Tours and Activities:
Across the Mamuil Malal Pass towards ArgentinaMónica Pons Jorge González
The Andean Patagonian forest shows its best side in this border area where height and the rainfall regime feed the wide range of tree species.
The tour along the international road towards Mamuil Malal may start both in the City of Villarrica and Pucón. It is an excellent opportunity to enjoy the changing almost unspoiled nature of the surrounding forests.
Upon leaving Pucón, we left behind the forks on the left of the road leading to the hot spring resorts and swim areas on Lake Caburgua. A picturesque way amidst natural wild vegetation starts there and borders the Trancura River here and there.
One particular feature about this area is the great deal of hot spring resorts that open their outdoor or screened pools and hot tubs to visitors amidst an almost unspoiled natural environment. The water, which has very good properties and temperatures to manage relaxation and rest, comes from natural springs. At the San Luis, Menetúe or Huife hot spring resorts, for instance, visitors can stay, take baths and go on hiking tours around the forest.
We continued our way to Catripulli, the next town on the road. Scattered around on green fields, some wooden houses gave evidence of a rural lifestyle, somewhat unknown to us. Close to Curarrehue, we filled up our gasoline tanks and had lunch at a cozy restaurant serving homemade food. As we toured around its streets, we noticed there were some bustle, and even a tourist information office.
From Puesco, the road climbs to the international boundary but shortly before reaching that point we find the lagoon Quillalhue, and made another stop as we spotted a cascade that caught our eye. Standing on a viewpoint, we took some pictures as a souvenir from our visit to such a beautiful site.
Shortly afterwards, the Chilean border post required our documentation and once we completed the proceedings, the milestones on both countries gave notice that we were leaving Chile to step on Argentinian soil. Just an imaginary line separates both nations, and a very quick and simple proceeding, provided that the necessary documentation is presented. Then we followed the same routine on the Argentinian side.
At that moment, the Lanín Volcano took hold of the scene and we got out of the car to move around its base on foot. We took some pictures and went up to its summit: with our eyes, of course.
A forest of ancient Araucaria greeted within the Lanin National Park. The next leg was a very arid and rugged area, a different beauty that had crossed before.
We now had the chance to visit and tour around the Cities of Junín de los Andes and San Martín de los Andes, both of them great tourist attractions year round.