Puerto Varas and its surroundings
22.03.2011 - 24.03.2011
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Puerto Varas is a small, but pretty town on lake Llanquihue In the Chilean Lake District. I stayed in a very good hostel there where I met a nice bunch of people. They also had the best equipped hostel kitchen I have ever seen and their breakfast was amazing!
The town of Puerto Varas itself is very nice, and the surrounding area is very good for day trips to some beautiful places. A walk by the lake or around the town to look at old German colonial houses is a relaxing activity for a sunny day.
From Puerto Varas you can very easily get a bus to Frutillar Bajo, a very small and quiet, but lovely place. Normally you can see the volcano Osorno across the lake. Unfortunately, when I was there it was very cloudy and I could not see the volcano. The lake was still very pretty though. The town was home to many German colonists. Therefore, there are still many colonial houses and everything has a German touch to it. Most shops, cafés, restaurants etc. have German names, the speciality of the many little cafés is german ‘Kuchen’ (they even call it that).
There is also an interesting German colonial museum, which is an open-air museum where you can find old colonial houses, a watermill, a smithy (where an elderly German blacksmith is still working and offering to engrave a horseshoe with your name for a certain fee) and a farm building where old farm equipment is on display). In Frutillar you can also find the Teatro del Lago which is a very new and modern building that you can enter with a guide. The architecture of the building is really cool, both outside and inside.
On Friday, I went to Lago Todos Los Santos. This is a beautiful narrow lake from the shore of which you can see 3 volcanoes.
In the area there are many hiking trails, but I only had time to follow the one leaving from the lake for about 1 hour. It led into the woods, where I was almost all alone, and offered great views of the volcano Osorno.
From there, I also went to see the waterfalls ‘Saltos del Petrohué’ The waterfalls are not very high, but the current is very strong and the water gets smashed from one wall of rocks to the other which makes the view quite spectacular.