Dating from 1882, when the Chilean military established Fuerte Ultra Cautín on Pehuenche territory on the banks of the Río Cautín, the midsized town of Curacautín (population 12,812) is now the northern access point to Parque Nacional Conguillío  and the gateway to the upper Cautín and upper Biobío. It is 87 kilometers northeast of Temuco  via Lautaro or 119 kilometers via the Panamericana and Victoria.
Facing the highway at the west end of town, homey Hostal Rayén (Manuel Rodríguez 104, tel. 045/881804, US$11–17 pp with breakfast) has rooms with either shared or private bath. There are few places to eat, the best of which is probably the Hotel Central’s La Cabaña (Yungay 157, tel. 045/881256), opposite the plaza. Café Vizzio’s (Serrano 248, tel. 045/881653) has good sandwiches, desserts, and coffee.
Curacautín’s Terminal Rodoviario (Manuel Rodríguez s/n) is just north of the Plaza de Armas and directly on the Lonquimay  highway. Tur-Bus (Serrano 101, tel. 045/882542) has direct Santiago service.
Flota Erbuc has five buses daily to and from Temuco  (US$3) via Victoria and four via Lautaro; there are five to Lonquimay . Erbuc goes to Captrén, the entrance to Parque Nacional Conguillío  (US$1.50), Monday and Friday at 6 a.m. and 5 p.m.; it’s also possible to hire a cab to Conguillío.
Igi Llaima and Nar-Bus pass through town daily en route to Zapala and Neuquén, Argentina, but make reservations in Temuco  to be sure of a seat.