Vira Vira Hacienda Hotel sits just outside the German-influenced town of Pucón. Surrounded by a rushing river and the impressive Volcano Villarrica, it was opened by a Swiss couple, Michael and Claudia Paravicini, in October 2014, and it is the only high-end hotel in the area to offer all-inclusive stays, with excursions alongside the hotel’s own team of guides.
The bedrooms are decorated with local touches, such as handwoven throws. There are four different room options: suites in the main hotel; riverside villas with their own outdoor Jacuzzis; hacienda suites in the family house; or the 195-square-meter "Ruca" suite, which stands apart from the rest in a woody glade.
Days are spent exploring the region’s volcanoes, waterfalls, lakes, thermal pools, and rivers. In the summer, activities include kayaking, hiking, biking, horseback riding, and fly-fishing. In the winter, guests can ski on a husky-pulled sled ride. There is also much to explore within the hotel grounds, which are home to an array of animals including dairy cows, chickens, and ponies. Plus, four wooden hot tubs offer a soothing soak either by day or under the stars.
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Pucón is located in Chile’s Araucanía region, named after the monkey puzzle trees for which it is famous. Founded in 1883, Pucón is a picturesque town with wooden chalet-style buildings constructed by German settlers who arrived in Central Chile in the 19th century. The German influence also means some very good baked goods—the town has a large range of cafés serving delicious kuchen, a German cake. The streets are lined with adventure shops, since people flock to Pucón for the scenery, the challenge of climbing Volcano Villarrica, or whitewater rafting. The more leisurely-inclined head to the thermal pools. The nearest airport is Temuco, about 60 miles away.
Need to Know
Rooms: 21 bedrooms. From $1,475 per person for three nights. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: midday. Dining options: The restaurant is in the main hotel overlooking the lagoon. In warmer months, tables are also spread on the deck outside. The chef uses ingredients from the hacienda where possible. Right at his doorstep, he gets produce from a plentiful vegetable garden. Cheese and meat are produced on-site, and chickens provide delicious free-range eggs. Spa and gym details:There is no spa or gym, just the great outdoors waiting to be hiked, cycled, kayaked, and biked.
Who's it for: Vira Vira is ideal for families, couples, or larger groups wanting to experience the great outdoors without cutting corners when it comes to comfort. Our favorite rooms: The riverside villa suites overlook the river and have charming wood-burning stoves. Pack layers: The weather is changeable, and you will likely experience both rain and shine.