Located just off the Panamericana, LAGO LLANQUIHUE is an immense inland sea of 870 square kilometres, a backdrop for one of the icons of the Lake District, the Mount Fuji-like Volcán Osorno (2661m), in all its stunning, symmetrical perfection, surrounded by gently rolling pastures. The little towns and villages around Lago Llanquihue have a shared German heritage, but differ greatly in character. Puerto Varas, at the lake’s southernmost point, is a bustling adventure tourism centre to rival Pucón. Frutillar, on the lake’s western shore, is a summer holiday resort beloved by Chileans, while Puerto Octay, to the north, is a neat little Bavarian-looking town. By the time you come to the village of Ensenada, on the far eastern shore of the lake, forest has overtaken dairy fields and the land begins to rise as you enter the foothills of the Andes. This forest extends to the border, and is protected by the Parque Nacional Vicente Pérez Rosales. The national park is a favourite scenic route into Argentina via the magical green waters of Lago Todos Los Santos.

South of Ensenada the road winds its way down through isolated country to the placid calm of Chile’s northernmost fjord, a branch of the Estuario de Reloncaví. Here you can horse-trek into South America’s oldest rainforest – the famous alerce groves found in the valleys above the village of Cochamó.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Chile features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

24 breaks for bookworms

24 breaks for bookworms

1. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas In 1971, fuelled by a cornucopia of drugs, Hunter S. Thompson set off for Las Vegas on his “savage journey to the heart of …

02 Mar 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge camera_alt Gallery
15 things everyone learns backpacking South America

15 things everyone learns backpacking South America

South America has become a favoured destination for the intrepid backpacker, and while it’s impressive in the astounding diversity of its nations, there are a…

02 Mar 2016 • Steph Dyson insert_drive_file Article
Quiz: can you locate these national parks?

Quiz: can you locate these national parks?

National parks are some of the world's most awe-inspiring natural places, taking in mountains, glaciers, waterfalls and forests (sometimes all in the same one…

02 Jul 2015 • Rebecca Hallett help Quiz
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month