Río Liucura Valley

Lonely Planet review

This richly verdant valley offers myriad termas (hot springs), El Cañi nature sanctuary and views of the silver-ribbon Río Liucura. El Cañi is proof that citizens can affect conservation of old-growth forests. When logging threatened the area in 1991, Fundación Lahuen purchased land to develop a park for education and to protect 400 hectares (988 acres) of araucaria forest.

A hiking trail (9km (5.5mi); 3hr) ascends the steep terrain - the first 3km (1.8mi) is very steep - of lenga and araucaria to arrive at Laguna Negra.

On clear days, the lookout - another 40 minutes - allows for spectacular views of the area's volcanoes. In summer, when the trail is easier to find, all hikers must go with a guide. An alternative route, which detours the steepest part, starts along the road to Cailaco; a guide is required.