Getting to Villarica Pucon

Getting to Villarica Pucon

Arpa Cat Skiing, Chile

Where is the Pucon Ski Resort?

The Pucon Ski Resort (Ski Pucon) sits on the northern flank of the Villarrica Volcano within the Villarrica National Park. The ski resort is 13km south of the town of Pucon.

The town of Pucon is located in the Araucania Region of Chile, 105km southeast of Temuco and 780km south of Santiago.

Just to make things confusing, there’s not only a volcano and national park called Villarrica, there’s also a town called Villarrica which is about a 30 minute drive west of Pucon on the opposite side of the lake which is called….. you guessed it – Lake Villarrica!


The Pucon airport only has regular flights during summer, so the main gateway airport is the Temuco Airport (Maquehue Airport), which receives flights from Santiago with LAN and Sky Airlines. The flight takes just over an hour and there are about 4 flights a day. By road it’s about 1.5 hours between the Temuco Airport and the town of Pucon.

From there you can get a taxi to the Temuco JAC bus terminal to then get a bus to Pucon, or just get a taxi all the way to Pucon or organise a transfer.

Alternatively it’s possible to rent a car at Temuco Airport to get to Pucon, which will enable more flexibility to get to the volcano and ski area, and other attractions such as the hot springs. 

Driving to Pucon

The 780km drive from Santiago to Pucon only takes about eight hours because cars have a speed limit of 120km/km on the Ruta 5, the main highway running up and down Chile. There are lots of road tolls on Ruta 5 so carry plenty of cash. The road from the highway to Pucon is easy on a very well maintained road.

Bus to Pucon from Santiago

There are buses from Santiago to Pucon with Tur Bus or Jac. Prices range from around 15,000 to 30,000 CLP depending on how comfortable you want your seat.

Driving from Pucon to the Ski Resort

The Pucon Villarrica ski resort is 13km south of Pucon, a drive that takes about 20 minutes. If you’re driving out of Pucon, turn right at the roundabout towards the town of Villarrica, and after about 0.5km you’ll see the left turn to Ski Pucon.

The access road is paved for about half the drive and then it’s gravel with plenty of pot holes. Nevertheless the drive is very easy because the road is reasonably wide and the last part isn’t too steep. It’s a very very easy drive compared to the access roads for the Santiago ski resorts that have scary drop-offs and hair-pin bends!

The car park is often muddy so don’t wear your white ski pants, and you’ll generally only have to walk less than 50 metres to get to the ticket office. Easy!

Otherwise if you don’t have a car and you’re not on an organized tour, taxis are readily available to get up the hill or there’s a regular shuttle that goes from the Gran Hotel Pucón.

Ski Tours

Alternatively Ski Pucon/Villarrica is incorporated in the itinerary of some Chile ski tours so the guides can look after all the transportation requirements – see below.

Getting Around Pucon

The town of Pucon is reasonably small so it’s easy enough just to walk around. However lots of Pucon lodging is a little out of town. If you don’t have a car you can just catch a taxi between town and your accommodation.

Other Ski Resorts Nearby

Las Araucarias Ski Center is located in the same region, 82 km (51 mi) northeast of Temuco at the foot of Llaima Volcano.

A fraction further north is the Corralco Ski Resort, 120km (75 miles) northeast of Temuco.

San Martin de los Andes is across the border in Argentina and 184km to the southeast of Pucon. San Martin de los Andes is the ski town for Cerro Chapelco.