Often described as the gateway to Patagonia, Chile’s Lake District is a magnificent region of snow-capped mountains, deep blue lakes, lush farmlands, and pretty lakeside towns where you can sit back, read a book, and enjoy delicious home baked cakes while admiring the sheer beauty that surrounds you.
While perhaps not as popular as Patagonia (yet), the Lake District has much to offer international travellers, and if you are looking for a holiday destination that is unspoilt, unpretentious, unashamedly authentic, then this could be the perfect location for your next break.
The beauty of Chile’s Lake District is that it caters for everyone. There are numerous national parks and hot springs where you can escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and immerse yourself in nature, but there are plenty of sporting adventures available too! Hiking, mountain biking, kayaking and sailing are just some of the activities that await you in Puerto Varas and Pucón, which is fondly referred to as Chile’s adventure capital.
When it comes to wining and dining in the Lake District, the offerings are every bit as good as you would imagine. ‘Curanto’ a mixed pot of shellfish, meat, potatoes and vegetables, is perhaps the most famous dish of the region, but you should really head to Chiloe Island if you want to try this traditional feast. Steak is exceptionally good in this part of the world, as is the fish and seafood, and with a huge selection of Chilean wines and artisanal beers to choose from, the Lake District caters for every palate.
If you on a self-drive holiday of South America, the Lake District provides the perfect stepping stone between Chile and Argentina. San Carlos de Bariloche is just a 5-hour drive from Puerto Varas, so you can have breakfast in Chile and dinner in Argentina, and enjoy the most magnificent scenery as you travel between the two destinations.
The Lake District was made for cycling too, and so if you have a few days to spare, you can cycle around Chile’s second largest lake, Lake Llanquihue, stopping at Puerto Octay and Frutillar before you reach you biggest challenge of your cycling holiday, the mighty Volcano Osorno. It’s a long 12km climb with an average gradient of 9% – but as they say, the view from the top is worth every drop of sweat, and you’ve got one almighty downhill to look forward to after!
Chile’s Lake District belongs on every South American Travel Itinerary, so don’t miss out on Patagonia’s best kept secret!