About a two-and-a-half hour drive from Santiago (or 90 minutes by helicopter), Puma Lodge is located in the Andean foothills near the Argentine border. The lodge is part of the Chilean-owned Noi hotel group, which also has properties in Patagonia, Atacama, Santiago, Easter Island, Chiloé Island, and Robinson Crusoe Island. Opened in 2011, Puma Lodge has a ski chalet feel, with wooden interiors and a large fireplace in the middle of the bar and lounge area. The 24 rooms are all the same category, and the design is simple and comfortable with touches such as colorful throws and local artwork.
Many guests choose Puma Lodge for the heli-skiing, but there’s plenty on offer year-round and for the less intrepid traveler. Activities include hiking, horseback riding, or heading out for a picnic lunch by the river. There’s also an on-site spa, yoga studio, and wine cave. Outdoor hot tubs are great after skiing, and a swimming pool is a draw in the summer months.
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Nestled between the Argentine border and Río los Cipreses National Park, Puma Lodge is surrounded by woodland, lakes, wildlife, and the Andean foothills. In the winter the view is painted white with snow, and in the summer months the snow melts and makes way for colorful flowers. It is rare to see a puma in these parts, but they are around, so animal lovers should keep their eyes open. Puma Lodge is a rural hotel, ideal for those wanting to spend the days in the elements and evenings soaking in a hot tub and enjoying traditional Chilean food.
Need to Know
Rooms: 24 bedrooms, from $418. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: The Puma Lodge restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The menu includes international food with a Chilean twist featuring local ingredients such as the spice merkén and the South American grain quinoa. There is also a wine cave with a large selection of Chilean wines, and an outdoor barbecue where the house specialty, lamb, is prepared. Spa and gym details: Although the Andes are just outside the door, Puma Lodge has a fitness room open from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. The spa has saunas and steam rooms, a yoga studio, plus an outdoor swimming pool and three alfresco hot tubs. Treatments range from deep tissue massages to exfoliations and an incredible four-hand massage.
Who's it for: Adventurous travelers who don’t want to compromise on comfort. Great for families, groups, and couples. Our favorite rooms: All 24 rooms are the same standard, but for the best views opt for a room on the second floor. From the heights:Puma Lodge is known for heli-skiing, and adrenaline junkies can sign up for either three-day or seven-day skiing trips.