Lakes in Southern Chile – pristine beauty easily accessible
For a variety of reasons, southern Chile is a holiday destination that is popular with both local and foreign tourists: the beauty of nature with dense, lush virgin forests, snow-capped volcanoes (many of them active!), really good rafting rivers, and countless emerald lakes are an argument of their own. Whether you are looking for peace and relaxation or action and outdoor adventure, there is something there for everyone. The region’s culture is as diverse as it is exiting: in the Araucanía there is a high proportion of Mapuche population, many of which offer tourism activities to get to know their culture. Farer south, the descendants of German immigrants determine the picture. The way to a traveler’s heart is through his stomach, and in southern Chile, you will fall in love, be it with Mapuche cuisine with Piñones and Sopaipillas, German cakes and sweets or local salmon, seafood or lamb on a spit.
A big advantage of travelling Chile by rental car is, that even remote regions are quite well connected and infrastructure is relatively well developed. There are many beautiful hotels, hostels and cottages for every budget. Today we would like to introduce the most beautiful lakes of southern Chile from north to south:
LAGO CONGULLIO is located in the National Park of the same name, less than 2 hours from Temuco Airport. Lying gently at the foot of Llaima volcano and the Sierra Nevada mountain range, this tranquil and crystal-clear glacier lake is a jewel amidst millennia-old araucaria trees – a really unique landscape!
A little further south LAGO VILLARRICA lies under the eponymous active volcano between the small towns of Villarrica and Pucon. Travellers who like to be close to nature, but with all the amenities of a well equipped holiday resort will love Pucon. In addition to just lie at the beach and enjoy the scenery, there are many different options for water sports at Lago Villarrica.
Right around the corner, but a bit more hidden, lies LAGO CABURGUA between the untouched natural landscape of the Huerquehue National Park and the Villarrica and Hualalafquén Natural Parks. The water of this lake is turquoise and relatively warm, so in summer, it is very enjoyable for swimming. Best hidden here is the comparatively small LAGO TINQUILCO. Nature lovers will fall for this blue pearl amidst hills of dense virgin forest that reach down to the water.
Further south you reach the places where the locals spend their holidays: The banks of LAGO CALAFQUÉN, also turquoise and quite warm, are lined with holiday homes, which are filled with life in the Chilean summer. In the towns of Lican Ray and Coñaripe, the number of campsites, holiday homes and tourist activities such as sport fishing or boat tours is very high.
The southern lake region comes up with the largest lakes in Chile, LAGO RANCO and the LAGO LLANQUIHUE. The shores of Lake Ranco and its islands are inhabited by Mapuche communities, who are happy to introduce their culture to travelers and also offer guided tours. The lake is located halfway between the airports of Temuco and Puert Montt.
The probably best known lake of Chile is Lago Llanquihue, between Osorno and Puerto Montt. There is a sheer endless range of very good hotel and gastronomy in the idyllic laketown of Puerto Varas; German specialties can be found here on every corner. The two impressive volcanoes Osorno and Calbuco determine the beautiful lake panorama and also invite to outdoor tours. One of the most popular tours is to drive up the volcano Osorno with spectacular views and then visit the Saltos de Petrohue waterfalls. From there, it’s only a stone’s throw to one of the most beautiful lakes in Chile: the LAGO TODOS LOS SANTOS in the Vicente Perez Rosales National Park is simply spectacular. A panorama of numerous snow-capped volcanoes and virgin forest that reaches to the shore can be seen from one of the tourist boats that cruise the lake. The spectacular views have left more than one tourist breathless!
We will be happy to help you with the compilation of a rental car tour through Chile’s lake region. Contact us and we will find your perfect car and plan your personalized rental car adventure through Southern Chile.