Torres del Paine National Park

Puyehue National Park

Salto del Indio, Puyehue
Parque Nacional Puyehue, created in 1941 and expanded in 1950 and 1981, it is managed by the National Forestry Corporation. It is part of the Temperate Rainforests of the Southern Andes Biosphere Reserve and covers an area of 107,000 hectares. 

It is located 80 Km. East of the city of Osorno, between the regions of Los Lagos and Los Rios, considered the entrance to northern Chilean Patagonia. Puyehue is divided into three sectors: Antillanca, Anticura and Aguas Calientes, which offer different natural attractions and tourist services. 

Puyehue offers a wide variety of natural landscapes, including volcanoes, lakes, rivers, forests and hot springs. It also has a rich biodiversity of flora and fauna that can be appreciated on its trails and viewpoints. In the past, this part of Chile was inhabited by some Huilliche communities, the southernmost branch of the Mapuche people. Many of the local legends have their origin in this ancestral period. 

Puyehue National Park is one of the most emblematic and important national parks in Chile, due to the large number of natural attractions it contains, and is visited by an increasing number of tourists every year, supported by a solid tourist infrastructure in the midst of the beautiful, unspoiled nature of the region.


The climate of the whole area is Temperate Rainy, with heavy rains, which occur throughout the year with an average annual rainfall of 3000 mm. The temperature varies between 5°C and 18°C or slightly higher, depending on the season and altitude. 

During the Winter, in the area near the Andes, the rains turn into snow, with temperatures ranging between -8º C an 10º C. 

Location of Puyehue

How to get to Puyehue National Park

To get to the Nature Sanctuary you have to take the CH 215 International Route, entirely paved, this road joins the city of Osorno in Chile with the tourist city of San Carlos de Bariloche in Argentina. At km 76 is the U-215 fork that leads to Aguas Calientes and Antillanca. There are bus services with daily departures to Puyehue from Puerto Montt, capital of Los Lagos Region, these departures increase their frequency in summer.

The time of year with the highest influx of tourists is between December and early March, although any time is good to visit the park. In Summer are ideal outdoor activities such as excursions to the main attractions, Salto del Indio, Salto de la Princesa, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, visiting the Raihuen crater and the Casablanca stratovolcano. In Winter, you can enjoy the practice of skiing at Antillanca Mountain Resort and the contrast with a session at Aguas Calientes or Termas de Puyehue Thermal Baths.

Main features, attractions

Termas de Puyehue Wellness & Spa Resort
The heavy rainfall in Southern Chile gives rise to the evergreen forests typical of this part of the country.

The park's topography is the consequence of glaciations and volcanic activity which gave form to the Andean massif.

* There are numerous lakes of great beauty and valleys such as those of rivers Gol-Gol and Chanleufú. Among its main attractions are the beautiful waterfalls. Salto del Indio, Salto de La Princesa, Los Novios, and magnificent lakes such as El Encanto, Toro, or Rupanco, one of the most beautiful in Chile, to name a few.

In addition, Puyehue has thermal baths that are a popular attraction for visitors. The thermal baths are located in the vicinity of the Puyehue Lake and offer natural hot springs with therapeutic properties. This makes Puyehue an ideal place to relax and enjoy nature.

* Termas de Puyehue, these are the best known and most visited. They offer outdoor and indoor thermal pools, with mineral-rich waters that are believed to have therapeutic properties. In addition to the pools, some facilities may include services such as saunas, steam baths and spa treatments.

* Termas Aguas Calientes, a thermal center located within the park that offers a natural and relaxing environment. The hot springs come from the geothermal activity of the area and offer a unique experience in the middle of nature.

* The Centro Turístico Anticura is also located within the park, a few meters from the Cardenal Samoré International Pass. It offers camping facilities, cabins and access to trails that allow visitors to see different waterfalls, viewpoints and the natural environment of the place. It also offers services including parking, gym, bar, children's activities and pets are allowed. 

The volcanic zone is more pronounced in Antillanca, where the Casablanca stratovolcano, several craters and volcanic groups stand out. To the north, there is the Puyehue volcano and the Caulle volcanic complex, with the presence of recent lava flows, thermal waters and geysers.   

Image: Termas Aguas Calientes, Puyehue
The dense vegetation is composed of a variety of species. In the lowest places you can find Ulmo and Coigüe along with Olivillo and Tineo. The undergrowth is abundant in bushes, lianas ferns, mosses and lichens, which give rise to a great floristic richness. At higher altitudes, are found Tepa and Mañío woods along with large Coigües, a species that at high parts becomes predominant. Near the vegetational limit, Coigüe de Magallanes and Lenga forests extend.

Fauna: Among the mammals are the Puma, the South American Gray Fox, the Huron (Ferret), the Coipo (Coypu), Wildcats, Vizcachas, the Monito del Monte (Little Monkey of the Bush) and the Chingue (Skunks), while among the birds highlight the Pato Correntino (Torrent Duck), the Carpintero Negro (Magellanic Woodpecker), Torcazas (Eared Doves), Black-throated Huet-Huets, the Aguilucho (Red-backed Hawk), Condors, the Choroy (Slender-billed parakeet), Hualas (Great Grebe), the Chercan (House Wren), and Bandurrias (Buff-necked Ibis).

Best Attractions in Puyehue

* Antillanca Ski Center and Mountain Resort 
* Hotel Termas Puyehue Wellness & Spa Resort
* Termas Aguas Calientes Tourist Complex
* Anticura Tourist Center