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Rainy days can test the spirit of the hardiest traveler, especially when a locale is best known for outdoor adventures.

Located in the northern end of the Chilean Lake District, the area around Volc谩n Villarrica and the lake by the same name traditionally take until mid summer (in this case February) to warm up and dry out. Rain or shine, Puc贸n and Villarrica are both popular travel and holiday hubs, each offering its own twist on tourism. Puc贸n is upscale with high end gear stores, snazzy boutiques, cute caf茅s and plenty of condos and high-end hotels. Twenty minutes away, Villarica is a slightly less glamorous version of its high-heeled neighbor, with cheaper, more basic accommodation.

If it鈥檚 pouring when you visit, don鈥檛 despair: both towns offer five perfect things to do in the rain: head to the hot springs, visit the Mapuche Museum in Puc贸n, enjoy a k眉chen or the local version of cheesecake, take a horseback riding lesson indoors, or visit a wildlife refuge.

Where there are (active) volcanoes there are bound to be hot springs. The area around Villarica is no exception. A soak in the springs is a perfect antidote to drizzle.

After a dip in the restorative waters, there are numerous opportunities to sample German and Swiss cakes and other pastries. A snack of k眉chen and hot chocolate or coffee is bound to hit the spot. Most proprietors welcome lingerers, whether they are a family with feisty kids or a solo traveler who wishes to catch up on postcards or dive into a good book.

Both Puc贸n and Villarica have museums dedicated to Mapuche culture, who call this part of southern Chile home. The museum in Villarica is located above the town鈥檚 library and adjacent to a group of kiosks featuring Mapuche crafts and a replica of a ruca or traditional Mapuche house. Puc贸n鈥檚 brand new museum, although small, packs quite a punch per square foot. Ornate silver work adorns the entry. A wall of masks demonstrates the range of Mapuche imagination. Beautiful textiles, ceramics and musical instruments fill, but do not crowd the glass cases.

Taking advantage of two other rainy day highlights requires you to make the acquaintance of Dagmar and Ralf Gamper, the proprietors of Parque Natural Dos Rios. Their property is located outside of Villarica in the opposite direction of Puc贸n. In addition to the trails, zip lines, and rafting, Dos Rios offers trips to temperate rainforest, fly fishing, a cup of red wine in the evening and fully equipped cabins. Rain or shine, Dagmar offers world class riding lessons in a fully outfitted indoor riding hall (some guests come from Europe, the U.S. and South Africa to study with her for months).

To visit the private wildlife rescue center, you will need Dagmar鈥檚 introduction. Another perfect rainy day activity, the wildlife center鈥檚 owner shows a darker side to adventure travel. This is the world where exotic animals have been captured and often harmed. One really wonders what someone was thinking when they tried to turn a puma or mountain lion into a house cat.

Back at Dos Rios, Dagmar promises kids (and any interested adults) enchanted forest walks and the run of the farm animals, from rabbits to llamas. On overcast days, both make pacts with the weather gods and promise the clouds will lift. And sure enough they do, revealing a postcard-perfect view of the volcano, a fitting backdrop for the enchanted forest.

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