In the south of Chile in the Lake District (also known as Green Patagonia), blue and emerald lakes meet wild rivers, hot-springs and active cone volcanoes. The region runs 360km/255miles from Pucon to Puerto Montt and is known for its spectacular scenery including giant tree species like Larch, Araucaria, Coihue, Cipres etc, and diverse birds and mammals. The Lake district is home to the indigenous Mapuche community whose struggle to regain land lost under colonialists has drawn worldwide media attention.
The Chilean Lake District offers a wide array of outdoor sports, ranging from trekking and hiking though scenic parks to kayaking and whitewater rafting and swimming in and cruising on the multitude of lakes. In total there are twelve main lakes in the region and six volcanoes. It is a very popular destination in summer and Santiaguinos and tourists from across the world flock to the beaches around the lakes.
- The region’s biggest volcano is the active Villarrica, peaking at 2,847m. Many people climb to the crater each year.
- In summer months the adventure sports haven of Pucon is inundated with visitor, who return to ski in winter.
- The region’s famous Araucaria tree, growing up to 40m tall, is called monkey-puzzle tree in English.
- The region ends at the gateway to Patagonia, at the start of the islands and fjords.
- The mystical Chiloe archipelago is home to UNESCO churches, island legends, and misty landscapes.
The weather in the Lake District is similar to Northern Europe or the Pacific Northwest region in North America, with warm summers and cool, damp winters. Weather in summer is changeable and rain a possibility at any time of year, and in winter snow is plentiful in ski areas. Temperatures in the region range from a high of 25 degrees Celsius in summer to lows of about 4 degrees Celsius in winter, with intense rainfall in the winter months from June-September.