The Mapuche – Pewenches Indians inhabited the region for centuries. Their language, the Mapudungun, is the source of the names of many places in Araucanía.
If you wish to explore the surrounding mountain villages:
The name comes from two Mapuche words – “cura” and “cahuín”– which mean “reunion rock”. The municipality has a population of 16.417 inhabitants, a beautiful town square, and a main street with shops and supermarkets.
This little mountain village is situated at 972m altitude at the beginnings of the Araucanía Andina mountain range. Its name comes from the Mapudungun language and means court of horses. The unostentatious village has several bric-a-brac shops and stores for food supplies. The central square includes a play area for children and an old railway station that has been converted into a library. A enjoyable walk or bicycling can be had by following the bike path that takes you to the village of Manzanar. In this village, don’t leave without trying the “amasado” bread made by women…when still warm and just out of the oven it is a special treat!
In the Mapudungun language Icalma means “mirror of water”. The lake is located deep within the mountain range; it is perfect for swimming and relaxing in the calm water. In the early morning it is covered in mist; magic and serenity can be felt near the lake. There is a large Pehuenche population. From here you can travel across to Argentina and to the village of Pehuenía that is only 11 kilometres away.
Is the doorway to the Araucanía Andina, with a population of approximately 33000 inhabitants. In 1881, the town was once very poor, being a collection of a few dwellings and streets. The shops that became established were mainly to serve the Spanish fort.
As a border town, it grew with the arrival of colonial families, above all from Switzerland, Germany, France, Palestine and Spain. The Germans coming from Valdivia built a windmill and a brewery on the banks of the river Traiguén.
Victoria has a full range of amenities. The Armas square, is the meeting point for locals and tourists during the summer.
In all of the towns you can find beautiful arts and crafts that are typical of the region. You will note the greens and light blues of the old buildings that show the marks of time in their weather-beaten wooden walls…curious point
Visiting Victoria and Curacautín is like travelling back in time as certain shops still show a décor unchanged since the 80s. In Curacautín visit the timeless black and white hardware store. Discover the fabrics from the 70s and 80s in the Rosado store, and the enamelled pottery scattered all over the town, including plates, salad bowls and pans. The central square is peaceful – an oasis of calm – through which you can wander, breath the wonderful air, and match the rhythm of the locals by watching the large variety of birds.