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Chile’s Lake District is a place of immense natural beauty, with snowcapped volcanoes, rushing rivers, tumbling waterfalls, placid lakes and dense forests.

The area is made up of four adjacent national parks: Vicente Perez Rosales and Puyehue in Chile, plus Nahuel Huapi and Lanin in Argentina. There are 12 major lakes in the district, and dozens more are sprinkled through the landscape.

The pretty scenery has been likened to Switzerland and the early émigrés from Germany have left their mark on farms, towns and some traditions; even so the region is wholly Chilean. Between the lakes, thermal hot springs and ancient larch forests are the Andes, including six volcanoes, the highest being Villarica, rising to 2,847 metres.

The Lake District has much to offer visitors, with popular resorts, hiking or bike riding through the forest, traditional folklore and handicrafts, and cruises around the fjords and glacier.

Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: lesser rhea, ocelot, puma, Humboldt penguin, magellanic penguin
  • Where: Llanquihue Province, Chile