An Adventure between Lakes and Volcanoes
Located just 21 kilometers from Puerto Montt and on the shore of Lake Llanquihue, Puerto Varas is known as “the city of roses”, for the large number of this type of flowers that adorn its streets. It is best to walk it, from end to end along its waterfront, recording the houses of unmistakable German architecture and visiting the impressive and colorful Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, another reason to fall in love with this city, created in 1853 by German and Swiss settlers who They came to populate southern Chile. Picturesque and equipped, Puerto Varas has a casino and a wide gastronomic offer, in which craft beers, meats and tenderloins stand out (typical Chilean pork sandwich). To buy, you have to shop around its craft shops, southern fabrics, gourmet products and aromatic chocolate shops. At night, the city wakes up in its bars, pubs and in the casino. The best postcard of Puerto Varas is in its waterfront. From here you can fully admire the Osorno volcano and the Calbuco volcano, which are imposed on Lake Llanquihue, of intense blue, always crystalline and that in the morning is almost a mirror.
Outdoor sports are welcome in this dream nature, it is the ideal place for kayaking, fishing, climbing, trekking and even skiing in the winter center Antillanca and ski center and outdoor Osorno Volcano. If you prefer the beaches, Niklitschek is recommended, which has infrastructure and camping. A walk to Philippi Park will connect you with the beautiful vegetation of the area and you will be able to reach its summit, where the great cross is illuminated at night. A must is to visit the impressive waterfalls of Petrohué, and then go to Todos Los Santos Lake, with emerald waters and surrounded by steep forests full of vegetation.
After crossing the Chacao channel with your motorhome on a ferry from the mainland, the Isla Grande de Chiloé (a rectangle 250 km long by 50 km wide) appears, which is part of the archipelago of the same name, consisting of about thirty islands . Record your geography of gentle hills where they will appear peaceful populated with their brightly colored wooden houses. Very soon they find the genuine charm of its inhabitants, the chilotes, the mixture of the Spanish colonizers and the Huilliche people, recognized for their hospitality. The colorful houses, built on stilts on the water, are the so-called “palafitos”, a classic of the island. As are its churches, made of wood and built between the 18th and 19th centuries, sixteen of them declared World Heritage by Unesco. Ancud, Castro and Quellón are its main cities, in addition to the emerging Rilan Peninsula, north of Castro, these are the starting points to discover the abundant landscapes and rich cuisine that keeps this enclave, its mythology and local festivals.
Kayaking through the secondary canals or taking a ferry to other islands of the archipelago such as Quinchao, Lemuy, San Pedro or the Chauques group is an experience you will not forget. This is how you can live closely the particular culture of the people of Chiloé, participate in their parties and listen to their myths and legends. As if its culture is not enough, on the Isla Grande de Chiloé, the sea and the forests converge in a solitary and wild environment. You can visit the Chiloé National Park, in the western part, and the Tantauco Park in the south. There you can see chilotes foxes, hundreds of birds and humpback whales, which are heading to Patagonia. This park also surprises with its network of hiking trails between larches, arrayanes and cypresses.