Lake Distrikt

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Lake Distrikt

Together with Chile this area is much more developed than the southern part (usually referred to as the ” End of the World”). The unparalleled beauty of the Lake District, with famous mountain resorts such as Bariloche offer a wide range of activities such as hiking, climbing, rafting, cannoning, mountain bike, horse riding and more during the summer. The most scenic golf course in Latin America is “hidden” in this area, close to the famous LLAO LLAO Hotel.

7 lake Adventure, Patagonia Argentina

This incredible 7-lake adventure consists in traveling around all the lakes and the national parks of Lanin and Nahuel Huapi. This is a widely known trip in this area.

Only a few kilometers are the extension of the Catrire beach on the Lacar Lake in San Matin. We can find a restaurant and a camping site here. If you keep going on the “Carruinca” reservation of Mapuche and the “Pil-Pil mirador” offer an incredible scenery. Before getting to the Malchonico lake, looking at the division of waters of the Partido stream (left to the Meliquina lake and right to the Lacar) demand a stop. Appreciation of the incredible powers and beauties of nature never come in a hurry. When we pass thru kilometer marker 27 the road changes from cement to dirt.

This also implies a great deal more of flora scenery. A small off road deviation in our way takes us to the beautiful lake “Hermoso”. Coastlines covered with woods and jungles protecting from the winds give away where the Nahuel Huapi starts and where the Lanin ends. Meanwhile the sun keeps on shining. Our next destiny is the Vullignanco waterfalls.

The Falkner, Villarino and Escondido lakes are separated by very slim passages and rock formations. These we see later on so we can appreciate the emerald green colors. Sport fishing lovers deviate of-road where the road turns in the Traful. Traveling thru a forest full of “coihue” they arrive to the Pichi Traful River. It’s considered as the paradise for fly-fishing. If your objective is to find “salmonido” fish you must keep on traveling until you get to the Correntoso Lake.

Then the trip around the seven lakes is over. A short distance from here we find “Villa La Angostura”. The flora here is very exuberant; this is considered more than a worthwhile experience.

Chiloe Island

Chiloé Island also known as Greater Island of Chiloé, is the largest island of Chiloé Archipelago off the coast of Chile, in the Pacific Ocean. The island is located in southern Chile, in the Los Lagos Region. The variety of potato which is most widely grown throughout the world is indigenous to the island.

Chiloé Island is the second largest island in Chile (and the fifth largest in South America), after the Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego. It is separated from the Chilean mainland by the Chacao Strait (“Canal Chacao”) to the north, and by the Gulf of Ancud (Golfo de Ancud) and the Gulf of Corcovado (Golfo Corcovado) to the east; the Pacific ocean lies to the west, and the Chonos Archipelago lies to the south, across the Boca del Guafo. The island is 190 km from north to south, and averages 55–65 km wide. The capital is Castro, on the east side of the island; the second largest town is Ancud, at the island’s northwest corner, and there are several smaller port towns on the east side of the island, such as Quellón, Dalcahue and Chonchi.

Chiloé Province includes all the Chiloé Archipelago except the Grupo Desertores islands, plus the Isla Guafo. The administrative center of the province is Castro, while the episcopal see of the Roman Catholic bishopric is Ancud. Chiloé province is part of the Los Lagos Region (Región de los Lagos), which mainly includes the Chilean lakes region on the mainland north of Chiloé. The administrative center of the region is Puerto Montt.

Chiloé and the Chonos Archipelago are a southern extension of the Chilean coastal range, which runs north and south, parallel to the Pacific coast and the Andes Mountains. The Chilean Central Valley lies between the coastal mountains and the Andes, of which the Gulfs of Ancud and Corcovado form the southern extension. Mountains run north and south along the spine of the island. The east coast is deeply indented, with several natural harbors and numerous smaller islands.

Bariloche, Patagonia Argentina

“San Carlos de Bariloche” is the preferred destination of more than half a million tourists every year. The incredible scenery and the city’s unique architecture capture the imagination of the visitors.

Located in the state of Rio Negro, Bariloche is one of the most visited by tourist city in the country. This city is haven for more than 650 thousand visitors. Most of the tourists make the trip for the ski season (July- September) or to take trekking trips to the Andes Mountains and the Lake District.

The city of Bariloche is located inside the national park known as Nahuel Huapi. The name of the lake in Bariloche is also Nahuel Huapi. Boat trips that take you to the islands of Victoria and Huemul as well as the ones taking you to the Arrayanes forest can be booked here.

