Bariloche is located on the shores of Lake Nahuel Huapi and surrounded by the mountains, lakes and national parks of the Lake District. The landscape attracted many Swiss and German settlers, whose legacy is most notable in the huge number of chocolate factories and shops in the town. There are numerous hills near the town, which can be climbed on foot or chairlift, which offer spectacular views of the mountains and lakes of the area, in particular Cerro Campanario, 17km out of town. The national parks offer a range of outdoor activities, ranging from skiing (in season) to trekking, biking and kayaking while the town itself is a wonderful and picturesque spot to relax for a few days, with some great bars and restaurants.
Puerto Varas is a town located on the shores on Lake Llanquihue which is a good base for exploring the beautiful landscapes of the Chilean Lake District. Known as the 'City of the Roses', the views along the shoreline of the lake in Puerto Varas are beautiful with the snow-capped cones of the Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes in the background. Trekking on the lava fields of the Osorno Volcano provides excellent views of the region towards the Pacific on one side and the emerald Lago Todos Los Santos on the other. The Valdivian rainforest surrounding Osorno also provides an excellent hiking destination with lush green landscapes and a variety of wildlife. Lava from Osorno has formed an impressive series of waterfalls and rapids for the icy blue glacier water at the Saltos de Petrohue, complete with the volcanic cone as an impressive backdrop.
|Crossing the Andes|
The lake districts of Chile and Argentina are beautiful regions with mountain lakes, national parks and the peaks of the Andes mountains contributing to make it an area of outstanding natural beauty. One of the great ways of experiencing this is to take the trip from Bariloche in Argentina to Puerto Varas in Chile across the Andes. This journey comprises boat trips across three lakes and four road journeys connecting them and the destinations. From Bariloche, the first boat is boarded at Puerto Panuelo to sail along Lake Nahuel Huapi to Puerto Blest. A short drive takes you to Puerto Alegre for a short cruise on Lake Frias to Puerto Frias. Here you pass through Argentine customs and drive through the beautiful Perez Rosales National Park to Peulla, officially crossing the border en route. From Peulla, the final boat ride across Lake Todos los Santos takes you to Petrohue, where you drive to the destination of Puerto Varas on the shores of the stunning Lake Llanquihue. The trip also runs in reverse from Puerto Varas to Bariloche along the same route.