Playa Venado Farm is a dairy farm that recently opened its doors to agritourism. Great place if you wish to enjoy breathtaking landscapes of Chile’s southern farmlands on the shores of Lake Llanquihue while learning about the process of milk production and preparation of gourmet manjar (caramel milk spread) on the premises.
Located on the route to Ensenada, and only 16 km from Puerto Varas, the farm is surrounded by rolling fields overlooking the lake and the Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes. The dairy cows of Danish Jersey origin are milked daily to provide the basic ingredient in the preparation the traditional homemade recipe of delicious manjar of the highest quality.
This farm stands out for its good management and practices, so people with special interests also come to this place for an “Agricultural technical tour”.
Visitors can take the tour “From grass to manjar” to learn about the life cycle of cows and how green grass pasture is converted into milk and then into delicious manjar, prepared in view of all visitors. The tour ends with a taste freshly made manjar. There is a shop, where you can also buy souvenirs and handcrafts made by local artists. Great option for adults as well for families with children.
we have done one of the best multi activity I had ever done travelling .In the Lakes district, with the guys from the hostel Casa Margouya and friends. Few days in the Andes ranges around Puerto Varas.
We done, rafting, canyoning, horse riding and trekking...it was amazing !
in the Cochamo valley , few days horse riding to go to see Alerces trees , 3000 years old...whau!
Crossing the Todos los Santos lake in Kayak to reach the El Callao valley and go to hot springs, horses and walk , to Rupanco lake and going up to volcan Casablanca. After that we done rafting in Petrohue river , and canyoning for lot of fun.
Could you imagine that ? No ? so, go there and enjoy it !
The last lake in the crossing is Lago Nahuel Huapi which gives its name to the first national park in Argentina. You leave from Puerto Blest and travel along one arm of this huge lake to Puerto Pañuelos where another bus takes you to San Carlos Bariloche.
The lake is much bigger and the scenery quite different. Unfortunately when I saw it the snow capping the mountains was a dirty biege colour due to the still errupting ash from Volcan Puyehue.
The bird life is amazing on this lake and Pacific Gulls fly around and swoop down to take food from our hands.
Lago Frias is the smallest of the three lakes in the lakes crossing. The ferry also is the smallest because people travelling this leg are crossing from Chile to Argentina or vice versa and not the day trippers that enjoy the return trip on the other two lakes.
It is from this lake that you get the best view of Volcan Tronador.
The journey ends at Puerto Alegre where a bus take you 3km to Puerto Blest to continue the crossing over Lago Nahuel Huapi.
One of the best ways to cross into Argentina is by the famous Lakes Crossing. The trip starts in either Puerto Varas or Puerto Montt and goes through Vicente Perez Rosales National Park to Petrohue where a short visit to the falls is included.
The fisrt leg is a boat trip to Puella across Lago Todos los Santos also known as the Emerald Lake because of the colour of the water. It looked very Sapphire the day I was there!
The scenery is amazing with spectacular views of Volcanoes Orsono, Puntiagudo and Tronador. The weather can be changeable and even the sunniest day in late October can be quite cold.
Meals are available in Peulla where you can have lunch. There is also food available on the boat.
Although I didn't use the company the website immediately below explains the itinerary and gives costs.
Part two of this amazing trip takes place on land and is where you actually cross the border. Stops are made to view Cascada las Mellizas and Volcan Tronador before arriving at Puerto Frias where you go through the border formalities.
At the border you also leave Vicente Perez Rosales National Park and enter Nahuel Huapi National Park.
At Puerto Frias you board another boat to cross Lagos Frias to Puerto Alegre. Here you take a short bus trip to Puerto Blest for the final part of the trip.
Osorno Volcano at 2,652-metres is Chile's answer to Mt Fuji. It is on the south eastern shore of Llanquihue Lake and also is a feature from Todos Los Santos Lake.
Although considered one of the most active (11 recorded eruptions) of the Andean volcanoes Orsono hasn't erupted since 1869. The upper slopes are covered with glaciers and it is continually snow covered.
The best views of the volcano are from the shores of Llanquihue Lake on the road to Petrohue or from Puerto Varas where it can be seen alongside another active volcano Calbuco.
