There are worthwhile excursions in all directions, but most visitors focus on the Andes to the east. Temuco’s Multitour (Bulnes 307, Oficina 203, tel. 045/237913) has English-speaking guides and a good track record for excursions in and around Temuco—primarily toward the Andean national parks and reserves, but also to westerly Mapuche villages.
In town, Temuco’s focal point is the lushly landscaped Plaza de Armas Aníbal Pinto, whose showpiece is the massive Homenaje a la Región de la Araucanía, a sculpture representing a Mapuche machi (female healer), the euphemistically titled Soldado de la Pacificación (Soldier of the Pacification), a Colono (Early Colonist), the conquistador and epic poet Alonso de Ercilla, and the Mapuche toqui (leader) Kallfulifán. The bandshell gallery hosts rotating cultural exhibits.
Most other landmarks are scattered, such as the gingerbread-style Iglesia Anglicana Santa Trinidad (Vicuña Mackenna and Lautaro), the century-old Anglican church, as well as several museums and markets.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Chile, 2nd edition