Overview

Chile’s lake district is a picturesque region of ancient forests straddling rugged hills lorded over by snow-capped volcanoes, hot springs and crystalline streams, interspersed by flowery meadows and cattle pasture.

The southern part of the region includes the Bavarian-style resort Puerto Varas on the shores of the vast lake Llanquihue, overlooked by the perfect cone of the Osorno volcano. Not far from here are the Petrohue Falls, a popular break in the journey for visitors on the Lakes Crossing route to Argentina. Puerto Montt is a large town with a busy fishing port from where it’s a short ferry ride to the deeply traditional island of Chiloe.

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Holidays Chilean Lake District (south)

We have a selection of unique and memorable holidays in the Chilean Lake District. Find out more and book now with Journey Latin America.

Things to do

There is lots to see and do in the Chilean Lake District, from climbing an active volcano, to white-water rafting. Book now with Journey Latin America.

Where to go when - our guide to Chilean Lake District (south)

Puerto Varas

The weather in Chilean Lake District (south) is wide and varied

Twisted ancient forests, flowery meadows and snow-dipped volcanoes are mirrored in the glassy surfaces of the lakes in this serene region. December - March offers the driest and warmest weather - temperatures hover in the 20°Cs, though it still rains on about half the days of each month. Breathtaking views await those who climb to the icy summit of the imposing Osorno volcano, which rises from the vast Lago Llanquinhue. In January and February you can enjoy the traditional music, dances, feasts and activities of the local festivals held across local towns. Take a boat out to the charming island of Chiloé, renowned for its brightly painted stilt houses, UNESCO world heritage churches and rolling green pastures. Visit between October - March to witness Magellanic and Humbodlt penguins nesting in Puñihuíl, and with any luck you’ll also spot whales from the shore. From May onwards the rain sets in with more frequency and many trails will be muddy, though most hotels and restaurants remain open. This could be a good time to soak in the warm natural springs of Ralun.

View our Chilean Lake District (south) weather guide

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Meet our team

Real Latin american experts

  • Sally Dodge
    Sally Dodge - Travel Expert

    A former Journey Latin America tour leader, Sally spent 7 years working, travelling and living throughout Latin America before returning to the UK to help people arrange their own adventures to this wonderful destination.

  • Sophie Barber
    Sophie Barber - Travel Expert

    Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia and beyond to Antarctica.

  • CarrieGallagher2
    Carrie Gallagher - Travel Expert

    A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours department.

  • Lina Fuller
    Lina Fuller - Travel Expert

    Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba (Argentina) to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.

  • Mary Anne Nelson
    Mary Anne Nelson - Travel Expert

    Born in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Mary’s insider knowledge and dry sense of humour make her a highly valued member of the Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tour sales team.

  • Hannah Donaldson
    Hannah Donaldson - Travel Expert

    Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is a much valued Travel Expert in our Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tours sales team.

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