Dominating the skyline south of Pucón , 2,847-meter Volcán Villarrica ’s glowing crater is a constant reminder that what Spanish conquistador poet Alonso de Ercilla called its “great neighbor volcano” could, at any moment, obliterate the town in a cataclysm of volcanic bombs, or bury it beneath a cloud of ash or a mudflow triggered by lava and melting snow. Closely monitored and occasionally closed to climbers, its summit remains one of the area’s most popular excursions.
More than just the volcano, Parque Nacional Villarrica comprises 63,000 hectares of mostly forested Andean cordillera that stretches from Pucón  to the 3,746-meter summit of Volcán Lanín, most of which lies within Argentina’s Parque Nacional Lanín (would-be climbers must cross the border to the Argentine side).
In Sector Quetrupillán  on the park’s southern boundary, on the steep, narrow road between Termas de Palguín  and Coñaripe , Conaf’s Camping Chinay (US$9 for up to five persons) lies in the midst of an araucaria forest.
At the ski area, rebuilt after a fire in early 2001, the Refugio Villarrica serves cafeteria meals, but skiers stay in Pucón .
On the road to the ski area, eight kilometers from Pucón , Conaf’s Guardería Rucapillán is the best source for information; rangers collect a US$2 per person admission charge (US$0.60 for children) here. There are ranger stations at Sector Quetrupillán and Sector Puesco.
Transportation is limited except for organized tours. To Sector Rucapillán, only a few kilometers south of Pucón , taxis are the only nontour option.