Travel Type: Culture
Duration: 2 Days
Budi Lake is located 80 km west of Temuco, near the ocean, and is the only saltwater lake in Chile – the result, possibly, of an underground connection with the sea. In the vicinity of Budi Lake live Mapuches of the Lafkenche tribe, comprising about 80% of the local population. The Mapuche culture in this area is visible and very much alive, offering tourists an interesting and stimulating travel experience.
- Tour Description
The tour begins with a drive from Temuco to Puerto Dominguez, where you will se wooden sculptures over 4m/13ft high, made by a local Mapuche sculptor. Afterwards, you will stop at the southern end of Lake Budi, at the village of Llaguepulli, and eat traditional Mapuche dishes with locally grown ingredients, at a small restaurant with views onto the lake. After lunch, you will be received at the village ruca (traditional round house), and given an introduction to the native culture and world view. The interesting Mapuche musical instruments, as well as domestic tools, are also included in the presentation.
Afterwards, the tour continues to reach the village (medicinal) herb garden, where you will be given an instructive talk on the Mapuche’s medicinal plants and traditional healing methods. The talk is followed by an invitation to participate in traditional Mapuche games, such as palin, füw, aukantun y aguar küzen. No doubt your local opponents will be more skilful, but all are guaranteed to have fun!
After supper, you will stay the night with ‘your’ Mapuche family, and sleep in a comfortable holiday home. If you wish, you can also sleep in a traditional ruca – except that you are provided with a comfortable bed and a bathroom right outside. This unique experience is sure to linger in your memory for a very long time.
Day 2: Lake Budi
After breakfast, you are invited to witness the local artists’ work. There are several projects where the women are being encouraged to continue traditional weaving methods, as well as to teach the younger generation, in order to preserve these valuable cultural techniques and save them from extinction.
Afterwards, you bid farewell to the villagers before continuing your journey along the western shore of the lake. Lunch is with probably the best cook in the region: Sra. Huenten. She is regularly invited to Temuco and Santiago to demonstrate her traditional dishes.
There are several islands on Lake Budi. A small boat takes you one of these islands, where you will meet a resident Mapuche family, who will share their tales of island life with you. In the evening you will return to Temuco.