Welcome to The Lakes District

The Lakes District, named for its myriad glacial lakes that dot a countryside otherwise characterized by looming, snowcapped volcanoes, otherworldly national parks and serene lakeside villages, is one of Chile's most picturesque regions. Outdoor adventurers congregate around pretty Puerto Varas, the region's most touristy town and the jumping-off point for most of the area's attractions, be it horseback riding or... Read More

Top experiences in The Lakes District

Travel guides

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The Lakes District activities

$280 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Puerto Varas to Bariloche Andean Lakes Crossing

One-Way Lakes Crossing: Puerto Varas to Bariloche (1 day)After hotel pickup in Puerto Varas, head northeast toward Petrohué, a town bordering Llanquihue Lake, the second largest lake in Chile. During the drive, gaze in awe at two snowcapped volcanoes stealing the show, Calbuco and the perfectly cone-shaped Osorno.Enter Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park, expansive landscapes of soaring volcanoes, fragrant forests, rivers and glassy lakes, and learn about the park’s history with a knowledgeable guide. Disembark and stroll toward one of the park’s top attractions, the raging Petrohué Waterfalls, cascading down lava beds created by Osorno volcano looming in the background.Next, board a ferry and sail across Todos los Santos Lake, enveloped by the foothills of the Andes, to Peulla, a hamlet near the Argentina border. During the 2-hour boat ride on the shimmering green waters, weather permitting, be dazzled by views of Osorno, the ‘sharp-pointed’ Pontiagudo volcano, and El Tronador volcano, ‘The Thunderer,’ located in the southern Andes.Disembark at Peulla and enjoy a leisurely lunch (own expense) at a hotel, perhaps following it up with a pisco sour in the lounge.Then go through customs, board a bus and capture amazing views as you cross the border in the Andes range at 3,202 feet (976 meters) above sea level. Snake your way down the mountains to Puerto Frías, sail across the deep turquoise-colored Felix Frías Lake to Puerto Alegre, where you’ll take a bus to Puerto Blest. In the evening, cruise from Puerto Blest across the last of your lakes of the day, the sapphire-blue waters of Nahuel Huapi, spanning 346 square miles (897 sq km), its fingers stretching deep into beech and cypress woods.Arrive at Puerto Pañuelo after an hour and take a bus ride to the city of Bariloche, a tourism hotspot sprawled along the shoreline of Nahuel Huapi Lake. Your tour concludes at around 8:30pm with drop-off at select Bariloche hotels.If you've opted for the round trip back to Chile, see Itinerary below for details.Note: View departure point info to ensure your hotel is included in the pickup and drop-off zone.

$71 Day Trips & Excursions

Frutillar, Puerto Varas and Petrohue Waterfalls

After your ship docks in Puerto Montt, you will head to Frutillar. Walk alongside Lake Llanquihue, the largest lake in Chile, with the view of Volcano Osorno in the background. Here, you shall enjoy seeing the majestic German houses with beautiful gardens full of fragrant roses, and the begonias. After you have walked around town accompanied by your expert guide, head to the van where you will go see the monumental “Theatre of the Lake” of Frutillar. From here, head back south to the town of Puerto Varas. Puerto Varas was colonized by German settlers and is known for its German traditions, seafood, natural scenery and luxurious hotels. This town is located on the shores of Llanquihue Lake and the perfect cone of Osorno Volcano and the snow-capped peaks of Mt. Calbuco and Mt Tronador are visible from the lakefront. You will enjoy walking around town filled with fragrant roses and historical statues that represent the history and founding of the town. If you enjoy shopping for souvenirs to take back home or simply enjoy looking at the local crafts this is a great place to do it.From here, we continue our journey to Ensenada, and then towards Petrohue Waterfalls which is the cherry on the top of this great excursion. Once you get to the location where the falls are located, you'll embark on an easy walk with your guide to a pathway that leads to the waterfalls. You will see water tumbling over the lip of volcanic rocks, with the waters turning beautiful shades of blue and green. Surrounded by a thick forest, the falls stand against the gorgeous backdrop of Osorno Volcano, making for amazing photo opportunities. The mysterious and breathtaking emerald color of the lake is due to a microscopic algae and minerals in the water. Legend says that whoever drinks from its waters will have good luck for the rest of his or her life.

