Temuco is a commercial center of 263,000 people (2012) for Southern Chile. Temuco's central place in Araucanía with easy access to the Andean valleys, lakes and coastal areas makes it a hub for tourism, agricultural, livestock and forestry operations, but itself has little to offer the tourist.
Temuco sits in a valley in the center-south of Chile, equidistant between the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Andes to the east.
The city is surrounded by a landscape typical to central-southern Chile, consisting mostly of plantations of exotic species used in forestry along with prairies. Because burning wood is the primary source of heat during the cold months in Temuco, air pollution is a recurrent problem during autumn and winter. Air quality in Temuco is the third lowest in Chile.
Temuco is home to two large universities, and Nobel Poets Gabriela Mistral and Pablo Neruda lived in Temuco for some time.
Temuco is known as "La ciudad del deporte", the city of sports. Temuco hosts one of the biggest stadiums in the country, the "German Becker" stadium; home to the local soccer team "Deportes Temuco".
Temuco is located 675 km from Santiago. The city has an inter-regional bus station called "Rodoviario" and an airport called "Manquehue Airport". It also has an inter-rural bus station near to city center.
The city is connected to the rest of the country by the "Panamericana" or "Ruta 5" highway. From Santiago there are many bus companies that offer different levels of transportation service. Long-haul buses run from the Terminal Rodoviario de la Araucania, at the northern approach to town.
- 1 La Araucanía International Airport (ZCO IATA). This is the fastest and most expensive way to get into Temuco. There are regular flights from Santiago.
Near to city center there is an inter-rural bus station. Temuco is connected with almost every town in the Araucania region and schedules are well known by locals and these are available in the places where you buy tickets.
Buses and collective taxis are the most popular modes of mass transit. The bus fare is 150 pesos for students and 450 pesos for adults; the colectivos charge 500 pesos (650 pesos at night). Regular taxis are also available.
For traveling into the city there are buses called "Micros" and it is highly recommended to carry cash to pay the ticket (especially coins with the exact amount of money that costs the trip).
There are many bike lanes has placed transportation by bicycle as an emerging trend. By 2017, 35 km of bike lanes are expected to be operlanesin the city.
- 1 Pablo Neruda National Railway Museum, Av. Barros Arana 565, between Valparaíso and Bascuñán, ☏ .
- Cerro Ñielol: The Ñielol Hill houses the original temperate forest at this latitude in southern Chile as it was before the Spanish people colonised it. It has also a special meaning for the Mapuche people living in the Region, housing near the top a ceremonial area called La Patagua. We can also find a restaurant at the top of the Hill and a viewpoint of the east side of the city and Padre Las Casas, across the river. It is easily accessed by foot or car. The Southern Andean Volcano Observatory has its office there.
- Feria Pinto: One of the most traditional places in the city. Fresh fruits and vegetables are sold here in a daily basis. People from the city and from rural nearby towns come here for trade.
- Alemania Avenue is the principal artery in Temuco. Here we can find The Araucaria Museum building (19th-century Chilean style); the Menchaca Lira Campus of Art Building (a restored Victorian-style building); The English Alley, where we can find the Red Cross Building and not long ago a blue house which was dismantled to be rebuilt elsewhere (as a Heritage recovery project by the school of architecture of a known University of Temuco), both Neoclassical styled. Recently, Alemania Av. has become an important commercial centre. Several restaurants, night clubs, pubs, bistros, pharmacies, boutiques, banks, supermarkets and two shopping malls have been opened there. There is also a Casino and a five stars hotel in the same avenue.
- Anibal Pinto Square: The core of Downtown Temuco is the Main Square Anibal Pinto. Temuco's Main Square is the only one in Chile that was not built with a water fountain in its centre; an art gallery was built in 1981 as part of a total renewal. Compared to other main squares of southern Chile, Temuco's looks very modern. It was named one of Chile's most beautiful plazas.
- 2 Mercado Modelo (Mercado Municipal), Gral Aldunate 341,corner of Portales. The central market was almost destroyed by a fire in 2016, which left only the facade. It is being rebuilt, and is expected to reopen in 2021.
- 1 Deportes Temuco, Av. Pablo Neruda 1110. The local football (soccer) team and its women's team play at the German Becker stadium.
The town square is nice and the market is good for wooden handicrafts and wool shawls.
There is a temporary site for the Mercado Modelo at Aldunate Street 365 between Rodríguez and Portales.
- Restaurante Rapa Nui, (on Aldunate near the central market). This local favorite has the best Churrascos and Completos and Chilean "family food" in town. It is always very clean, and service is promt, and the prices always reasonable. Ask any local in Temuco for "Rapa Nui" and they'll get you there.
- Restaurante Las Tranqueras, (in front of the Hotel Dreams). It's expensive but has good food.
- Terra del Sur. This hotel is at the end of Bulnes street across the small bridge. It's close to the city center and very comfortable and has a swimming pool, sauna and Turkish bath (sauna and Turkish bath only for men - though they will let guests of both sex use them after hours). 30,000 pesos per night.
- Pucon, from where a wide range of outdoor activities are available.
- Curacautín is a small town one hour and a half from Temuco, from where the Parque Nacional Conguillío can be reached by the northern entrance. Other nature activities are available.