From the moment I saw the Pinterest post on Montana Magica Lodge in Huilo Huilo, I was enamored with this place, but never in a million years did I think I'd get a chance to visit this "Hobbit House."
But when we landed in Chile, we booked a couple of nights at this magical resort nestled in a biological reserve, hoping it would live up to the hype. We had already had a fantastic time on our road trip, starting with Pucon visiting the Salto del Claro waterfalls, but didn't know much about Huilo Huilo or its importance in Chile.
READ NEXT: Road Trip Part 1: Southern Chile
The drive to Huilo Huilo was an early indicator that we were entering a beautiful part of the country. The weather was absolutely perfect, and the pastoral scenery outside our window was reminiscent of parts of Europe.
After a few hours, we arrived at the destination I had been waiting for: Huilo Huilo Montana Magica. The hotel isn't visible from the highway itself since the entire resort is tucked away into the reserve, almost as if it's been carved out of nature.
I hurriedly checked in and ran over to get our bags so we could finally enter our beautiful room! And from there, I went snap happy. Here are some beautiful photos from our experience at Montana Magica.
We took an unhurried approach to exploring the reservation. We meandered through the colorful woods which were beginning to show signs of autumn. This time again, we found a couple of canine companions to help commemorate our second adventure through Huilo Huilo.
We took measured steps through the senderos (trails), ducking under the trees to find hidden signs of life everywhere you looked. We saw mushrooms of every variety, growing along the wooden bridges leading us to the water.
We even found our favorite fruit, the murta, popular among the Mapuche indigenous people of Chile, and only found in the South. It's incredibly sweet when ripe, and it's common to make jam out of it. We found it at a few specialty stores here in Santiago, and they're increible!
IMPORTANT TIP! If you find yourself in this part of Chile, make sure you don’t forget to buy a bottle of murta jam - it’s delicious, but almost impossible to find in Santiago. They’re usually homemade and the best souvenir to take home with you.
We also got the chance to take a 3-hour guided tour with Felipe, one of the tour guides in the lodge who knew almost everything about the forest. Through our curiosity, broken Spanish and lots of sign language, we picked up on a lot of the terms for the local fauna and flora, including Chile's national flower, the Copihue.
And I walked on my first suspension bridge! Que rico!
UPDATE: The people you see in the photo above also took the tour with us, so we spent a lovely 2 hour afternoon with them, but never saw them again. Cut to 5 months later in Santiago, we ended up running into this guy at a rooftop bar in the city! Shows you what a small world Santiago can be.
I can probably write an entire book about our time in Huilo Huilo. If you get a chance to go, definitely do it. There's so much to see that we didn't have time for, so rent a car and get yourselves to el sur.