Patagonia and other adventure travel destinations

The most spectacular day trips in the Lake District, Chile

While it’s likely that you’re well acquainted with Patagonia, far fewer adventurers are familiar with Los Lagos, or the Chilean Lake District. Lush, green, and filled with sparkling turquoise lakes, the Lake District, Chile, is framed by snowy mountains and crisp blue skies. The Alpine scenery is so spectacular, it gives many of the more famous spots in the Argentine Lake District a big run for their money. However, the views aren’t the only thing the region has to offer – there’s also plenty to keep adrenaline junkies entertained. Below, we list five thrilling, fun, and educational things to do in Chile’s Lake District.

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5 things to do in the Lake District, Chile

1. Climb a volcano

If you’re serious about climbing, why not take on the ultimate test – one of the Chilean Lake District’s volcanoes. Both Osorno and Villarrica are in the region, maintaining foreboding snow-capped peaks all year round. The climb up Villarrica in particular is for die-hard thrill-seekers – the volcano is Chile’s most active, with the most recent eruption taking place in 2015. The treks up both these volcanoes are challenging and the weather is extreme, but the views from the peaks make it well worth it. Climb a volcano

2. Visit a waterfall

lake district chile

Standing under the thundering cascade of a waterfall is as awe-inspiring as it is tranquil. The Petrohue Falls in the Lake District, Chile, are some of the most beautiful in the area. Tumbling into an emerald green pool in the Vicente Perez Rosales National Park, the falls are a great addition to a day’s trek around the scenic Lago Todos Los Santos.

3. Absorb Mapuche culture

lake district chile

However, adventure sports aren’t all the region has to offer – the area is also rich in culture. It’s certainly worth taking a day to explore Mapuche heritage. In Temuco, the area’s main city, you can find several fascinating examples of this indigenous Chilean culture. For instance, the Feria Libre Aníbal Pinto is a huge market with over 700 stalls selling all kinds of traditional Mapuche crafts, foods, and herbs. Even better, some tour operators offer experiences where you can visit traditional Mapuche households and learn more about pre-Columbian life.

4. Trek the national parks

lake district chile

Most of Chile’s most famous nature reserves are in the southern region of Patagonia – however, the national parks in the Lake District are equally as spectacular. Within these parks are plenty of scenic hikes, many of which will only take a day. For example, the El Pionero route in Puyehue is a stunning hike day-long route. Beginning at thermal springs, the trail snakes through the forest before arriving at a stunning view over the treetops.

5. Go kayaking

Finally, a guide to the Lake District, Chile, wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the watersports. For instance, kayaking is a great way to spend a sunny afternoon. However, the best thing about the Lake District is that you don’t need to be a pro to get on the water. In fact, the lakes are so calm that complete novices can enjoy drifting on the turquoise waters. During your paddle, you’ll float past some astonishing scenery, including fjords, glaciers, and snow-capped mountains.

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