Temuco is a commercial center for Southern Chile.
Temuco is a relatively new city, located in territory that was under the control of the Mapuche people for a long time. Their culture, crafts and way of life are still very visible in and around the city.
The Mapuche culture is one of the most interesting things to experience in this area: you can either go to "rukas" ( traditionnal house of Mapuche people), get to talk with them, discover the crafts...
The city is mostly laid out in a grid pattern, with Avenida Caupolicán, the main artery for vehicles heading north or south, laid diagonally across the grid.
The centre, located to the south east of this road, is home to the cathedral, main squares, markets and department stores.
The Avenida Alemania, a more modern development, stretches west the other side of Avenida Caupolicán. On this street are a host of bars, restaurants, universities, a very popular shopping centre and the glitzy casino. The city as a whole is bounded by the river to the south and east, and the hill Cerro Nielol to the north which is a natural monument that you can climb to have an amazing view of the city.
The main bus station, or Rodoviario (Vicente Pérez Rosales 01609, served by Colectivo 111), is the stopping point for most long-distance buses. It has stalls for food and drinks, and many bus companies have ticket booths.
Local buses, for example to Pucón or Villarica, often run from one of several smaller terminals on Balmaceda (Buses Jac, Igi Llaima and Nar Bus among others), including the Terminal de Buses Rurales (Ánibal Pinto 32, crossing with Balmaceda).
Santiago-Temuco : between 8000 y 15000 pesos (9 hours - overnight buses are advised)
Valdivia-Temuco : 3000 pesos
Pucon-Temuco: 3000 pesos
Aeropuerto Maquehue (ZCO) is 3kms. to the south of the city. It is served by airlines such as LAN, Sky, TAM and American Airlines. There is a big problem with cloud cover due to the airport’s location and so a larger airport is under construction 12kms. further south.
There is a rail link to the town of Victoria to the north, but bus services are more frequent and serve more destinations. The station is at Barros Arana 191.
Temuco is positioned on Chile’s main north-south road, the Ruta 5, which forms part of the Pan-American Highway. There is a ring road, but getting in to and out of the city by car is relatively easy. There are also roads heading west, towards Puerto Saavedra on the coast, and east, towards the Andes and some national parks.
To the north the next main city is Los Angeles, to the south Valdivia.
Temuco is small enough to explore on foot if you are used to walking, and most of the places visitors would want to see are close enough to reach in a single day without using public transport. That said public transport is widely available and inexpensive, although it can be very hard for visitors to work out where each vehicle is going. There are three main types:
- Micros – These are small buses which charge a fixed amount per trip, around $450CLP (the amount is usually displayed on the outside, or just ask the driver). There are several lines, each following a set route and denoted by different colours and numbers (although there are ‘variations’ within the lines as well, so it may be best to ask when boarding).
- Colectivos – These look like taxis, generally black with yellow markings, with a triangle sign on the roof with a route number on it. Again, they have a fixed route and a fixed price, and will stop to let people in and out as they go. The price will be marked on the inside right hand side of the windscreen, although it can be better to ask as the spoken price can be cheaper.
- Taxis – Taxis are common, and can be flagged down as normal. A guideline price is $5,000CLP to reach the other side of the city, or about 15 minutes’ worth of driving. The drivers tend not to quote higher prices to foreigners, and all taxis have meters.
