The word Temuco comes from the Mapudungun: temu (tree with bitter bark) and co (water) it means: bitter water.
Temuco is the capital of Araucanía, 677 km south of Santiago and the center ofMapuche Culture with many universities and colleges. The Mapuche are the only indigenous people of the Americas who resisted colonization by the Spaniards for a long time and preserved their independence. After Chilean independence, on February 24, 1881, the Fort Temuco was officially founded in order to control the newly incorporated Mapuche regions. Therefore, Temuco is a young city and doesn’t have very old buildings
In the overloaded stalls of the municipal market could be found until 2016 Mapuche handicrafts and souvenirs made in China. Since the Temuco market burned down in April 2016, only the exterior structure of the building remained. Some stalls were moved in front to a tent.
Cierro Ñielol is the green lung of Temuco. In the upper part there is a restaurant and a lookout, with a beautiful view over Temuco and Padre Las Casas. Near the entrance there is a small lagoon. Above, in the place where the ceasefire between Mapuche and Chileans was celebrated, some Chemamuil (wooden people) statues were placed. In this place, Mapuche rituals and celebrations are still celebrated. Also the observatory of the volcanoes of the south of Chile was built on Cerro Ñielol.
If you're hungry and fast food isn’t your style, try one of the many cocinerias at the picturesque Feria Pinto, located near the train station. Unfortunately there are no more direct trains from Santiago to Puerto Montt.
The bus system in Temuco is very efficient. Buses to Cunco and Adela y Helmut depart from 8 a.m. to 8.30 p.m. every 20 minutes.
Most bus terminals are located around Avenida Balmaceda. Each bus company has one or more terminals or leaves from the rural bus terminal. Interregional buses depart from the terminal Rodoviario Temuco, a few kilometers from the center to the north.
Each week there are 2 animal-auctions, where up to 2000 animals per day are sold. Following the auctioneer’s communication with buyers and sellers is a unique experience. It’s almost impossible to understand the gestures and expressions of the auctioneers. Unload takes place between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. The loading of the trucks starts after the auction between 19 and 23 hours. The animal auctions are on Mondays (Feria Bernedo) and Tuesdays (Feria La Araucanía). We gladly explain to our visitors how to get to the auction sites.
Most of the important services, the regional museum, with a few Mapuche pieces on display and the casino games are in the expanded center. The Museo Pablo Neruda is a railway museum, named after the poet and bearer of the Nobel price of Chilean literature. It is located in a renovated engine room shed. You can visit locomotives of different types and wagons, such as the presidential wagon, with bedroom and living room, which was used until a few decades ago for the transport of the sovereign.The museum is located in the northeast of Temuco on Avenida Barros Arana 565 about a kilometer from the train station.
Sometimes it is difficult for foreigners, to understand the city's public transportation system. We gladly explain to our visitors, where and how to find the different places of interest.
If you prefer to explore Temuco in your own car and use a navigation system, you must take into account: sometimes senses of traffic that change without prior notice and constructions with unmarked detours.
As the population of Temuco regularly suffers from some of the worst smog in Chile, it is forbidden to use fire-wood in the town-center and alternating in the surrounding areas and Padre Las Casas. Especially in winter it is necessary to prepare yourself with thick clothes, also in some hotels, because central heating with gas or oil is rather the exception.
In Chile, the registration-law often is not respected. There are many illegal immigrants and scholars who stay around their educational establishment. For these reasons the population of Temuco and Padre Las Casas varies between 300,000 and especially the working days up to 600,000 inhabitants. You must beware of thieves in large accumulations of people, in the center, at events and after sunset. The cloning of cards in ATMs and some businesses is becoming more common every day. Traffic collapses regularly, especially at peak times there are traffic-jams. This also delays transportation to the airport from time to time. Many visitors and business travelers now avoid those problems and spend the night outside the city.
The airport „La Araucanía“ was built about 3 km from the Panamericana/route 5, near Freire, just in front of Quepe. It’s operating since July 2014. From there LATAM, Sky and JetSmart airlines with connections to Puerto Montt and Santiago take off and land daily. It is about 25 km or 45 minutes to Temuco. Adela and Helmut are less than 50 km in ¾ hour and without traffic-jams and traffic-lights.
The Deutsche Schule Temuco pretends to be an innovative educational center and tries to transmit an education based on values to its students. They can learn Spanish, English and German. German has been eliminated as a universal teaching language.
The Clínica Alemana is an important private clinic in Chile. The Temuco branch is at Senador Estébanez 645. Modern technology for diagnosis and treatment for many specialties is at a high level, but has its price. In the regional hospital you can receive the same care with the same doctors at more affordable prices.