The Catedral, Tronador, Otto and Campanario are all mountains forming a chain wall that protects Bariloche from the Patagonian wind. Trip wise, all types of offers exist so you can get to know all this mountains. Guided tours of all passageways to Chile form Argentina (the lake district) can also be found here. Alpinism, trekking, rafting, mountain biking and sport fishing among others can be practiced in this paradise.

You can find huge disco’s, pubs, casinos and tango shows in all downtown Bariloche alongside Nahuel Huapi Lake. You can also find in downtown Bariloche all swords of handmade products such as: hand knitted fabrics, cosmetics, wood works, leather, chocolates, hummed hams, etc.

El Bolson, Patagonia Argentina

The valley of El Bolson is located right were the Piltriquitron Mountain starts. Mountains and old glaciers provide protections that create a special climate in the Bolson making land very suitable for cultivating. In the 60´s hippies from different cities migrated here.. Over 14 thousand inhabitants living here survive thank to agriculture, tourism and hand crafted products. 

Once you are in El Bolson tourists commonly visit beer related production sites. Strawberry, cherry and raspberry production sites are also commonly visited because of a unique process used that involves no chemicals or additives. 

The main products manufactured here are: homemade jams, jelly, sweets, goat and sheep cheese, home brew beer, chocolates, arts and cotton clothes. The “Feria Artesanal Plaza Pagano” takes place every Thursday and Saturday; most of the products before mentioned are found here. Trips made in the “La Trochita” or “viejo tren patagonico” train are some of the most impressive available. The trains birth date was in 1945 and runs thru 200 kilometers to Esquel. 

You can also take this train to get to El Maiten. Once you get to the top of the Piltriquitron the Tronador and the Tres Picos Mountains, the Rio Azul valley and existing parapenting flights can be easily contemplated. You can also visit the Bosque Tallado where recognized Argentine artisans have more than made their mark. A little bit over 100 km from El Bolson tourists find themselves in the “Cholila” vicinity. 

This is the closest town to the known worldwide Alerces National Park. Larch trees found here, combine in 263 thousand square km to form the only woods of this type found in the whole world. El Bolson is part of the eight Patagonian Andes towns (Manso, Lago Puelo, El Hoyo, Epuyén, El Maitén, Cholila, Ñorquinco and Cushamen) found in the 42 parallel. These eight towns show incredible relations between them even dough belonging to different provinces. 

Puerto Montt

Originally, the site was covered by a thick forest and was called Melipulli (Means Four hills in Mapudungun). It was selected as an entrance to Lake Llanquihue when its proximity to the open sea was discovered. In the summer of 1851, an expedition arrived from Chiloé to begin the clearing of the area and the building of houses for the new inhabitants. The city itself was founded on February 12, 1853, after government-sponsored immigration from Germany that began in 1848 populated the region and integrated it politically to the rest of the country. It was named after Manuel Montt, President of Chile between 1851 and 1861, who set in motion the German immigration.

On March 4, 1969, approximately 90 landless squatters decided to settle on otherwise unoccupied farmland — without any title, right, or payment of rent — belonging to an absentee landlord. The squatters received advice from Socialist member of parliament Luis Espinoza due to the local authority never granting them any land they wanted to build houses. Five days later, local Police Chief Rolando Rodríguez Marbán reassured the squatters that they would not be disturbed and could proceed with their home construction. However, new orders received from the ministry of the interior the following day led to a change of plans: At midnight on March 9, Espinoza was charged with breaking the law, arrested, and moved to the city of Valdivia. At dawn, 250 policemen launched an assault on the squatters, following direct orders from Interior Minister Edmundo Pérez Zujovic. The final result was that all newly-built homes were burned to the ground and 11 squatters were shot dead.

The massacre of Puerto Montt and the public outcry that followed were major factors contributing to the fall of Eduardo Frei’s government, which was succeeded by Salvador Allende’s Unidad Popular in the next year’s elections.The events were described by singer-songwriter Víctor Jara in his song Preguntas por Puerto Montt.

Parques Nacionales, region de los lagos de Chile.

La belleza geográfica del sur de este país es impactante. Y visitar las zonas protegidas como reservas es la mejor manera de conocerla. De estos reductos, que son muestras representativas de la vegetación y la fauna de la región de la que forman parte, algunos de ellos se destacan y son los más preciados por los turistas.


En su interior, el volcán Antillanca -de 1.990 metros de altura- es uno de los paisajes más deslumbrantes, junto con la magnífica vista del Puyehue -de 2.236-, aunque éste se encuentra fuera de los límites de la reserva. Fruto de estos enormes macizos son las aguas termales, el principal atractivo del parque. Quien se acerque a esta zona, entonces, tiene una visita impostergable: bañarse en las termas Aguas Calientes o Puyehue (temperatura de 24 a 77 grados), rodeado de bosques siempreverdes y de coigües, sin otro sonido que el canto de los pájaros.

