Where to go

The Lake District

Arguably the most visually beautiful area of the country, where volcanoes meet lakes.

The Lake District
The Lake District

While not quite as wild as Chilean Patagonia to the south, the Sur Chico and Chile’s lake district is a region of the country that never fails to surprise and inspire those that venture here. In contrast to the other regions of Chile, Sur Chico is an area of snow capped volcanoes, pale green lakes and endless miles of virgin and ancient forest. Mixed in with this wondrous natural beauty are plenty of interesting and quirky places to lay your head or simply take it all in. For those looking for an adventure then this is the place.

At approximately 600 miles in length, from Conception in the north, to Chiloe and Chilean Patagonia to the south, the lake district is, without doubt, one of the most visually beautiful areas in Chile and one of the first places that we recommend to clients. Roughly speaking, while the entire region is worth further discovery, most will either head to the adrenaline town of Pucon, or to the sleepy town of Puerto Varas and the world famous Parque Nacional Vicente Perez Rosales.

Unless you are driving overland from the north or the south, then most will look to fly into the busy and bustling city of Puerto Montt. Today it is seen as more of a pass-through than a destination in its own right. From here it is a short drive up to Puerto Varas where you are greeted by the awe-inspiring sight of the twin volcanoes, Osorno and Calbuco that stand as sentinels at the entrance to the lakes.

With a superb day trip that is possible through to Bariloche on the Argentine side of the Andes, there is an absolute feast of activities that can be done while you are here. Many opt to self-drive while in the region as this gives you far more scope for exploration of your own. For walkers and activity fans there really is very little to fault this stunning region.

Further reading...

  • › Top 5 Things to Do in Chile's Lake District
  • › Self-drive itinerary in the Lake District
  • › Chile highlights itinerary
  • When to go to the Lake District:

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    At a glance…The Lake District

  • Size: consisting of 3 main national parks
  • Location: 2 thirds of the way down the country
  • Recommended time: 3 to 6 nights
  • Time to visit: July to April
  • Go here for: Nature and wildlife, walking
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    Our top five hotel recommendations for The Lake District in 2017/18:

    1. Casa Kalfu - the house

      Casa Kalfu

      Featured in The Lonely planet and one of a favourites in a certain accommodation review websites, Kalfu is certainly a decent choice for those with a limited budget in mind who don’t want to compromise on character or hospitality. These points make this property stand out in our opinion.

      Our rating:
      3
      User rating:
      3
      Price:
      2
    2. Hotel Antumalal

      Hotel Antumalal

      Built in the 1950s Hotel Antumalal was one of the first hotels to be established in Chile’s Northern Lake District. Having hosted a number of famous of names and faces over the years, including the Queen and Neil Armstrong, its appeal lies in its sense of history and strong ties to the local area... More...

      Our rating:
      5
      User rating:
      5
      Price:
      4
    3. Cabana del Lago - Location

      Hotel Cabana del Lago

      Hotel Cabana del Lago has plenty of appeal and will please all types of travellers. It is a good choice for anyone wanting facilities, a relaxed environment, a good location, sweeping lake views and not much else. Compared to its competitors along the shore of Lake Llanquihue, it is definitely a... More...

      Our rating:
      3
      User rating:
      4
      Price:
      2
    4. Casa Molino

      Hotel Casa Molino

      One of the smaller properties that lie in and around Puerto Varas, the Casa Molino Guest House is a real gem! Offering a much “smaller” experience all round, it has just a handful of rooms and, as such, really prides itself on the service and attention to detail given to each and every client.... More...

      Our rating:
      4
      User rating:
      4
      Price:
      2
    5. Hotel Cumbres Patagonicas

      Hotel Cumbres Patagonicas

      Opened in June 2009, the Cumbres Patagonicas has really set new standards for the accommodation in and around Puerto Varas. One of the four Cumbres hotels in Chile, hotel Cumbres Puerto Varas is for sure one of the most stylish and upmarket properties with around 90 rooms and a whole swathe of... More...

      Our rating:
      5
      User rating:
      4
      Price:
      4

    Our recommended top travel itineraries for The Lake District in 2017/18: