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Southern Lake District Holidays

Southern Lake District holidays

Petrohué, Puerto Varas and Alerce Andino National Park

During the second half of the 19th century, the Chilean government - anxious to consolidate the unknown lands in the south - granted land rights to European homesteaders.

In 1852, a boatload of German immigrants arrived on the shores of modern-day Puerto Montt and claimed their territory on the shores of Lago Llanquihue - the second largest lake in Chile. The lake is set against the backdrop of the wonderful cone shaped volcano Osorno and quaint, German-built, villages along the western shores.

Puerto Montt is the capital of the lake district and the gateway to the rest of the region. It is a working port, a major exporter of wood chips, shellfish and salmon and supplies the inhabitants living in the remoter regions of the islands and fjords. From here it is also possible to cruise through the Andes which connect Puerto Montt with Bariloche in Argentina via a series of ferries and short bus trips. Puerto Varas, just 20km from Puerto Montt offers a large variety of excursions and activities related to the natural attractions in the area. Frutillar is built on two levels and offers a great beach, backed by gardens. On the southern shores of Lake Llanquihue, admire the beauty of the Osorno and Calbuco Volcanos, in addition to the spectacular Petrohué Waterfalls.

Vicente Perez Rosales National Park, created in 1926, was Chile’s first and continues to be its most popular. The showcase of the park is the lake Todos los Santos, a landlocked fjord that stretches over 36km. Nearby, Alerce Andino National Park sees relatively few visitors compared to the more famous Vicente Perez. The park offers a number of trails and the opportunity to rent a canoe for a paddle across Lake Sargazo.

Southern Lake District, Chile

Lake Cruises

We recommend two options:

  • For those staying in Puerto Varas, it is possible to take a full day trip via the Petrohue waterfalls to Puella (for lunch at own expense), before returning via Lake Todos dos Santos back to Puerto Varas
  • Alternatively, you can continue from Puella crossing into Argentina and the town of Bariloche. This can either be taken as a one day crossing, or you can stay overnight in Puella


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