Este parque nacional, que alberga, además, numerosos lagos y lagunas, está ubicado a 75 kilómetros al este de la ciudad de Osorno y al pie de la cordillera de los Andes.

Alerce Andino

Fue fundado en 1982 con la intención de proteger una extensión de algo más de 39 mil hectáreas de típicos paisajes cordilleranos, en los que se mezclan valles de laderas verticales de 1.200 a 1.500 metros de altura, cerros, volcanes, lagos y más de 50 lagunas, en alguna de las cuales habitan la trucha café y arcoirirs, la peladilla y la percatrucha, entre otros peces.

Más de la mitad del parque -ubicado al este de Puerto Montt- está cubierto por bosques de alerces. Al recorrerlos, es gracioso toparse con ejemplares de venado chileno -también llamados pudú- y los monitos del monte.

Vicente Pérez Rosales

El volcán Osorno tiene excelentes condiciones para el montañismo y es, sin duda, lo más sublime de este parque nacional. Y no es para menos, es un cono perfecto de 2.652 metros de altura, considerado el más bello del llamado “cinturón de fuego” del océano Pacífico, junto con el volcán Fuji Yama de Japón. El panorama se completa, además, con el cerro Tronador (de 3.460 metros) y el volcán Puntiagudo (de 2.490).

Este lugar es ideal para los amantes de la pesca deportiva. En la cuenca glaciar del lago Todos los Santos, donde se encuentran las especies trucha fario, arcoirirs y salmón salar, se practica la modalidad trolling y mosca; mientras que en el río Petrohué, es habitual la pesca con cuchara, además de trolling.

Río Simpson

El paisaje cordillerano está siempre permanente a lo largo del sur de Chile, pero en este parque nacional existe la posibilidad de cruzar las montañas, de este a oeste, a través de una fractura en el río Simpson.

Esta reserva enlaza las localidades de Coihaique y Puerto Aisén y posee una extensión de 40 mil hectáreas, a lo largo de las cuales el pudú y el huemul merodean en busca de la sombra de los bosques de tepas, coigües y nalcas.

San Martin de Los Andes, Patagonia Argentina

If you want to live the experiences that the seven lake district, the national park Lanin have to offer we suggest San Martín de los Andes. Sports fishing is practiced one of the main practices here. San Martin is also known for its community’s sprit of fellowship.

San Martin was founded in 1898. This city is located on the lakeside of lake Lacar, wind protected by many mountains. San Martin is one of Neuquen´s province main attractions. The seven Lake District and the Lanin national park because of their beauty, come first in the rank of most sought after in the region.

Alongside the road named “ruta nacional 234” and stretching 110km we find the Seven Lake District (going south). All 7 lakes (Lacar, Machonico, Falkner, Villarino, Traful, Correntoso and Espejo) have developed lodging facilities.

The creation of the Lanin national park was very important to all of San Martin citizens. Based on its objective of preserving the species and the ecology, the main source of money (the wood industry) was prohibited. Sport Fishing is authorized but people have to be issued a permit for the season (November – April). In many rivers here you can fish trout of different kinds, “salmonidos”, “marrones”, “fontinalis” and keep all the fish you want as long as they are not endangeredu.

fishing in San Martin de los Andes

In the town of San Martin de los Andes, surroundings are more than prepared to meet all the fishing needs. Lakes and rivers of easy access contain trout, “salmonidos”, etc. You can optimize your fishing experiences and objectives. 

The area offers a mix of two main landscapes: green woods prepared to receive heavy rainfalls and dry coasts made mostly out of rock. Rivers join paths at lakes where recreational heavens for fish form. Old and young species of fish are born only here (“puyén, el pejerrey patagónico, trucha criolla, la trucha marrón arco iris de arroyo and el salmón encerrado”).

In the Lanin national park sport fishing is authorized but a permit is necessary. This permit lasts usually from mid-November to mid-April. In the spirit of preserving all the different species, rules were created (no use of live bait and all fishes caught that belong to an endangered species have to be thrown back).

The possibilities of participating in one of the many activities dedicated for fishing are many. Some lake details are explained next. 

Lago Escondido
The types of fish you find here are the rainbow trout, “marrones” and “fontinalis”. Rules are every fisherman can keep only 2 fish that measure not less than 40 centimeters. You can fly cast and use Spinning techniques.

Río Correntoso
This is a short river uniting the Nahuel Huapi with the Correntoso lakes. The record for the biggest trout caught (16 kg – 30 pounds) is held here. Quality and quantity of trout fish present is unquestionable. On the way to this river clear crystalline waters are seen and enjoyed.

