We have almost all our accomodations! I have been emailing with Glen and Bev from Hosteria de la Colina in Villarica. They have been so helpful. We will be staying at 4 nights at La Colina. I explained to them that we will be arriving later in the day because we will be driving from Puerto Montt after arriving at 1pm. They sent driving information. This includes information on a scenic backroad to take and information regarding the tolls on Ruta 5. They have also included information on places to see in Puerto Montt. I am looking forward to our stay.
We also have reserved one night at The Guest House in Puerto Varas for the night before we leave for Patagonia. It is run by Vicki Johnson. Puerto Varas has been recommended as a nicer place to stay than Puerto Montt. Puerto Varas is not far from Puerto Montt so it should be easy to make a 9:45 am flight.
I have been reading about the Villarica area. There are several National parks to visit. Parque Nacional Conguillio sounds like it has great hikes. Closer to Villarica is Parque Nacional Huerquehue. Glen and Bev at La Colina can recommend places to hike so we will get some input from them. We may also spent a day in Valdivia which has a great botanical garden. I am also going to email for some information from one of the guide services for climbing Villarica.
The high season for the area starts around December 15th. We will be there before the high season so some of the services may be closed but it sounds like we will miss the crowds. We hope the weather will not be too bad. It should be similar to the Pacific Northwest in early June. That is pretty unpredictable and can be cold. We're preparing for the worst so we can be surprised.
Next, a night in Arica; the last hotel to arrange and then reserving our truck rental for El Norte and a car for Los Lagos and La Araucania.