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Puerto Varas, in the heart of the Chilean Lake District, is wonderfully located on the shores of Lake Llanquihue, with superb views across the lake to the snow-capped volcanic cone of Osorno. The town itself is pretty, with a German feel. However, the main attraction is the surrounding area, and the town makes an excellent base for exploring the lakes, forests and volcanoes. You can arrange good hiking and mountain biking, as well as rafting, horse riding and fishing. You can also take more relaxing boat rides on the lake.

It is possible to go up the Osorno Volcano, where you can even ski in winter, and the nearby Petrohue falls are very beautiful rapids and small waterfalls in a forested area. Very close by is the beautiful emerald-green Lake Todos los Santos, from where boat rides are possible.

A beautiful full-day’s journey is around the whole of the Lake Llanquihue, 100 miles in total. This offers fabulous views and passes smaller lakes and forests, as well as several pretty towns, including Frutillar, with a strong German influence in its food and architecture.

You can take a spectacular full-day crossing to or from Bariloche in Argentina, taking boats across Lago Todos los Santos, Lago Frias and Lago Nahuel Huapi and coaches through the mountains.