Towards Lonquimay through Pino Hachado

Lonquimay and Manzanar hot springs in Chile are "the icing on the cake" for a circuit that gets deep into sites of great scenic beauty to both sides of the Andes.

Caviahue is a good starting point to go on a getaway to Chile and pay a visit to the District of Lonquimay: a very picturesque area with plenty of vegetation, usually chosen by those who enjoy outdoor life.

We drove to this destination and crossed the international pass called Pino Hachado to enter the neighboring country. The route features varied scenes and constant altitude changes, but it ensures a pleasant ride.

Once we carried out all the necessary proceedings to enter Chile, we crossed a tunnel known as Centenario, which features a length of 4,500 meters and was built to join commercial areas in both countries. A set of traffic lights controls the circulation of vehicles. It was curious to see other similar -now abandoned- passes on the mountain slope.

As we reached Lonquimay, we were surprised to see a small but well designed settlement. Its streets have been laid out following an elliptical shape. The town has a slow pace and is immersed in a high valley with large green spaces resulting from the humid winds coming from the Pacific and retained by the Andes Mountain Range to the East.

This community has always lived on cattle-raising and afforestation. Tourism began to develop in the last few years as a result of its natural location in a zone of great visual impact.

  • In the middle of nature

    In the middle of nature

  • Amazing panoramic views

    Amazing panoramic views

  • The Lonquimay Volcano

    The Lonquimay Volcano

  • The Araucarias

    The Araucarias

Lonquimay is part of the area known as Araucanía Andina and as a community located on the foothills of the Andes, it is blessed with woods, lakes and rivers that guarantee very interesting tours. Horseback rides, hiking tours, angling and ski are very popular choices among visitors of all ages.

We drove on for a few more kilometers towards Curacautín to find the Manzanar hot springs and visited the venue to see its facilities. There is an imposing hotel which was inaugurated in 1952 and everything a hot spring resort usually offers: outdoor and screened pools, hot tub baths in individual cabins and extra beauty and health services. Its waters are highly recommended to heal rheumatic conditions, skin disorders and stress.

Besides, tours on horseback, on 4WD, hikes and fishing outings may be hired at the venue. Some usual destinations for these tours are the waterfalls known as Princesa, Indio and Malleco, located in zones of lush vegetation and wild charm.

As our ride around this Argentinian-Chilean corridor came to an end, we felt that we needed more time to see the natural beauties around Lonquimay. There are more than enough offers and the warmth of the people is worth a thorough visit.

Autor Mónica Pons Fotografo Gentileza Luciano Muñoz

Bear in mindBear in mind: Go from Caviahue to Loncopué along Provincial Route 26; go on driving along Provincial Route 21 in the direction of Las Lajas. Once there, take National Route 242 up to Pino Hachado International Pass, lying 1,884 meters MSL. The total distance to be covered before reaching Lonquimay is 218 kilometers.

The border is open year round. The necessary proceedings must be carried out at the Customs and Migration offices. As far as open hours are concerned, they change according to season and it is necessary to check with Argentinian or Chilean authorities before setting out.

Location

Activities and tours in Caviahue

Hotels and accommodations in Caviahue

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