- Plaza Ánibal Pinto, Between Claro Solar, Bulnes, Varas and Prat. The Plaza las Armas, or main square. There is a statue in the centre " Monumento a la Araucania" commemorating the different groups who have influenced the area, including the Mapuche. edit
- Cerro Ñielol, Arturo Prat 220 (Entrance at the north end of Arturo Prat). This is a hill which houses a national natural monument protected by law. Here you can climb a pleasant winding paved road and have a glimpse of how the original temperate forest in the region looks like. Many species of native flora and fauna thrive here. At the end of the road you will encounter a couple of viewpoints to enjoy the skyline of the city. You can drive or walk to the top. From here various paths wind around the hill and it is a nice place to visit if the weather is good. There is a restaurant and an environmental information center at the top. edit
A view of Temuco city centre from Cerro Nielol
- Museo Nacional Ferroviario Pablo Neruda (The train museum), Avenida Barros Arana Nº 0565, ☎ +56 45973941, . edit
- Museo Regional Auracania, Av. Alemania 084. Monday to Friday 9:30-17:30, Saturday 11:00-17:00, Sunday and Holidays 11:00-14:00. This is an awesome collection of native artifacts that should not to be missed. This museum preserves the history and heritage of La Araucania and houses more than 3000 exhibits and objects that speak of the evolution of the region, exchanges and ancestral cosmovision... 600CLP. edit
- Ruta del artesano, Padre Las Casas. This is a 5 hours handicraft tour where you will get to meet the artisans in their workplace and discover the traditional mapuche crafts and art as jewelry making, stone carving, weaving and much more! For lunch, you will taste traditional mapuche cuisine. edit
- Entre lluvia y Brotes, Temuco. Cultural event about the story of the mapuches Tren Tren y Cai Cai (,July) edit
- Feria Internacional ( International Fair), Temuco (in September). edit
- We tripantu, Chol Chol-Temuco-Lautaro (From the 21th to the 24th of June). The events celebrates the new year in the mapuche culture: you can participate and see lot of activities, discover the traditions and folklore of this culture. edit
- Noche Imperialina, Imperial (In January). Parade of typical boats on the river of Imperial and fireworks display edit
- La tortilla mas grande del mundo, Chol Chol (In February). Competition of the biggest "tortilla" , with others activities as dance, music and you can taste traditional food as "merken", "pebre".. edit
- Feria Pinto, Miraflores 1512. There is a large outdoor fruit and vegetable market which is well worth a visit located near the old railway station. Watch your belongings in this area but enjoy wandering between the stalls selling dried spices, homemade honey, cheeses and other tasty treats. A typical product from the region easily found here is merken, a spice made of smoked chili and coriander seeds. It has a quite particular taste and it is considered a gourmet product in Europe. edit
- Mercado Municipal, Rodriguez 998 (An entire city block between Rodriguez, Aldunate, Portales and Bulnes). The Mercado Municipal is an indoor market full of stalls selling handmade clothing, jewellery, musical instruments and more. There are also restaurants, fresh meat and fish stalls and general shops in the complex, with more facing the streets around the perimeter of the building. An important part of the building was affected by a recent fire in May 2016 edit
- Portal Temuco (El Mall), Av Alemania 671, ☎ +56 - 45 29 79 00, . Sunday to Thursday 10:00 to 22:00, Friday, Saturday and holidays 10:00 to 21:30. This modern shopping centre is the place to go for branded goods in boutique shops all in one place. The major department stores have a presence here, and there is a cinema and food court for when you need a break from buying the latest fashions. edit
- Wanghen Zomo Agrupacion Mujeres Artesania, Aldunate. A small shop where you can find handicrafts made by mapuche women, and participate at the local economy! edit
- Restaurante Rapa Nui, (on Aldunate near the central market). This local favorite has the best Churrascos and Completos and Chilean "family food" in town. It is always very clean, and service is promt, and the prices always reasonable. Ask any local in Temuco for "Rapa Nui" and they'll get you there.
- Restaurante Las Tranqueras, (in front of the Hotel Dreams). It's expensive but has good food.
