HUILO HUILO BIOLOGICAL RESERVE: Volcanoes, Waterfalls and Towering Rainforests, Chile’s Lake District, Part 2

Huilo Huilo, Chile: On the deck at the top of the teleferico (aerial tramway) facing the volcano
On our second morning at Huilo Huilo we slept in again (getting used to the time change–five hours earlier than California), but got up in time to have breakfast and be at the stables for a horseback ride at 11:00.
During our horseback ride all the horses much preferred eating the daisies!
It was a warm spring day and flowers were everywhere. We rode through a field of daisies, lupins, Queen Anne's Lace, and wild roses, and then into a forest, before looping back through the flower field to the stables.

Before our ride we had taken a short walk to Salto Huilo Huilo, a magnificent waterfall located nearby.
Salto Huilo Huilo gives the reserve its name. In Mapudungan, the language of the Mapuche, Huilo Huilo means "deep crack" or "deep fissure"
The Spanish word for waterfall, salto, is from the verb saltar, to jump, and the masses of water were truly jumping over the brink to the river below, showing the power of nature in full force.
The tunnel provides access to the Salto de Puma falls through the thick foliage at the water's edge.
After lunch at a restaurant in Neltume (I had a churrasco sandwich–meat and avocado in a large roll) we drove to the trail head for another waterfall, the Salto de Puma, a longer walk ending in a path through a tunnel made of dried bamboo.
Salto de Puma. Although pumas, or cougars, are known to live in the reserve, they are rarely seen.
At the end of the tunnel is a dramatic opening to a platform in front of the falls, which thunders into the pool below..
View of the town of Neltume from the top of the teleferico. Neltume gets its name from two Mapudungun words meaning “To go to freedom” (Neltún: let free, Men: to go there).
We then returned to the hotel for a short rest before going to the cable car (teleferico) station near the museum for a ride to the top of the mountain. For dinner we had pizza in the cafe at the Petermann Brewery across the road from the hotel--where one can also see the vats where the beer is brewed.
The path to the waterfalls goes through a cave formed by a lava tube.
On our last morning, after another sumptuous buffet breakfast at the hotel, we checked out and headed back to Temuco, stopping along the way for one last walk–this time to a lava tube cave and then to another waterfall.
Rapids below the waterfall
The path was marked as a circular trail and ended up being much longer than we expected, descending to the river level to see the waterfall, then hiking back up to the entrance past an electricity generating station.
And then it was time to get back in the car for our ride back to Temuco and our flight to Santiago.Our three days in Huilo Huilo had been full of activities enhanced by perfect weather--warm but not hot and clear blue skies. We wished we could have stayed longer but it was time to go celebrate Christmas with family. It was the perfect beginning to our third trip to Chile.
Adventurous hikers could follow the path behind the waterfall, but risked getting wet!
For a report of our previous trip to Chile, in December 2009, when we went to the far north and visited the Atacama Desert, click HERE for Part 1, and HERE for Part 2. 

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