I have been putting off leaving Santiago for a number of reasons (money is tight, I don’t have anyone to travel with, I have to work, etc.) But today it just dawned on me that I only have a few weeks left in Chile. If I’m serious about going somewhere else in Chile, it’s now or never!
I heard from my program advisor that there was a bus service near my office where you could book long distance bus trips (www.turbus.cl for those who are interested), so I today I finally tracked this place down.
And of course, what better time to go than Halloween weekend, right? We get a couple days off work….
The woman at the Tur Bus desk audibly laughed when I told her this plan (to be fair, it could have been that she was laughing at my terrible gringa accent).
The slight flaw in this brilliant plan of mine?
The entire country will also be traveling north this weekend, and unlike me, have likely made their travel plans months in advance (rather than the weekend prior).
The tickets prices were doubled, what they normally would be and and the trip was going to take about 25hours…one way!
That means that out of the entire weekend, I would spend 2/3rds of the time on the bus.
So onto plan number two!
I decided that a nice compromise would be to go to Púcon (another place I’ve been dying to see and can’t believe I’m even referring to as a “compromise”) and to leave the weekend after Halloween.
Púcon is only 12 hours away, which means that I’ll have much more time to enjoy myself there, and the bus tickets are about 9,000 CP or less than $20.
I went ahead and bought the tickets and reserved my hostel, so there’s no way I can back out! And now that I’ve set it all up, I’m really starting to get excited about this!
Top things to do in Púcon are:
1. Climb Villarrica Volcano- This could actually be a bit pricey since it’s mandatory that you go with an experienced guide, not that I would want to go by myself anyway. People do die trying to climb this thing (and my Dad’s biggest concern was me getting mugged at the hostel haha…if you’re reading this Daddy, sorry! I love you! I promise I’ll be careful!).
2. Trekking or Bike tour in Huerquehue National Park- Every photo I’ve seen of this park is stunning. If I have time and energy after the volcano climb, I would love to spend a full day here hiking, mountain biking, etc.
3. Rafting- There are numerous white water rafting tours in Púcon, and this seems to be a relatively cheep activity (15,000CPish). Everything I’ve read says to expect class 3 and 4 rapids here. I haven’t been rafting in a while, but I’m definitely up to the challenge!
4. Horseback Ridding in one of the many national parks- this is definitely on the dream sheet, but I’m only going to be in Púcon for 3 days, so it might have to take a back seat to something like…oh I don’t know…Climbing a Volcano?
5. Explore the Volcanic Caves- Wow! These things just look unreal. I would love to do a tour of the Villarrica Caves, although this isn’t as high a priority as climbing the volcano itself, so we’ll see if I have time.
6. Los Pozones (the natural Hot Springs/Geysers)- This activity is definitely a must for me! It’s relatively cheep (5,000 Pesos I believe, to get into the park) and it sounds like the perfect way to relax after all the other, more strenuous activities I have in mind. I think I’ll reserve this for the morning before I leave.
So now that I’ve written about all these wonderful things, I have to do at least one of them, and preferably two or three of them. WordPress audience, hold me to it!