Río Meliquina
14 kilometers in length and inside the Lanin national park, it flows in between plains and woods. The river has the same name of the lake where it starts. It ends in the Filo Hua Hum forming the Caleufu.
An excellent home for salmonido fish and the migrating trout. For trout the characteristics in this river are optimum (cold and crystalline waters, segments of fast flows and shallow waters, deep waters, rocky edges and no sand, etc.)

Río Filo Hua Hum Oeste
All throughout its 11 kilometers of length fishermen will find different characteristics for fishing. This river starts in the Nuevo Lake and presents a 40-meter with, slow waters and good depths. Only experimented fishermen are able to get to the entrance of water, he who makes it is rewarded with big plenty of big trout. 

This river has incredible sites for fishing all the way down up to 400 meters. After this it becomes hard to get past the coastal woods towards shore. But around 6 kilometers down, the river again becomes easy to get to. We find here “La Angostura” a sightseeing parador prepared to accommodate many needs. This parador located in the sides of the Cerillos, gets its name because of the shorter with of the river in this area. From the top of a huge rock we can see trout in “el pozon”. 

Continue to travel down the river and fishing will be enhanced by many rocks, big trees, mountain ends, etc. that fish use as hang-outs. The river then divides into different branches and the adventure becomes more difficult.

The Species
Trout belong to the salmon family. Most of them live in salt free waters and feed on most kinds of fresh fishes (smaller fish, insects).

Trucha Arco Iris- Rainbow Trout
This family of fish is very appreciated by fishermen that like their great abbility to hunt and when fighting to free themselves jump outside the water. The body is greenish, sides are whiter, they have black spots all over and showoff a briliant bowlike string that goes all around the fish. It possitions itself right before rapids and crystalline waters.

Trucha Marrón- Brown Trout 
Its body is very thick and agile. Shows small whitish spots. In 1930 the first fish of its kind where introduced in Patagonia waters. 

Trucha de Arroyo
The distinctive mark is a fin with white borders. The body is short and round. The tail shows green, brown, yellow, red and blue spots. Capturing any of this kind is very difficult because of their abilities to avoid bait and fighting skills.

Trucha Criolla-Creole Trout
The rewards of fishing this kind come after its pulled out. In the water it doesn’t show much resistance but the taste afterwards is unique. Two types: wide and short mouths.

Los Lagos Region, Chile

The X Los Lagos Region, literally Region of the Lakes is one of Chile’s 15 first order administrative divisions.

The “Los Lagos Region” contains the country’s second largest island, Chiloé, and the second largest lake, Llanquihue. Its capital is Puerto Montt and, besides this city, its most important urban centers are Osorno, Castro, Ancud and Puerto Varas.

The region has an area of 67,013 km² and its population is 1,073,135, with a population density of 15.8 /km² including Valdivia Province that in 2007 became a region of its own. It is bordered on the north by Los Ríos Region, on the south by Aisén Region, on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the east by Argentina (provinces of Neuquén, Río Negro and Chubut).

The region, in general, has a temperate rainforest. The coastal part, except for the south of the Chiloé Island, has a temperate climate with cold winter rain. To the south, the climate is characterized by constant rain and not having dry seasons.

Los Alerces National Park 

Lonesome birds perching on roadside fences complete the breathtaking scenery present in the woods of the Andes. Only chains of lakes and valleys accompany these birds .

By traveling paved roads we get to the Puelo Lake. The crystalline waters of this lake reflect the green colors of the woods and the whiteness of the everlasting snows of the Tres Picos Mountains. 

Fishermen arrive to catch one of the rainbow trout found here in abundance. The small town known as Cholila is our next destiny. Hundreds of tourists come to this town in pursuit of stories revealing the lifestyles of outlaws that lived here (Butch Cassidy, Sundandace Kid, Etta Place). 

The mysteries of the caves left by men thousands of years ago and a lake that sport fishing fans consider as paradise exist in Cholila. A short distance away is the entrance to the Alerce National Park known as one of the most beautiful in Argentina. It consists 263 thousand square km of green and brown woods of trench trees, lakes, waterfalls, mountains and admirable glaciers. To the south and past La Pasarela hanging bridge the road takes us to the Rivadavia, Menéndez glacier, Verde and Futalaufquen lakes.

A brief 1km walk lets us closely appreciate the fauna aspects and the wonderful strawberry fields of El Verde. 

Isla Grande is an island sitting in the middle of the Menendez Lake. From here you will see the huge Torrecillas glacier. 2253 meters of towering ices that create an astonishing collage of mixed colors provided by the woods nearby. 

