Rivers, lakes and volcanos: come to the fascinating South of Chile
By: Chile Travel | Date: 28 May, 2019 | In: Adventure , Culture , Nature ,
The Chilean territory has a great diversity of surfaces, colors and amazing landscapes that charm all its visitors. However, one of its areas is particularly impressive: the South of Chile. Without a doubt, its numerous lakes, rivers, canals, islands and volcanos, set in the green background of its forests, will surprise you.
A vast area of territory belongs to the several National Parks in the macro-zone of Southern Chile, with lakes, volcanos and a great variety of attractions. Come end discover its magic- filled corners, get to know the native cultures, and try the exquisite traditional dishes. Experience extreme and dazzling activities in the sublime landscapes of the South of Chile.
Escape and let the magic of the South take you the following places:
PUYEHUE, AMONG RIVERS, LAKES AND THERMAL WATERS
If you’re seeking unique places in nature, to breath fresh air in 800-year-old forests, enjoy ski resorts, explore trails, participate in aquatic sports, horse back riding, or just relax in thermal waters, Puyehue is the ultimate destination for all this and more.
About 93 kms. east of Osorno, one finds the city of Puyehue, a jewel in the South of Chile, known for the natural beauty that surrounds it, as well as for its recreation, culture and gastronomy.
The most extensive National Park in the sector is Puyehue, a Santuary of Nature that is divided in three principal areas: Thermal Waters, Anticura and Antillanca.
Each area offers special activities defined by their landscape and natural setting. Aguas Calientes has natural thermal waters that reach 45ºC. Don’t miss a day on the banks of Río Chanleufú, an incredible place with waterfalls, viewpoints and forests whose trails have interpretative signs identifying the flora.
You will be impressed by the lavish volcanoes and lakes such as Rupanco and Puyehue, rivers like Las Gaviotas and canals like Gol Gol. You’ll fall in love with the places where eco and agro tourism are currently booming, thanks to the activities inherited from the native Mapuches who still live in the area.
DISCOVER THE LEGENDS OF SAN JUAN DE LA COSTA
If you’re looking for new places, visiting the mostly unknown town of San Juan de la Costa, will meet all your expectations with its natural areas full of rivers and beaches.
Founded by the Huilliche tribe, we continue to enjoy their culture which permeates the area and even share with members of the native people. Additionally, you can enjoy beautiful beaches, the charm of coastal areas and the diverse water sports available such as wind surfing and standup paddle.
Mansa Bay is the best known place in the area since it receives ships of all types, and places like Pucatrihue and Maicolpué have beaches and beach towns that dazzle visitors especially for the tranquility and charisma of its people.
If you’re lucky enough to go to San Juan de la Costa in February, you can celebrate the Festival de Pueblos Originarios de América Latina (Native Latin American People’s Festival), where you can enjoy the traditions and gastronomy of the different cultures, and see the enormous wooden statues representing each heroic Mapuche leader known as lonkos.
RURAL TOURISM IN RÍO NEGRO
Continuing on the road to the south of Chile, we recommend that you not loose the opportunity to see a place that provides one with a unique cultural experience among trees thousands of years old.
Río Negro, 36 kms from Osorno, is a particularly special place due to its folk festivals, rural, agro and ecotourism.
Baptized by the Huilliche people as “Curileufu”, which means “Río Negro”, this mountainous area is outstanding for the abundance of ancient trees such as the Alerce, Mañío, Laurel and Coigüe, among other typical varieties in this singular Valdivian Rainforest.
Here one can also enjoy diverse activities such as horse back riding, trekking, cycling, fly fishing, outdoor activities and above all, try the exquisite typical dishes. One must not leave without trying Lamb roasted on the spit, Sopaipillas (a pastry made of squash), served with abundant spicy sauce known as pebre (madre with onions, tomatoes, parsley, and hot peppers). Don’t miss a Mapuche drink called Muday, made from fermented wheat.
What better way to get to know the rich history and culture of a place than by indulging in its typical gastronomy? Here, the Huilliche people are eager to share their ancestral traditions, their relation with the Earth, the country side and their rituals.
FABULOUS LLANQUIHUE LAKE AND THE ICONIC OSORNO VOLCANO
Continuing on the journey to the south of Chile, we come upon the fabulous Llanquihue Lake, the second biggest in the country representing a world of surrounding attractions. Volcanoes, forests, colonial cities, tradition and National Parks will make your visit unforgettable.
The most beautiful pictures are taken at the foot -or at the top- of the iconic Osorno Volcano. Its cone, with its permanent snowed cover looks like a beautiful painting, and is at the entrance of the sublime Chilean Patagonia, and stands at attention in front of the enormous Lake Llanquihue.
Scenic and visible from a distance of hundreds of kilometers, this dormant volcano offers multiple possibilities for those who love adventure. Trekking, climbing or ascent on mountain bike, take a look at the craters at the top is a real challenge for those who seek outdoor experiences.
Los Saltos de Petrohué, a body of waterfalls, is one of the most spectacular places in the south of Chile, which lies at the heart of this region. The precious waterfalls that meander through ancient rock formations can be seen from gateways and surrounding viewpoints that allow one to observe how the Petrohué River runs among enormous masses of crystalized lava from the Osorno Volcano, resulting in a unique spectacle.
All around Lake Llanquihue, you will find picturesque traditional German villages that offer diverse tourist services, excursions and prime gastronomy. Frutillar, Ensenada, Puerto Octay and Puerto Fonk are ideal places due to their surprising patrimonial architecture, a wide variety of sweets and pastries that are the perfect companion for a good cup of coffee.
And talking about sheer beauty, Puerto Varas is one of the most photographic cities in Chile. It is the biggest city bordering Lake Llanquihue. Just like the other towns, its touches of German elegance with the volcano in the background, makes it picture perfect. A Must-Have for your Instagram!
MAGIC AND LEGEND IN THE ARCHIPIELAGO OF CHILOÉ
Puerto Montt is 27 kms south of Puerto Varas and where one departs of the ferry to the Canal de Chacao headed towards the Isla Grande de Chiloé, and its dozens of surrounding islands and islets.
At this famous archipelago, islands, canals, myth and legends are interwoven. In addition to its picturesque architecture and exquisite gastronomy, stories like the Trauco (a creature similar to an ogre that roams through the forest) or the Caleuche (a ghost ship that appears and disappears at sea) are part of the fascinating tradition and cultural of the island.
Once you step into this place, you feel like you’ve entered a magic environment, where the tranquil lifestyle of its inhabitants are mixed with a singular natural space. This is further emphasized by its unique architecture characterized by colorful, wooden churches that were declared Patrimony for Humanity by UNESCO.
The towns of the large island that must be explored during your visit include Ancúd, Quellón and the capital, Castro. In Castro, you be able to capture the most representative of the island in the south of Chile, thanks to the colorful, wooden houses elevated on stilts built over the sea.
Ah, lets not forget the food! And here it’s best represented by the traditional Curanto, a dish prepared with meat and seafood cooked in the ground with hot rocks. The result is the original and incomparable taste of Chiloé… a delight for every palette.
As concerns nature, its orchards painted in different tones of green and vibrant colors leave no one indifferent. In addition In addition to the beautiful nature trails, the island offers a variety of outdoor panoramas and appreciate the beauty of the region’s flora and fauna. Don’t leave before taking a walk along the trails in the National Parks of Chiloé and Tantauco, or to kayak in the sunken forest that surrounds the sector of Laguna Chaiguata.
We welcome you to visit the South of Chile! Visit each one of our recommended locations, make it an adventure and explore other more hidden places. Create your own routes and share each of them with us.