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Chile Lake Region
Experiencechile.org can arrange either self-drive itineraries in this area including hotel selection to your budget and preferred style choice, private transfers to each hotel and excursions.
Pucon - Villarrica (Nearest Airport: Temuco)
Located 790km south of Santiago and 112km from Temuco, these two towns straddle Lake Villarrica and are dwarfed by the active, snow-capped Villarrica Volcano. Villarrica lake is the most northern lake of significance in the Chilean lake chain effectively marking the start of the Chilean Lake Region coming down from the north.
Pucon has developed into a "boutique" lake-side village and a very popular place during the summer break months of January and February. The area to the east of the lake is spectacular. The lake itself is bordered by rolling hills that rise up into mountainous terrain on the north-eastern quarter, and by the magnificent conical, snow-capped and active VillarricaVolcano on the southern side.
Both the villages offer a great base from which to explore the area, although Pucon is considered to be the principal village and certainly more lively than Villarrica. Pucon offers a number of good restaurants, lively bars and outdoor activity shops. This zone is a haven for those who like outdoor pursuits such as: white water rafting, climbs to the top of the volcano, hikes into the national park, mountain biking, skiing in winter, fishing and boating; and for those who prefer a slower pace there is golf, walking and hot springs to unwind in! You can participate in as many or few of the activities available or just sit back and read a good book!
Puerto Varas (Nearest Airport: Puerto Montt)
Puerto Varas (996km south of Santiago) is another lake-side village located almost half way between Frutillar and Puerto Montt (17km). It is a more active place than Frutillar, again with unimpeded views directly to Osorno Volcano on the other side of the lake. The village has that "Colorado Rockies" style feel to it, with some small boutique style shops and a few fishing shops and many wooded buildings. There are also some supermarkets and an impressive, newly built casino!

Similar to Pucon, Puerto Varas is a good base from where to enjoy many of the outdoor activities such as rafting, fishing, mountain biking and hiking. There are also a number of excursions such as to the powerful Petrohue Water Falls, the National Park Vicente Perez Rosales, Chiloe Island and the start and end points for the lake crossing to Argentina.
Puerto Montt (Nearest Airport: Puerto Montt)
Puerto Montt is located 1,016km south of Santiago. It is the most southern city on principal mainland Chile before the land mass breaks into the island archipelago. It faces the sea and is a good base from where to visit the other lake-side villages of the zone such as Puerto Varas, Puerto Octay and Frutillar or to head on down to Chiloe, or to drive the Carreterra Austral towards Chaiten and Coyhaique in Chilean Patagonia.

Puerto Montt is also the port from where the cruise ships depart to explore the southern archipelago and the famous "San Rafael Glacier" - a glacier that runs down from the mountains to meet the sea where it breaks off into giant icebergs. The creaking sounds from the glacier and incredible blue colours within ice are an amazing spectacle to witness.
Puerto Varas (Nearest Airport: Puerto Montt)
A charming lake-side village only 20km from Puerto Montt overlooking Llanquihue lake. It faces the imposing snow-capped Osorno Volcano and is a base from where to visit the spectacular Petrohue waterfall, take a boat trip across the lake to Argentina, do some fly fishing or just chill out.
Frutillar (Nearest Airport: Puerto Montt)
Further to the north, also bordering Llanquihue lake and only 10km from Puerto Varas is the quaint, but very German village of Frutillar. It is Germanic because the village has its origins from German settlers. It is exceptionally clean and tidy and the architecture of many buildings resembles parts of German Bavaria!
Puerto Octay (Nearest Airport: Puerto Montt)
Also beside Llanquihue lake and a further 25km north from Frutillar is the tiny port of Puerto Octay. Here there is a hotel and a few houses.
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