Welcome to La Araucanía
While Chile's Region IX – La Araucanía – may be the nation's poorest in terms of GDP per capita, it's certainly rich in culture and nature, offering a potpourri of impressively gorgeous natural attractions and deep cultural tradition. Peppered with smoldering volcanoes, natural hot springs, postcard-perfect national parks, gushing rivers, tranquil lakes and enchanting forests brimming with wacky araucarias (monkey puzzle trees), it's pure wonderland for the outdoors-inclined, with Pucón as its action-adventure mecca. Culturally, this is Chile's Mapuche stronghold – the country's largest indigenous group has dug its heels into this land for centuries. Today, their food and culture are well-worth seeking out from Temuco to Curarrehue. But it's La Araucanía's quadruplet of national parks and reserves – Parque Nacional Conguillío, Parque Nacional Huerquehue, Parque Nacional Tolhuaca and Reserva Nacional Malalcahuello-Nalcas – that ultimately dominate your Araucanía memories.