An exciting way to see the mountains and lakes of the Patagonian Lake District, Cruce Andino is a boat and bus journey that mixes pleasure and adventure with views of snow-capped volcanoes, glaciers and forests. It’s practical too – leaving each and getting you get from A to B across the sometimes tricky border from Argentina (Bariloche) to Chile (Puero Montt) or vice versa.
Starting out at 7:45 from Puerto Montt or 8:30am from Puerto Varas by bus, you’ll soon move on to Petrohue, bordering Llanquihue Lake, where you’ll have wonderful views of Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes. Your journey will take you into Vicente Perez National Park where you’ll discover Patagonia’s diverse flora and fauna, waterfalls and impressive volcanic rock shapes. Stopping at the village of Peulla you’ll have lunch and relax or enjoy outdoor activities before staying in Hotel Natura or Hotel Peulla for the night.
Day two sees you crossing the Andes and thus the border by bus, always with spectacular landscape surrounding you, before getting on board to cross the turquoise waters of Lago Frias. After a hearty lunch, no doubt of exiquisite seafood or steak, you’ll depart ‘Puerto Blest’ by boat along the huge Nahuel Huapi Lake, which stretches some 204 square miles. Eventually you’ll end in Bariloche’s Puerto Pañuelo (Port Handkerchief, named so because women would wave goodbye to their husbands off to sea from here) at about 5:30pm, plenty of time to wander this alpine town, try it’s famous hot chocolate and get ready for a hike in the stunning surrounding mountains.
The itinerary can also be done in reverse at any time of year and they also offer a 1-day trip if you’re pushed for time. The only extra recommendation we’d make is to make sure you go with an open mind about the weather. On the Chilean part side of the Andes in this part of Patagonia, the weather can be pretty rainy. January is usually the driest month, whilst June is the wettest. If you’re someone who can’t bear the rain, then coming to this humid but beautiful part of Chile probably isn’t for you!