Feb 2019 – Next stop in Chile …Our Lake District tour started with a visit to Puerto Octay, a quaint little town in midst of volcanoes. We walked to the main square, saw Parroquia San Augustin Catholic Church, and got to learn about the history of this area of Chile. We took a short break at a local cheese shop ‘Quesos del Sur’ and tried the locally made southern cheeses with some delicious homemade bread.
We also saw the historic Hotel Haas (one of the oldest ones in this area) which is situated on the western edge of Lago Llanquihue.
Then we drove to the town of Frutillar which has beautiful reminiscences of Bavaria (Germany), region of origin of its first settlers. We walked around watching the German influence in the architecture of the houses, garden and buildings, and the mix of both cultures.
Then we visited the German Colonial Museum that records the life of the settlers in the region, saw the houses on premises from inside, the rooms along with the gardens and again a great view of Puntiagudo, Osorno and Tronador volcanoes in the front.
After a short lunch break at one of local eateries ‘Buen Viate’, we saw the glass fronted Theatre ‘Teatro del Lago’, located on coastline of the Lake and where each year in summer the Frutillar Musical Festival is held presenting the classic music from Chile.
From here, we drove south of Fruitillar, and saw on the way the green & fertile pasture lands along with the serene calm waters of Llanquihue (pronounced yan.qui.way) Lake. We made a stop at the Llanquihue city in Los Lagos Region (Lake District).
The spectacular scenes made us admire the color of the water, the contrast of blues against the sky and the volcanoes against the water – these were some of the images that are unforgettable.
We continued to visit Puerto Montt, where we visited the Plaza de Armas, the waterfront pier and the Cathedral and the Monument of the Settlers. From here went to the Angelmó, famous in Chile, because it has many hand crafts and Gifts shops, saw the works of many of the artisans.
Then we drove up to the highest point of the city and enjoyed the spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and Tenglo Island from there.
After this drive back to Puerto Varas where the landscape is incredibly green with lush forests and gently rolling farmlands. Saw some of the attractions here; the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church built during the year of 1915 to 1918, Baroque Style. it’s an exact replica of a church in Black Forest, Germany. Built by German Colonists, the town of Puerto Varas has a very European feel to it. It has a rich cafe culture with many cake and pastry shops and as many locals claim, the best coffee in Chile. The town itself is quite compact and it is easy to walk from both hotels into the center and down to the lakeside. Highlight of the day was a stop to see the Tompkins Conservation. Having watched a documentary made by Bill Weir called ‘Patagonia – Paradise Bought’ which aired on Oct. 2017 on CNN, we always wanted to visit this diverse landscape and finally got a chance this year.
Next day we took a full day trip to Puella Village .
Our 2 days spent in the Lake District Region were so different. This region is so vibrant and more cultural. There is much more to this area than landscapes, the local people are warm and friendly with a strong regional identity. Our guide Rebeca showed us around the green fields, beautiful lakes, birds and pointed out various flowers, wonder berries, explained the significance of these to the indigenous people of the Lake District area.
Through her we got to know the fascinating history of this area of Chile, its heritage, got to see the architecture against its charming German backdrop and we felt so much more connected to this original and beautiful area. Gracias Rebecca, ‘Pewkallal Chaltumay’.
If you found this interesting, look out for my next post ‘The flight of Condor’ which covers our next stop – Puerto Natales and Torres Del Paine.