Don’ts of Araucanía


  • Respect local customs and traditions, including those of the Mapuche people.
  • Try local cuisine and wine, as well as traditional music and dances.
  • Visit parks and natural areas to experience the region’s incredible natural beauty.


  • Engage in activities that may harm the environment or local communities.
  • Make insensitive remarks about the indigenous population, Mapuche people.
  • Disrespect holy places or traditional ceremonies.

Safety and Health

Safety in Araucanía

Araucanía is generally a safe region to visit, but visitors should take common-sense precautions to avoid theft and pickpocketing. It’s also essential to be aware of road conditions and driving safety while exploring the region.

Health in Araucanía

Visitors to Araucanía should ensure they have valid medical insurance that will cover them for any medical treatment they may require while traveling. It’s also important to be aware of any recommended vaccinations before visiting the region.

Getting to Araucanía: Transportation Options and Logistics

There are several ways to get to Araucanía, including:

Airports Near Araucanía

The closest airports to Araucanía are:

  • Temuco Airport (ZCO): The main airport in the region that serves both domestic and international flights.
  • La Araucanía International Airport (ZAL): Located in the city of Angol, this airport is served by domestic flights.

Bus Stations Near Araucanía

There are several bus stations in the region, with the most popular being:

  • Terminal Rodoviario de Temuco: The main bus station in the region that offers services to other parts of Chile.
  • Terminal de Buses de Pucón: A smaller bus station that serves the town of Pucón and its surrounding areas.

Other Options

Visitors to Araucanía can also rent a car or take a taxi to explore the region on their own.

How to Get Around in Araucanía

While public transportation is available, the easiest way to get around Araucanía is by car. Rental cars are available at major airports and cities, while taxis and ridesharing services are popular options for shorter trips.

Where to Go Next from Araucanía: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

There are plenty of other destinations and excursions to enjoy after visiting Araucanía, including:

  • Chiloé Island: A beautiful island in the Pacific Ocean that’s known for its unique architecture and traditional wooden churches.
  • Valdivia: A charming city that’s home to several historic buildings and a thriving craft beer scene.
  • Puerto Varas: A picturesque town on the shores of Lake Llanquihue that offers stunning views of the Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes.


Araucanía is one of the most beautiful and culturally rich destinations in Chile, with a wealth of outdoor activities, cultural attractions, and stunning natural landscapes to explore. With this comprehensive guide, you’re well-equipped to plan your next adventure to this incredible part of South America.