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December 8 Arrive Temuco (TMC) by air from Santiago, Chile. We’ll meet you there and transfer to our hotel in Pucon, the Playa Grande Suites, which will be the base of our activities for the week. It offers full amenities, including massages and a pool of geothermically heated water.

December 9  Hike into El Cani Sanctuary, Chile’s first private natural reserve. Located just 30 minutes from Pucon, this 5 hour moderate hike takes us around an ancient collapsed caldera and through a native Araucaria forest with several pristine mountain lakes. We’ll arrive at a spectacular lookout with stunning views of the surrounding lakes and volcanoes. The Araucaria is an ancient dinosaur-proof  tree that evolved during the Jurassic Period more than 250 million years ago, and has survived unaltered ever since. It’s sometimes called the Monkey Puzzle tree for it’s unusual needle pattern.

December 10  Today we’ll head off in a different direction to hike in Huerquehue National Park. This is another moderate hike of about 5 hours through exuberant vegetation, with forests mostly of Coihue, the native beech trees that are common here, as well as more Araucaria. The lakes are crystal-clear, of a deep emerald green, and hemmed in between steep mountainsides with lovely streams and waterfalls that feed into them.

December 11  Starting early those who wish can climb Volcan Villarrica. This is one of Chile’s most active volcanoes, although it’s inactive at the moment. The ascent is non-technical but moderately strenuous and one should be in reasonably good condition to attempt it. The ascent takes about 5 hours up and 2+ hours down. Our outfitter will provide boot, crampons, ice-axes and helmets for all climbers, and local guides will be assist us in the climb.  There will be a choice of alternative activities for those not wishing to do the ascent, including the chance to visit local indigenous people in their village.

December 12  A day at the hot-springs!  The Termas Geometricas are located about two hours away on the other side of Volcan Villarrica. They’re rated among the most beautiful in the world. A great way to recuperate from the ascent the day before.

December 13  The nearby Rio Truncura offers classic rafting opportunities. Using paddle rafts with 6 members and a guide we’ll float a scenic Class III section with small to moderate rapids. Another section of river that has just small rapids is also available for those who wish.

December 14  Eclipse Day. We’ll head up into the backcountry to reach our unique eclipse-watching area. After a short drive we’ll either walk or ride horses to an alpine location with a clear view of the eclipse. The eclipse takes place a few minutes after 1PM, and will last over two minutes. We’ll supply special eclipse-viewing safety glasses for all. A professional photographer will join us to help and advise us for the best pictures.  Following the main event, we’ll retreat to the quincho, or asado house, of one of our local guides for a celebratory asado, or Chilean barbeque of fresh lamb.

December 15  Transfer to the Temuco Airport for flights home, or on to another location in Chile to continue the wonder.

Ecplise Description [] Eclipse Details