If we continue following the road Villa Futalafquen is up next. The national parks administrative offices are here. You will also see the Centro de Interpretacion, a center for nature facts interpretations and studies.

The Trochita train

We will never be able to take a trip back in time to visit 
those places talked about so much in history books. Never 
the less the Trochita train offers this scenes. When riding 
this train the passengers feel like they are reliving 
what pioneers saw when they got here. .

600 meters above sea level and running on railway tracts 75cm apart this old train goes thru valleys, besides lakes, mountains and thru woods. Its not particularly fast but the Trochita surely takes us from El Maiten to Esquel. 

Weather factors where considered when the decision to cut the train’s trips short was taken. It used to join Rio Negro and Chubut. Today only Chubut is the only province that has the privilege to hear the echoes of the Trochita coming. In the beginnings the purpose of the train was other. It served as the only way to travel between mountainsides, carry all types of merchandise and at the same time transport cattle in wagons with very old heaters. The train was renamed `old Patagonian express´. 

The historical landmarks of this trip remain the same but the trip was cut short for tourism purposes. It consists of three main stations: Maiten, Nahuel Pan and Esquel (165 kilometers of rail roads). The numerous curves in the train trips remain a main attraction for the thousands of foreign tourists that come for adventures in the Patagonia. Mountain sheep and lots of other types of wild fauna are always playing games around the path of the train. 
In El Maiten a train garage museum exists showing old train parts only handmade and manufactured here. You will find a restaurant and a service area. 

Close by there is an Indian reservation consisting of thirty families. They call themselves `river turns´this points out their location in the valley. 
You also find Mapuche Indian descendants in communities around the Nahuel Pan station. They plan out their lives based on the products of farming and art works. In march of every year a religious celebration consisting in chants and offerings to the god Nguillatun take place on the feet of Nahuel Pan Mountain.

The Carretera Austral

The Carretera Austral is the name given to Chile’s Route 7. The highway runs about 1,240 kilometers  from Puerto Montt to Villa O’Higgins through rural Patagonia.

Carretera Austral provides road access to Chile’s Aisén Region and southern part of Los Lagos Region. These areas are sparsely populated, thus despite its length, Carretera Austral provides access to only ca 100,000 people. South of the highway’s start in Puerto Montt, Coyhaique is the largest city along it.

Construction was begun on the highway in 1976 under the presidency of Augusto Pinochet in order to connect a number of the remote communities. Before that, in 1950s and 1970s, there had been unsuccessful attempts to build access roads in the region.[3] The highway opened to traffic in 1988, and by 1996 was completed to Puerto Yungay. The last 100 kilometers  to Villa O’Higgins were opened in 2000. In 2003, a branch road to Caleta Tortel was finished.

Bariloche, Patagonia Argentina

The Mapuche are the indigenous inhabitants of Central and Southern Chile and Southern Argentina. They were known as Araucanians by the Spaniards. This is now considered pejorative by the people and the term Mapuche is the one most often used by people in conversation. Mapuche make up about 4% of the Chilean population, who are particularly concentrated in the Araucania Region.

Contrary to popular belief, the Quechua word awqa “rebel, enemy”, is probably not the root of araucano: the latter is more likely derived from the placename rag ko  “clayey water”.

The Mapuche had an economy based on agriculture; their social organisation consisted of extended families, under the direction of a “lonko” or chief, although in times of war they would unite in larger groupings and elect a toqui to lead them.

The Mapuche are a wide-ranging ethnicity composed of various groups which shared a common social, religious and economic structure, as well as a common linguistic heritage. Their influence extended between the Aconcagua River and Chiloé Island and later eastward to the Argentine pampa. The Mapuche (note that Mapuche can refer to the whole group of Picunches (people of the north), Huilliches and Moluche or Nguluche from Araucanía or exclusively to the Moluche or Nguluche from Araucanía) inhabited the valleys between the Itata and Toltén Rivers, as well as the Huilliche (people of the South), the Cuncos. 

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the Mapuches expanded eastward into the Andes and pampas forming with the existing people the Poyas and Pehuenche. At about the same time ethnic groups of the pampa regions, the Puelche, Ranqueles and northern Aonikenk, called Patagons by Ferdinand Magellan, known now as Tehuelche, made contact with Mapuche groups, adopting their language and some culture (in what came to be called the Araucanization).

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About the author

I am Matias, born in Patagonia, and a lover of my land.

For more than 20 years I help foreign travellers to organise their trip to Patagonia.

I also manage this exotic accommodation on the Atlantic coast.