VOLCANOES, FORESTS & FJORDS
6 days / 5 nights
This self-drive tour takes you on picturesque roads along the highlights of Chile’s Lake District. From the second largest lake in the country, Lago Llanquihue, the route leads you through spectacular nature along the Pacific fjord Reloncaví. The snow-covered Osorno Volcano, the emerald-colored Todos Los Santos Lake or the millennial Alerce trees in the Alerce Andino National Park offer postcard motives.
1.5 h drive- 75 km/46 mi
Your journey begins in Puerto Montt, the capital of Chile´s Lake District in the south of Chile. Pick up your rental car at the airport of Puerto Montt and drive north past the colonial towns of Puerto Varas, Frutillar and Puerto Octay, founded on the shores of Lake Llanquihue in the middle of the 19th century by German settlers. On the way it is worth visiting the small park Lahuen Ñadi near the airport, harboring millennial Alerce trees. Your destination for today, the small village of Las Cascadas, is named after the impressive nearby waterfalls that rush down the slopes of Osorno Volcano.
Overnight in Cascadas.
45 min drive – 35 km/20 mi
Continue to Vicente Peréz Rosales National Park today. Through dense native forest, a road leads up the slopes to the ski station of Osorno Volcano. Enjoy unforgettable panoramas of Llanquihue Lake and the impressive mountain range of the Andes.
Afterwards follow the road towards the Andes Mountains, passing by Ensenada and the rapids of Petrohué River. You stay in the small village of Petrohué today, located on the shores of the picturesque, emerald-colored Todos Los Santos Lake.
Overnight in Petrohué. (B)
There are many options to spend this day at leisure. Hike on the slopes of Osorno Volcano, cross Todos Los Santos Lake on a navigation to Peulla in the Andes foothills, or visit the bustling town of Puerto Varas.
Overnight in Petrohué. (B)
2 h drive – 90 km/55 mi
Continue your trip on lonely country roads with stunning panoramas along the Pacific Fjord Reloncaví, which reaches deep into the foothills of the Andes Cordillera. A gravel road leads along its shore to the village of Puelo, where the river of the same name has cut a valley into the mountains. In the afternoon, there is enough time to explore the beautiful pristine surroundings.
Overnight in Puelo. (B)
2-3 h drive – 65 km/40 mi
Follow the road along the shores of Reloncaví fjord until you reach the small ferry terminal of Caleta Puelche. Cross the fjord on a 30-minute ferry ride to Caleta Arena. Don’t miss the delicious fresh seafood empanadas on offer here! Continue on the Carretera Austral north until the village of Lenca, where you stay in a cabin today. We recommend visiting the nearby Alerce Andino National Park that protects the native Alerce tree. It grows exclusively in this area of Chile and Argentina. Some specimens were dated to be more than 3,500 years old – arguably some of the oldest beings in the world!
Overnight in Lenca. (B)
1-2 h drive – 60 km/37 mi
From Lenca, continue north along the Pacific Coast until reaching Puerto Montt, where your trip ends today. Drop off your rental car at the airport. From here, you can continue your trip to another region of Chile or take a flight back home via Santiago. (B)