Half day bus trips are available from Puerto Varas in spring and summer to the ski lodge where you have a spectacular view of the Andes and over Llanquihue Lake to Puerto Varas. There is a choice of following a track over the lava fields or catching the ski lift to the Red Crater (at an extra cost).
Although not the company I used, the website gives an idea of the trips available.
I did the Day Lakes Crossing from Puerto Varas to Bariloche in Argentina in November 2008. It was an interesting experience to travel through The Andes Cordillera and cross three lakes from one country to another.
We began our journey at 8.30 am from Puerto Varas; travelled along the Lago Llanquihue's shore until we reached Ensenda, the gateway to Parque Nacional Vicente Perez Rosales. In the national park, we made our first stop at the Saltos de Petrohue (Entrance fee 1200 CLP (November 2008) where we had time to visit the small waterfalls/rapids. We drove onto Petrohue where we got our first catamaran for the journey across Lago Todos Los Santos. It took us an hour and a half to cross the Emerald Lake. Unfortunately, we got obscured views of Volcans Osorno and Puntiagudo as the weather was cloudly on the lake even if there were sunshine breaks. We then reached Peulla at the other end of the lake where we had lunch and there was an opportunity to participate in some activities. I had a nice lunch at one of the hotels then I hung around the village until it was time for us to continue our journey. There isn't much to see and do in Peulla although the surrounding scenery was amazing!
We joined a mini bus from Peulla that would take us to Puerto Frias in Argentina. We got off a few kms after setting off to get our Chilean exit stamps and rode through no man's land and dense forest and bushes. Before reaching the Argentine border, we saw Monte Tronador and reached Puerto Frias where we stopped for refreshments and got our Argentine entry stamps. We rode across the milky peppermint Lago Frias for half an hour before reaching Puerto Alegre. The mini bus was waiting for us to take us for the short drive to Puerto Blest. There we had an opportunity to hike to the Cascada Los Cantaros Waterfalls but instead I opted for a coffee and a read at the port's cafes. This is when the weather began caving in with rain and wind and it was starting to get dark; this didn't dampen my spirits because I got chatting to some friendly Columbian travellers who were on the same trip as me. An hour later, we disembarked at Puerto Panuelo where we were transferred to our hotel and hostels. I was dropped off last only to have realised that the hostel I was booked in was closed for refurbishment and my booking was transferred to its sister one downtown so I was dropped off there.
In all it was a great experience and I was glad of the opportunity. It cost me around 170 USD (November 2008) and because of the price I won't be doing it again even if we saw some amazing scenery but I think the weather makes a difference.
If you're looking for a cheaper option, it's worth taking the scheduled bus from Bariloche to Osorno in Chile via The Seven Lakes Region and Parque Nacional Puyehue, which is just as beautiful, and this cost me 70 ARP (November 2008) for a one way ticket and certainly at a fraction of the Lakes Crossing Price.
It is highly recommended to explore around this national park whilst travelling in the Chilean Lake District. It is the second oldest park in South America after Parque Nacional Huapi in Argentina. You can able to make a trip to the National Park on a day trip from Puerto Varas or as part of the lakes crossing from Puerto Varas to Bariloche (vic versa).
Entering into the national park, either by car or joining a guided tour, you can head up to the slopes of Volcan Osorno (2652m high) and see the volcano close up. You can ski on the slopes in the winter or, rest of the year, you can take a chairlift from Centro de Esqui La Burbuja near to the summit. From the slopes and above, you can see Volcan Calbuco, Lago Llanquihue and, if on a clear day, the Pacific coast.
You can view the volcano in Puerto Varas from Lago Llanquihue or when you are crossing Lago Todos Los Santos from Petrohue to Peulla.
Saltos de Petrohue and Lago Todos Los Santos
It is worth checking the small rapids/waterfalls that were formed by layers of lava, from past volcanic eruptions, that have been eroded. It cost around 1200 CLP (November 2008) to visit. Not far there is Lago Todos Los Santos known as Lago Esmerelda and because of the green in the waters. The lake is in the heart of the national park. You can take boat trips around the lake from Petrohue to Peulla on a day trip or as part of the lakes crossing to Argentina. The boat trip takes 1.5 hours one way and on the trip you get views of Volcan Osorno, Volcan Puntiagudo, Cerro Bonechemo and passing Isla Margetrita in the centre of the lake where Ricardo Roth, the found of the lakes crossing journeys, is buried and the boats' horns are sounded in remembrance of him.
