Beaches and Circuits in the Heart of Nature
The swim holes that lie around the water body following the paved road feature various terrains ideal to experience pleasant moments with the family or friends.
Very close to downtown Puerto Octay, the shores of Lake Llanquihue are the greatest attraction in this community, especially in the summer, when the beaches and the water activities promote one another.
Spending a sunny afternoon at La Baja swim hole, on the peninsula known as Centinela or El Maitén just requires reaching the coastline, which features over 3 kilometers of beaches. So, we got in the car and accessed an area of huge summer houses, each of them with its own lawn. This is a pleasant site, sheltered from the wind, featuring calm waters and a minimum slope. It is an ideal destination to visit in the company of children.
The history of the old Centinela Hotel shows that back in 1912, when it was inaugurated, it had already been chosen by Chilean and foreign aristocracy to spend their vacations immersed in a real paradise on Earth.
We chose to walk up to its southern viewpoint following a beautiful and easily accessed trail. We could appreciate every detail of the shore from the heights and remained there for a few minutes in order to catch a glimpse of the two bays adjoining that strip of land, as well as the imposing Osorno and Puntiagudo Volcanoes.
El Maitén beaches are highly praised by the locals. They still lodge a chapel dating from over a hundred years ago, raised in the days of the colony. There are two beach sectors that summon families who come along to spend the day.
The shores of Lake Llanquihue
The beaches and the water activities
That huge range of options
With the family or friends
To complete our rides, we went around Lake Llanquihue, where the variety of possibilities to enjoy is countless, ranging from walking across the forest, up the volcano hillsides, or just beholding the sunset at a spot we like.
We particularly chose to set out towards Ports Fonck and Klocker, being Puerto Varas our final destination. We came across several charming towns where it is possible to spend the night camping or lodged at one of the cabins by the lake. As they are away from the traditional roads, they ensure quietness and rest within a natural framework, extremely appreciated by people from southern Chile.
We went by Las Cascadas, where we observed the practice of water sports in a privileged location surrounded by native trees. Then, we continued our ride towards the Osorno Volcano, whose sides lodge a very popular ski resort to enjoy in the winter and invites visitors to indulge themselves with different degrees of mountaineering, mountain biking and climbing in the summer. Our journey led us to Petrohué, inside the territory of Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park, on the shores of Lake Todos los Santos. In this area, nothing has been left to chance, as this is a very complete adventure sports center, including water, air and mountain disciplines.
We walked on along the lake shore and got past Puerto Pilar and the beaches known as Venado, Niklitscheck and Hermosa, always heading for Puerto Varas. La Poza and its island called Loreley -a water hole in the middle of the rainforest which we found by following the directions on the road- are certainly a must visit.
Each of the sites mentioned above will open up the way to new attractions according to the taste of each member of the group. That huge range of options invites everyone to see the environment in all its manifestations, as the circuit is pleasant, diverse and featuring different geographical features.
Mónica Pons / Eduardo Epifanio
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