$153 Shore Excursions

Puerto Montt Shore Excursion: Puerto Montt and Puerto Varas City Tours

When your cruise ship docks at the Puerto Montt port, your professional guide will take you on a 3.5-hour shore excursion to give you a great overview of the scenery, culture and architecture of this area of Chile. First, drive north to the town of Puerto Varas, which was founded by German settlers and is known for its German traditions, seafood, natural scenery and luxury hotels. This town is located on the shore of Llanquihue Lake, one of the largest natural lakes in South America, and the perfect cone of Osorno Volcano and the snow-capped peaks of Mt Calbuco and Mt Tronador are visible from the lakefront. Drive up Phillipi Hill for an even better vantage point!You’ll then travel along the lakeside road on your return to Puerto Montt for a city tour. Drive through the beachside village of Pelluco, visit the Tenglo Canal, and end with some free time in the picturesque village of Angelmó, where you can stroll through the streets at your leisure, dine on freshly caught seafood, and shop for locally crafted wooden and woolen items. After your tour, your guide will drop you off at the Puerto Montt port. Note: beginning January 1, 2014, all services are privateWorry-Free Shore ExcursionWe will ensure your timely return to the Puerto Montt port for this activity. In the rare event your ship has departed, we will arrange for transportation to the next port-of-call. If your ship is delayed and you are unable to attend this activity, your money will be refunded. See our terms and conditions for full details.

$173 Shore Excursions

Puerto Montt Shore Excursion: Petrohué Falls Tour

When your cruise ship docks at the Puerto Montt port, your guide will pick you up and take you on a half-day tour to Petrohué Falls, a chute-type waterfall in Chile’s upper Petrohué River that spills into Todos los Santos Lake. Travel along the southern shore of Lake Llanquihue and enter Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park, where you'll then embark on an easy walk with your guide to a pathway that leads to the falls. See waterfalls tumbling over a lip of volcanic rock, with waters turning beautiful shades of blue and green. Surrounded by a thick forest, the falls stand against the gorgeous backdrop of Osorno Volcano, making for amazing photo opportunities. You'll then continue to All Saints Lake, also known as Emerald Lake due to the striking emerald hue in its water. Enjoy free time here to enjoy an optional boat ride or to simply take in the wonderful scenery. Head to Ensenada village for lunch (own expense) and visit Laguna Verde, a lake hidden along a pathway in a thick forest of coihue trees. You’ll then return to the Puerto Montt port to conclude your tour. Note: beginning January 1, 2014, all services are privateWorry-Free Shore ExcursionWe will ensure your timely return to the Puerto Montt port for this activity. In the rare event your ship has departed, we will arrange for transportation to the next port-of-call. If your ship is delayed and you are unable to attend this activity, your money will be refunded. See our terms and conditions for full details.

$89 Day Trips & Excursions

Full-Day Tour to Chiloe Island Including Ancud, Castro and Dalcahue from Puerto Montt

This full-day tour will leave from Puerto Montt early in the morning and take the Panamericana Route 5 towards south for about 80 miles to reach the town of Pargua.In Pargua we take a ferry that will allow us to cross the Chacao Canal and reach the Isla Grande de Chiloe.There we go to the town of Chacao, one of the oldest villages of the island founded in 1567 which has a typical square where stands a curious and picturesque building of strong color. Visit the church, which is in addition to the more than 150 churches in Chiloé as well as many National Monuments. Then we will go to the city of Ancud, visit the Plaza de Armas, the Church, the crafts market, the Museum, the Gulf of Quitalmahue, Cerro Huaihuén and Fort San Antonio, historic site located in the uptown built in the late eighteenth century, all in the midst of stories of customs and myths of one of the larger islands of South America. Please note that tickets to the Museum of Ancud are not included. Later we will go to Castro, capital of Chiloé Island, visit the local Church of Castro which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000, handicrafts market and the Mirador del Barrio Gamboa to appreciate the famous "Palafitos" typical constructions made wooden pillars on water.We finish our tour visiting Dalcahue, famous for its craft fair on Sundays where locals bring from the outer islands of the archipelagos the most varied handicrafts for marketing. During the tour we will have time for lunch in a typical restaurant Chiloé Island (own expense).

$416 Private & Custom Tours

Shore Excursion: Osorno Volcano Private Tour from Puerto Montt

Our tour starts in Puerto Montt port, going to Osorno Volcano by the shore of Llanquihue Lake where we’ll enjoy the amazing landscape with the Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes. Then we'll get to Ensenada where we'll start to ascend to the Osorno Centro de Ski y Montaña, located at 1.240 meters (3937 feet).Here we'll stay for about 1-hour which will give us time for sightseeing, taking pictures and appreciating a unique view of the volcano with glaciers of eternal snow, the Calbuco, Lake Llanquihue Lake and the Pacific Ocean.As an option, you can take a cup of coffee or sandwich at the coffee shop of the place or take the lift to ascend to 1450 meters altitude in the Station Primavera (Spring) or 1,750 meters at Station Glaciar (Glacier) where there is a wonderful and breathtaking views of Lake Llanquihue. Please note that these services are not included in the price of the tour.