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Chilean Lake District

Why visit the Chilean Lake District?

​This is a really beautiful region, and hugely photogenic. Snow-capped volcanoes tower above enormous, sparkling lakes and there are great stretches of verdant forest. Pretty towns and villages show you a different side of Chilean culture, with the influence of German settlers clearly seen in the architecture and food. It’s key area for crafts - artisans sell their wares by the roadside - and it’s a great place for hiking, kayaking, biking, fly fishing, horse riding or lake and canal cruising.
Reasons to visit the Lake District include:

  • Puerto Montt – an ideal base from which to explore the southern Lake District, this town has attractive 19th century buildings built by the Germans who settled here, and a bustling fish market. The nearby fishing port of Angelmo is a centre for crafts. 
  • Puerto Varas – founded in 1853 by German settlers and with a decidedly Bavarian feel, Puerto Varas is set in a glorious position overlooking Llanquihue Lake and with Osorno volcano visible in the distance. The view from Phillipi Hill is fantastic.  
  • Take time to explore the stunning Puyehue National Park, with its lakes, forest footpaths and hot springs (bring your swimsuit). 
  • Visit pretty Frutillar village and enjoy the well-kept gardens, German architecture and food, the German Colonial Museum – and the great beach. 
  • Vicente Perez Rosales National Park – famous for the Petrohuè Falls. The Petrohuè river thunders through the canyon, crashing and falling between the volcanic rock. 
  • Don’t miss Lago Todos los Santos – the ‘emerald lake’. Surrounded by forest and volcanoes, it is an unforgettable sight. 
  • Take a trip to Chiloe Island, known for its colourful stilt houses and wooden-tiled churches.

When to go to the Chilean Lake District

Like much of Chile this is a year-round destination. You get lovely displays of flowers in the spring (October-December).

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Chilean Lake District accommodation

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facts and information

Time: GMT -4 hours

Flight time:

There are direct flights from London Heathrow to Santiago, which operate 4 times a week and take 14 hours 40 minutes. The Chilean airline, LATAM, flies via Madrid.

Language: The official language is Spanish. but other local languages are also spoken. English is spoken quite widely.


Visas are not currently required for British passport holders staying for up to 90 days, who are issued with a ‘Tarjeta de Turismo-Tourist Card’ on arrival. You must retain this and present it to immigration on departure.


Generally none is compulsory but we recommend the following: hepatitis A and B, typhoid, diphtheria, meningitis, tetanus, rabies and polio. There is no malaria in Chile. A yellow fever certificate is required if you are coming from an infected area.



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