- Kokavi, Manuel Rodríguez 1073, ☎ 45951625. Mapuche cuisine, fresh made and cheap ( if you choose the dish of the day, 2000pesos) edit
- Muñecas de Ñielol, Av Caupolicán 1235. This restaurant is know as the best "picada" ( good deal, good price) of Temuco, as the dishes are really cheap and good quality . You can taste here specialities of Chile, from the cazuela ( soup with meat) or asado.. edit
- Zuny tradiciones, Tucapel 1374. 12am to 2pm. edit
- La Caleta, Mercado Municipal. 12am to 3pm. Located in the market of Temuco, this restaurant is specialized in sea-food and offers a large variety of dishes, all full of flavors! edit
- Beermania, Alemania 0120. Beermania is famous for its chorrillana, a heap of chips, sausage, chicken, steak, egg, etc. It goes perfectly with their selection of beers, from cheap litre bottles of lager to smaller craft beers. There are hundreds of quotations pinned to the wall on wooden planks, if you are in need of a conversation starter. edit
- El Farolito, Alemania 0160. El Farolito serves excellent pizzas alongside popular Chilean drinks such as the michelada (lager with lemon juice in a salt-rimmed glass). edit
Avenida Alemania, to the west of Caupolicán, is full of places to go for a drink. From dingy karaoke bars to microbrewery-supplied pubs, there is something for everyone. Noteworthy among them, but by no means excluding the rest are:
- Bisonte, Alemania 01099. Bisonte, which opened early in 2014, is a microbrewery bar, serving a variety of beers in a wild-west theme. There is an interior terrace. edit
- Plan B, Manuel Bulnes. Are you looking for a nice and cheap place to have a drink, run to Plan B . You will discover the famous " pisco" ( local drink), listen some good music and get to meet chileans! edit
- Sanseacabo, Hochstetter 435, ☎ 241010. A bar and restaurant located next to the Avenida Alemania, where you can listen local live music while sipping a fresh-mande mojito or piña colada.. edit
- Cuatro Ebrios, Avenida Alemania. Often crowded, this bar is a meeting point to have a drink , and listen live music ( during the weekend) edit
- Terra del Sur. This hotel is at the end of Bulnes street across the small bridge. It's close to the city center and very comfortable and has a swimming pool, sauna and Turkish bath (Sauna and Turkish bath only for men - though they will let guests of both sex use them after hours). 30,000 pesos or $50 per night.
- Hospedaje Tribu Piren, Arturo Prat 69. Hospedaje located really close to the city center of the city, abou 10 minutes walking to the Plaza de Armas 12000pesos. edit
- Hospedaje Ñielol, Los Angeles 2396. Really nice hostel located at about 4km of the city center. You will be hosted in a family, opend minded and full of advices about what to do in Temuco.. You will feel like home away from home ! The breakfast is included. 16000 pesos. edit
- Hotel Bello, Andrés Bello 1166, . Located at 5 minutes walking from the main square of the city, it is a really good deal and place to stay in the city. 26000pesos ( breakfast included). edit
The tourist information centre, located at the north east corner of the Plaza Ánibal Pinto (Plaza las Armas), is well staffed and full of useful leaflets for things to do around the city and nearby, where to stay and how to continue your journey.
[email protected] - (045)2973116 for more informations
Or you can go to the tourist information located in calle Bulnes, number 590.
You will find there the tourist information of SERNATUR ( National Service of Tourism): they have plenty of leaflets and are well informed about what to do in the city and its surroundings.
[email protected] - (45)2406213
- Pucón - The reason most travellers are in Temuco in the first place is to visit Pucón, a hub for people wanting to explore the beautiful countryside and get involved in an array of outdoor activities.
- Villarrica – Closer than Pucón, and less touristy, Villarrica is more suited to tourists who prefer not to be surrounded by other tourists.
- Conguillío – A stunning national park located about 90kms away. Prices for entry are (as of May 2014) $4,500 for foreign adults ($2,500 for Chileans), $2,500 for children ($1,000 for Chileans), and under 6 free. Ask at Temuco’s tourist information for advice on how to get there.
- Curacautín is a small town one hour and a half from Temuco, from where the Parque Nacional Conguillío can be reached by the northern entrance. Other nature activities are available.