We went around Lake Llanquihue. An excellent proposal to understand the German colonization of the area, immersed in a scenery of singular beauty.
This traditional circuit may be accessed through any of the riverside cities. The perimeter of Lake Llanquihue –whose name means "submersion"- is 186 kilometers long, half of which are fully paved.
The picturesque cities of Frutillar, Puerto Varas and Puerto Octay lie on its shores. They are famous for a great German influence on their architecture and particularly for the interesting events celebrated there in the summer season. Many tourists visit this quiet area of Chile in order to rest after a having worked for the entire year, and become impregnated with the calm of this place and the crystal clear beauty of the lake.
Leaving from Puerto Varas, we continued eastwards along the road leading to Ensenada. We soon reached the Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park. We left the Hermosa, Niklitscher, Punta Cabras and Poza Loreley beaches behind. The Verde Lagoon lies in the middle of this natural shelter and it may be visited on foot. At this point, we recommend that visitors take a deep breath and forget about all worries and especially intensify their senses in order to enjoy the series of landscapes following one another.
Is 186 kilometers long
Going on along the same route, we crossed a river of solidified lava that reached the lake in 1835. Farther ahead, visitors have the option of going up the Osorno Volcano, unquestionable protagonist of this humid scenery, considered the most perfect volcano in the world by many geologists, due to its shape, color and texture.
Continuing the tour along the craggy riverside, we soon left the national park behind as we reached Las Cascadas area.
This region has very few dwellers. This is a bathing resort that emerged as a summer tourist destination. There are various houses and cabins, which are rented for the season, a camping site and a daily bus service to Osorno. At this point, the immensity of the Osorno Volcano is appreciated in all its splendor.
The beautiful cascades are the main attraction in this site. They are located several kilometers uphill and reached through quite a difficult path.
Back in our tour around the lake, we got to a beach called El Maitén. It lies farther ahead, where there is a very old chapel displaying a plate commemorating the one-hundredth anniversary of the arrival of the German colonists in this area.
Back on the tour around Lake Llanquihue, visitors should head southwards along a paved road now. Here they can get a panoramic view they will find hard to forget. Three volcanoes, small islets and the Centinela Peninsula may be spotted from there.
Ahead, we passed along sheltered Maqui beach, where it is possible to reach a point lodging a cementery on a cliff, from where the best view of Frutillar may be enjoyed.
Once in Frutillar, visitors can see Germanic style buildings and enjoy the sandy lake beaches and flowery gardens that provide very special and joyful features.
Every year, between January 27 and February 5, this city presents a classical music festival, worldwide known as “Frutillar Musical Weeks”, an ocassion on which the city dresses up to welcome tourists from all round the world who wish to enjoy the show.
We recommend that visitors stop here to taste the delicious cakes made with the purest German style at some of the restaurants located on the waterfront.
To conclude this traditional tour, visitors leave Frutillar towards the South and continue their journey along the waterfront road towards the town of Llanquihue, named after the lake, crossing beautiful panoramic views of the region and discovering various services options such as inns, cabins, camping sites, hunting and fishing clubs and salmon traps. Then, they continue along the Panamericana Road towards Puerto Varas.
Marcelo Sola Jorge González
See more points of interest in Puerto Varas