Most readers of this blog know Patagonia quite well. Many have been lucky enough to visit and fall in love with its natural wonders. It’s a beautiful, remote and unique part of the world. Adventurous holidaymakers don’t need much of a reason to hit the seas and go there – any excuse will do, from whale watching to hiking trails. Both great choices, by the way. Another must-see destination in this neck of the woods is the Patagonia Lake District.
Patagonia Lake District 101
The Patagonia Lake District lies in the northern part of the region and spans both Chile and Argentina. Both sides have their strong points, and it’s possible to visit either and cross over the other. Let’s see what each has to offer, shall we?
The Chilean side of Patagonia Lake District
On the Chilean side, there’s a lot to like. The Chilean part is sandwiched between Temuco in the north and Puerto Montt in the south. There’s plenty to do and see here, with numerous national parks, protected areas and nature reserves. The lively resort towns of Pucon and Puerto Varas boast plenty of amenities and luxuries like golf courses, bars and restaurants and hotels.
The Patagonia Lake District in Argentina
The Argentinian side of the lake district is most often associated with the town of Bariloche. An adventurer’s paradise, Bariloche is a great travel hub when going from one mountain town to another. You’ll find everything you could possibly need, from accommodation and hiking activities to food. Oh, the food. Bariloche is a world-famous chocolate producer to boot. There’s nothing better after a day’s hike than a generous helping of Bariloche’s finest local product!
There’s more to the Patagonia Lake District here than Bariloche, mind you. You’ve got San Martin de los Andes, accessible by the picturesque Route of the Seven Lakes. If all that driving and hiking isn’t quite enough, try your hand at fly-fishing in Junin de los Andes or relax in El Bolson, known as something of a hippie’s refuge. If you’d rather not quite plan everything ahead, simply fill the car and go from town to town, exploring Patagonia’s lakes and all the hiking, climbing, off-roading, fishing and skiing the region has to offer.
Planning a trip to Patagonia Lake District
Assuming that you’ve got a flexible budget and are not pressed for time, the best way to experience Patagonia’s Lake District is to go by car and visit both the Chilean and Argentinian sides. In order to get the most out of your trip and see all the sights, you’ll need time. You will really want to plan for at least a week on the ground there, if not two. This will allow you to traverse the region’s roads and travel comfortably from one mountain town to another. It’ll also leave you with ample time to take in the region and all it has to offer.
If you’re tight on time and/or money, you might consider only visiting the Argentinian side. Cost of living here is slightly cheaper, for one. What’s more, Argentina’s mountain towns are usually a little more exciting than their Chilean counterparts. Vamos!