Pucón is a small town with the hip artsy sort of feel that you might find in a large city neighborhood, or college/ resort town back in the States. It claims a registered population of only 15,000 inhabitants, but that is said to possibly triple in the summer time. The surrounding area is fields, forests, lakes and a few inspiring waterfalls.
The on-season population consists of well-heeled Santiagians headed for the cool of the countryside, Aussies and Europeans enjoying their vacation time. There are North Americans out escaping the winter snow and weekenders from nearby Temuco. Everybody kicks back enjoying lakeside sunning, swimming and water sports. The area caters to eco friendly nature lovers as well as tourists and vacationers looking to pamper themselves a bit.
For the outdoors people, here and in the surrounding areas you will find hot spring spas, rafting expeditions, horse riding tours and fly-fishing packages. There are plenty of food choices (over 30 shops and restaurants) including tea coffee shops, steak houses, vegetarian fare, fish, Italian, Arabian, a couple of sushi bars, and several pizza houses. There are restaurants of other stripes as well as a few ice cream and pastry shops.
This area is mainly a country town, with farming, small business and eco-tourism as the financial mainstay. A number of Chileans as well as foreigners keep summer or second homes in the area. So the presence of these varieties mix to create a rather charming country town life flavored by a low-key air of gentrification. This helps to bring a certain air of learnedness and international flavor to the town.