A new day surprised us at the "city of the roses". Before leaving the Xth Region, we wanted to tour one of the most classical local circuits: the famous waterfalls formed by the Petrohué River.
The Start of the Road
In order to comply with our aim, we began to drive around the Lake Llanquihue shores heading towards the Southeast. The water mirror was totally still and reflected faithfully the surrounding scenery. Fortunately for us, the entire road was paved. Therefore, we could make the most of our time in order to enjoy the natural show awaiting us.
Traveling the routes of Southern Chile is a fascinating experience. Good traffic signs, excellent pavement conditions and neat shoulders forecast a good journey as well as a good option to stop at any point and behold the particular natural surroundings worthy of a surrealist work of art.
The routes of Southern Chile
A surrealist work of art
Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park
The curious geological formation
Show of dancing waters
After traveling 10 kilometers from Puerto Varas, we crossed opposite the Niklitscheck and Hermosa Beaches, where hundreds of youths gather to enjoy the sunshine and the sun in the summer. After crossing a bridge, we stopped at the 16th kilometer marker. Excursions leave from that place to La Poza, a curious spring in the middle of the rainforest with the small Loreley island inside it.
Three kilometers ahead, we passed by Venado Beach, another coast of fine sand ready to be discovered by travelers. Afterwards, we crossed the Pescado River, an ideal spot for lovers of salmon or trout fishing. A few meters away, a beautiful chapel with a singular architectural style and larch tiles may be watched. In the surroundings of the church, we visited the historical water mill. It would be used to grind wheat and it worked thanks to the pressure of the water falling abruptly on a huge wooden wheel.
We continued along the zigzagging road, stopping anywhere we considered an interesting spot. The Osorno Volcano, with its snowcapped summit, looked like an absolute sentry in those southern latitudes. In the area called Los Riscos (the cliffs), we stopped once again to appreciate the beautiful cliffs after which the place is named. From the border, we had a closer look of the fullness of Lake Llanquihue and Mount Pichi Juan, whose name is a tribute to a native Mapuche who did the first expeditions around the water mirror.
After having traveled about 50 kilometers, we arrived in the district of Ensenada. We took advantage of our passing through this place to have lunch at a restaurant and then we continued our journey directly to the heart of the Petrohué River.
The road got deep into the foliage teeming with typical species of the Valdivian Forest. We got off the vehicle and continued on foot along a path. We paid the fee to enter the Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park and got ready to feel what mother nature had prepared for us. As we advanced, the endless and powerful sound of thunder took hold of the atmosphere and of our hearts. It was the constant roar of the water at the Petrohué River Falls, which lay only a few meters away.
We soon reached the curious geological formation of unquestionable volcanic origin along which the Petrohué River races against gravity force giving origin to a marvelous sequence of waterfalls that took our breath away.
This is the starting point for the tour along a series of amusing paths across the forest leading to vantage points, marshlands and rocky beaches, with the constant presence of the magnificent falls and the Osorno Volcano in the background. The bright green of the rainforest covers it all. It is only interrupted by the ancient streams of solidified lava crossing it, where the Petrohué seems to want to escape the look of the hundreds of visitors that gather there to contemplate its turquoise meltdown waters.
It was amazing to find ourselves watching that show of dancing waters in the lost Southern Patagonia. After beholding the scenery from all corners, we retraced our steps in order to start our way back. Even today, as I write this story, I close my eyes and I feel the endless tremor of the Petrohué which, with its troubled waters, exploded into a thousand pieces and was never the same again.
Marcelo Sola Jorge González
Contact of the excursion or tour
Ruta 225 - Km. 60 - Petrohue (5550000) Puerto Varas, X Región, Chile
Tel: +56 65-2212025
Cel: +56 8876896
See more points of interest in Puerto Varas