Reasons to go to the Chilean Lake District

  • One of South America's great centres for outdoor activities, from the two hub towns of Puerto Varas and Pucón.
  • Hiking in seven national parks through forests of monkey puzzles and thousand-year-old alerce trees from Villarrica and Huerquehue to Vicente Pérez Rosales and Pumalín Douglas Tompkins.
  • Perfect snow-capped volcanoes with trails to explore, peaks to climb and slopes to mountain bike down.
  • Kayaking on sapphire and emerald glacial lakes, or with sea lions and dolphins through Chile's fjords.
  • The landscapes and unique culture and folklore of Chiloé island to discover.
  • Easy to reach from both Santiago and Torres del Paine.

Highlights of the Chilean Lake District

Illustrated Guide

Places to go in the Chilean Lake District

Rafting on the Trancura River, Chile


On the shores of Lake Villarrica, Pucón is one of South America's leading adventure sports destinations, offering volcano hikes, white water rafting, mountain biking and more.

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Puerto Varas

Puerto Varas

Perched on the shores of Lake Llanquihue and overlooked by the Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes, Puerto Varas is the perfect gateway to the Chilean Lake District.

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Chiloé Island

Chiloé Island

Chiloé Island is the perfect destination for anyone searching to get off the beaten track, for hiking in its dramatic coastal scenery and rich forests and exploring its unique …

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Things to do in the Chilean Lake District

How to get to the Chilean Lake District

The Chilean Lake District is well connected to the rest of the region, with plentiful daily flights from Santiago into Puerto Montt, a short drive from the main gateway town of Puerto Varas, or to Temuco for the adventure sports hub of Pucón in the northern Lake District. 

There are also direct connections from Santiago to Chiloé island. The Lake District is also connected to Torres del Paine, with direct daily flights between Puerto Montt and Punta Arenas (for the adventurous with more time to spend, there is also a four-day ferry that travels through the fjords between these cities.

It's also possible to connect the Chilean Lake District with its neighbour across the border in Argentina. There are several ways to cross the border, not least the spectacular Cruce Andino combined ferry and bus route across the Andes between Puerto Varas and Bariloche, the gateway to the Argentine Lake District.

Where to stay in the Chilean Lake District

Accommodation options in the Chilean Lake District range from luxury lodges and working estancias set in beautiful scenery, to hotels and hostels in the region's towns. 

The main hubs to base yourself are Puerto Varas and Pucón alongside Chiloé island but wherever you travelling to or whichever lakes, volcanoes or national parks you're looking to explore, we have access to a wide variety of hotels, guesthouses and lodges across the Lakes to suit your budget and interests. 

Chilean Lake District

When to go to the Chilean Lake District

The Chilean Lake District is a year-round destination but being aware of the seasonal variations will help you get the most from your trip. The lush temperate rainforests are the result of a lot of wet weather from the Pacific.

You should always pack for rain, but you'll find clearer skies, with drier and warmer days from December to March, with temperatures averaging around 20°C (70°F). This is the time for the best hiking and clearest mountain views, as well as seasonal activities like penguin-watching on Chiloé.

June to August are the wettest and coolest months, with temperatures averaging around 9°C (50°F). Higher altitudes receive snow, and some walking trails will be inaccessible or muddy. 

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What our customers think of Chilean Lake District

We also visited Chiloe Island and the lake district as per Swoop. Once again it was very interesting, scenically beautiful. Read the full review

Travelled: November 2023

David Pincus - Australia

Liked Puerto Varas and hotel. Many food choices. Each day offered unique exceptional activity. Read the full review

Travelled: January 2023

Ira Fishman - USA

We got lucky with the weather and enjoyed the beautiful volcano Osorno for two and a half days before the clouds rolled in. We also saw some nice stars. Read the full review

Travelled: November 2022

Anna Bainton - USA

Too many to fit into one questionnaire. Hospitality and spirit of the Lodge; fly fishing from the Petrohue rapids; hiking up numerous volcanoes and the wonderful understanding, compassion and humility of all of our guides. Read the full review

Travelled: November 2022

Jonathan Goring - UK

It was a full day of beautiful views from the boat tours across the many lakes. It should definitely be part of the trip for anyone planning a Patagonian adventure. Read the full review

Travelled: October 2022

Ralph Turkel - USA


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