For a lovely view of Puerto Varas, nothing beats the view from the top of Cerro Philippi. This wooded hill sits to the north of the town and is easily recignised by the huge (ugly) cross on top. It is easy to get there as well. From the plaza, just head along the lake, past the Club Yates restaurant. On the left is the Cabañas Del Lago Hotel. Walk up behind the hotel (actuall the front of the hotel) and turn into Belavista. Cross the defunct railway line. About 50m on is the entrance to the park. Just follow the road to the top for a lovely view.
The Roman Catholic Church in Puerto Varas is quite pretty from the outside but much more interesting on the inside. Constructed of native wood, mainly ulmo and roble, and clad in corrugated iron, this building was constructed between 1915 and 1918. It has sprouted towers in the inervening years. Said to be modelled on the Marien Kirche in the Black Forest in Germany it was built by arquitect Edmundo Niklitschek.
Unfortunately the church is not open to visitors on a Sunday as there are services but during the week it is open from 9 to 13.30 and from 15.30 to 18.00.
There is a small statue of Bernardo O'Higgins (1778–1842) here on the lake. No other person had a bigger impact on the history of Chile than O'Higgins. His unusual name is due to the fact that he was the illegitimate son of an Irishman. His father, Ambrose Higgins, was born in Sligo Ireland and was a military commander for Spain. What is known as Chile was a frontier colony at the time and O’Higgins Sr. was a powerful man in territory disputed by the Spanish crown and the local Mapuche Indians.
Ambrose defeated the Mapuche and was made Viceroy of Peru. Unfortunately having an illegitimate son was an embarrassment and young Bernardo was sent to Europe. Its is here that he first heard theories of Enlightenment and began to think about the future liberation of his native Chile.
He returned to Chile a few years later as the beginnings of Independence had begun. He was pressed into military service and was named as the revolutionary leader in 1813. Setbacks on the battlefield sent him to Argentina until 1817. He returned to Chile with a new army and at the Battle of Chacabuco he defeated the Spanish. Independence was now real. O’Higgins was named Supreme Director of Chile after independence on Feb. 12, 1818.
He had lots of egalitarian ideas about political and land reform and helping the poor. This did not go down well with powerful land owners and he was forced into exile in Peru in 1823. He was granted permission to return in 1842, but died before boarding the ship to take him home. He is buried in the Cementerio General de Santiago in the capital – Santiago.
OK. This is what you came for.
The awesome glacier-clad Osorno volcano towers over Llanquihué lakes, Puerto Varas and the nearby Todos los Santos lake (behind it). It looks close by, but is actually 59 km west of Puerto Varas. Just gives you an idea of its size. Its snow capped summit has an incredible elevation of 2652 meters (8,701 feet) and took about 250,000 years to fully form. It has blown hot molten lava over 14,000 years from its top and side. Luckily for you, it last erupted in 1869. You can climb it without lots of equipment, but you do need a guide. They know where the big holes are under the ice & snow.
During your climb you may encounter the puma, foxes, skunks, humming birds and woodpeckers. Enjoy!
There are 2 volcanoes in Puerto Varas! When most people look out onto Lago Llanquihue they stare at the amazing snow capped Volcano Osorno. They hardly pass a glance to the right at the other volcano, Calbuco, which seems to be smoking a little bit. That’s because Calbuco is one of the most active volcanoes of the southern Chilean Andes!
What’s left of it rises a mighty 2003 meters high. Imagine how high it was before its top blew off. Calbuco blew it’s top in gigantic eruptions in 1893-1894
The Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Iglesia del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús) is the most striking feature of Puerto Varas. It was built between 1915 & 1918, built entirely of oak and was modelled on the Marienkirche in the Black Forest. This Catholic Church is still in use, so please check at the front entrance to see if it is open.