Up until a short while ago, geysers were a tourist attraction exclusive to the northern part of the country. However, this reality is changing quickly, with the rise of a thermal center tucked away in the mountains of southern Chile’s Araucanía Region.
It is the Sollupulli Tourist Center, located west of the city of Temuco and only five kilometers from the Argentine border and it offers several distractions and high-mountain activities.
One of the highlights is visiting a thermal center, which features around 12 meter-high geysers and includes the option of enjoying the revitalizing hot springs that flow from the ground.
You can reach the area after a three-hour walk, during which you can see the Alpehue River descending the slopes of the mountains. The landscape “is reminiscent of Yellowstone imagery, making it an enviable surrounding for any tourist area,” says the facility administrator María Angélica Tepper. A two-night stay at the geysers with everything included costs US$ 300.
Another alternative is to spend a night on a glacier that sits on the crater of the SollipulliVolcano. This excursion includes a mid-mountain camp and the domes that have been set up at the foot of the volcano. Three days in this sector, with hikes and ascents, cost US$ 255, while a single day amounts to US$ 47.
You might also want to visit the millennial coigüe and araucaria (monkey puzzle) forests that abound in the area. Special routes are organized for trekking, horseback riding and canyoning, among others.
On these routes you can also enjoy the area’s rich and diverse fauna, such as foxes, pudús, pumas, wild boar, and native birds like condors and woodpeckers.
According to the administrators, the experience combines high technology and adventure tourism, thanks to the special conditions and geographical characteristics of the Andes Mountains in the Araucania Region.
This post is also available in Spanish