The Los Lagos region is one of the most beautiful places in Chile. It stands out for its natural landscapes of coasts, volcanoes and, of course, lakes. It is a place to enjoy nature, fishing and adventure sports.
It is located in the central-southern part of Chile. Moreover, the province of Palena, one of the 4 in the region, is considered part of Chilean Patagonia (along with the regions of Aysen and Magallanes).
It not only covers continental territory but also includes the famous Chiloe archipelago.
1. When is the best time to visit the Los Lagos Region?
Due to its geographical location, the best time to visit this region is during the austral summer (21-December to 20 March). It is at this time when the temperature is higher (average 20 ° C) and less frequent rainfall.
However, being a temperate rainy climate, it can be visited at any time of the year.
2. How to get to the Los Lagos Region?
There are several options to get here:
- Direct flight from Santiago. It is the most direct and quick way to get there. You have direct flights to the cities of Osorno, Puerto Montt and Castro (Chiloe). Our recommendation is that you travel to Puerto Montt since it is the city that has the best location in the region to visit it.
- Travel by road. This option is the cheapest but also the slowest. Up to Osorno, you have 929 km, approximately 10 hours by car and 14 hours by bus. Puerto Varas and Puerto Montt are somewhat further south, at 1,016 km and 1,035 km respectively.
3. Accommodation in the Los Lagos region
As it is a tourist site it has enough accommodation options: apartments, cabins, hotels, hostels …
Our recommendation is that you look for a cabin on the shore of Lake Llanquihue. The views of the Osorno volcano from the lake are spectacular.
4. How to move around the Los Lagos region?
The best option is to rent a car in Puerto Montt. In this way, you can visit the main places of interest in the region at your leisure. And for the Chiloe Island do not worry, there is a ferry service that takes you there.
If you choose to travel by bus, check the bus schedules to plan your trip well. For short trips, find out in the same city the available transfer, bus and taxi services.
5.1 Los Lagos Region: Llanquihue
This province is the most populated and most attractive from the tourist point of view. Share the famous Llanquihue Lake with the province of Osorno.
It is the capital and the most populated city of the province of Llanquihue (245,000 inhabitants). Here is the main airport and the largest port in the region.Source: Wikimedia Commons
It is not a very touristic city, but it does have some pretty stilt houses located in the port and quite a lot of marine life on the same coast ..
It is the most charming city in the area, as it is on the banks of Lake Llanquihue with stunning views of the Osorno Volcano.Source: Wikimedia Commons
It also has a nice promenade that runs along the shore of the lake. Even if you like sailing, you can hire a tour on the boat Captain Haase to enjoy the experience on this impressive lake (the 2nd largest in Chile).
It also stands out, like the rest of the region, for architecture of German origin. This is due to the immigration that occurred in this area (and southern Chile and Argentina in general).
It is a small town located on the shore of Lake Llanquihue which, despite its small size (18,000 inhabitants), hosts several of the most interesting places on the lake.
Beautiful wooden pier located in a privileged enclave. It is one of the typical destinations of this area of the Los Lagos region.
As in the rest of southern Chile, in that area there were German settlers in the 19th century. They brought with them their customs, gastronomy and typical architecture of Germany. And here, in this southern country of America, they adapted their culture to the Los Lagos region.
Specifically, in Frutillar, this museum shows the life of these settlers. A blacksmith, a water mill and a country house are available for tourists to visit.
The Lake Theater is a musical reference in southern Chile. If you like music, travel at the end of January and do not miss the concerts that take place here in the summer season.Source: Wikimedia Commons
In the city, and near it, there are a multitude of hotels and cabins with enchanted located on the shore of Lake Llanquihue….
And, if you go in summer, you can even bathe (we could not).
These waterfalls are, together with the Llanquihue lake and the Osorno volcano, the main attraction of the Lakes region. And, since they are not far from this volcano, from there, if there are not many clouds, you can enjoy beautiful views.
The access to the area is easy. There is a circuit with bridges and trails that facilitate your visit, worrying only about having the best views of this natural spectacle.
The main jump is impressive. The water breaks with great force, with a deafening sound. Although on a smaller scale, this torrent of water reminded us of the impressive Iguazu Falls.
Not only are there waterfalls, there are also several areas with nice pools of crystal clear water.
Beautiful lake which is located between the Petrohué waterfalls and the border with Argentina. Formerly, the communication of this region with Argentina was made through a series of lakes, being the Todos los Santos lake one of them. It was the so-called “Route of the Lakes”.
5.2 Los Lagos Region: Chiloe
The Chiloe archipelago stands out for having a differentiated cultural and folkloric way of life, as a result of its isolation from continental Chile.
The main city of the big island of Chiloe is Castro. Located on the eastern coast of the island, it has a population of 29,000.
This city, like Puerto Montt, stands out for the colorful stilt houses in the harbor area (houses with wooden foundations directly on the water).
In general, the island also stands out for the large number of churches of different styles there. These range from the most sober architecture of Bavarian origin to colorful churches.
Another tourist attraction on the island is nature itself. There are 3 protected natural parks on the whole island: Chiloe National Park and Tepuhueico park, located on the west coast, and Tantauco Park, located on the south coast of the island.
5.3 Los Lagos Region: Osorno
This province, which stands out for agriculture and livestock, is the 2nd in population of the Los Lagos region. Its capital, also called Osorno, has a population of 145,000 inhabitants.
Although it is not as touristy as the province of Llanquihue, it does have some tourist attractions to highlight:
- Lakes: Puyehue, Llanquihue (northern part) and Rupanco are the 3 main lakes of the province. They are quite accessible and have lacustrine beaches to enjoy its waters.
- Puyehue National Park: Beautiful natural park that hosts trekking routes, a thermal center and a ski resort (Antillanca).
- Spas of Maicolpu and Pucatrihue: They are located in the coastal part of the province.
5.4 Los Lagos Region: Palerna
It is the less populated province, only 18,000 inhabitants. In addition, after the Chaitén volcano eruption, its capital was badly affected.
It is not an area that is neither very touristy nor easily accessible, so we recommend more visits to the other provinces of the Los Lagos region.
6. Typical food of the Los Lagos Region
The most typical food in this area is, without a doubt, the curanto. This dish, originally from the island of Chiloe, is prepared as follows:
- A hole of about 15-20 cm is made in the ground.
- Round stones previously heated in a bonfire are introduced.
- On these stones are placed nalca leaves.
- Meat, seafood, potatoes and legumes are placed.
- Cover with more nalca leaves and dirt.
- After one hour the soil and leaves are removed. The curanto is ready!
You can also eat in this area pie, fish and seafood of first quality: choros (mussels), sea urchins, locos (type of seafood), conger, …
7. Nearby places of interest
The South of Chile is a natural wonder. There are so many places to visit: Torres del Paine (Patagonia), Navarino Island (Tierra del Fuego), Pucon (Araucania), … If you like nature, choose your destination now and … Come and enjoy!
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Kiss and hugs.