Chilean Lake District
The picture-perfect scenery of the Lake District is its prime attraction to be enjoyed as you relax or while hiking, boating, biking or horse riding.
Imagine the beauty of the Lake District in England times by ten. It's stunning.
The Lake District has a bucolic appeal which contrasts with the extremes of the arid Atacama Desert and the grandeur of Patagonia. Nature doesn’t issue you a challenge here but an invitation, to come outdoors in the warm sunshine and enjoy the land and waterscapes, visit viewpoints, tour Bavarian villages, ride a cable car to the top of a volcano and take your pick of the activities. A stay in the Lake District will recharge your metaphorical batteries!
- Picture the scene: The range of colours is striking, from the turquoise lakes to the verdant forests, white-topped mountains to orange-red sunset skies. Add individual scenes such as the play of the light on the water, the splashing torrent of a waterfall and the cloud-patterned sky and you’re sure to be reaching for your camera or paintbrush time and again.
- Get out and active: You need to get outdoors to appreciate the Lake District’s charms to the full. There’s no shortage of hiking routes of varying lengths and degrees of rigour, hop on a bike and loop around the lakeshore for a different view or saddle up and enjoy the scenery on horseback. The lakes provide perfect conditions for kayaking and boat trips take you to different locations when you fancy a change of scene. Take a 30-minute ride on the Condor Andino cable car for sweeping views over Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve.
- Top beauty spots: There are so many but must-sees include Lago Todos los Santos (aka the Emerald Lake), Petrohue Waterfall deep in the forest, the panoramic views from Osorno Volcano (you don’t have to climb all the way to the top), and Puyehue National Park’s mix of lush forests, waterfalls and lagoons topped by the eponymous volcano – the essence of the Lake District.
- A spot of culture: The Mapuche are indigenous to South America. You can visit present-day Mapuche villages such as Neltume with its excellent museum. In the towns of Puerto Varas and Frutillar, both founded by German settlers after 1848, the architecture and cuisine is totally different: admire the Bavarian-style houses, learn the settler’ story at Frutillar’s museum and unwind over coffee and kuchen.
- Adventure in Pucon: This is the place to come for adrenalin-fuelled thrills. There’s a choice of white-water rafting routes with up to class IV rapids or you can take to the air at the canopy zip line circuit reaching speeds of up to 45kmh! If you’re reasonably fit and have a head for heights, you’ll enjoy the climb up Villarrica Volcano. Following all that exhilaration a chance to bathe in the natural hot springs at Huife may be just the ticket.