Tours and Activities:
Lake Crossing in the AndesMónica Pons Mario Ptasik
Puerto Varas and Bariloche are the two ends of this itinerary. They share beautiful landscapes and welcoming excellent services for visitors.
The Andean Lake route has always joined Chile and Argentina. Today, this is considered an incredible adventure that may start at Puerto Varas, one of the most beautiful districts in the south, resting on the shores of Lake Llanquihue.
We left behind the buildings featuring German architectural details at this summer village to head for Petrohué, inside Perez Rosales National Park. We surrounded Lake Llanquihue in the direction of the Petrohué Falls, the first stop where we admired volcanic formations with incredible waterfalls. Several trails get deep into the forest where views of the Osorno Volcano and the Andes Mountain Range are discovered in the clearings.
After reaching Lake Todos los Santos, we walked barefoot on the fine sandy beach before we got on board the first catamaran. Once we made ourselves comfortable inside it, we were delighted to see the spectacular panoramic sights through the large windows. We got to Peúlla in a little more than an hour. This is a dreamed-of village located in the heart of the park. There is lush vegetation and plenty of outdoor activities that invite visitors to stay for a few days. While we had lunch, we listened to some historical accounts of the native Huiliche dwellers and the Jesuits who left their imprint in the area long ago. After walking around, the next stage began, this time by bus towards the Chilean Customs Office.
We carried out all the necessary proceedings and made a new stop to behold Mount Tronador and the glaciers on its summit, located on Argentinian soil. During the journey, the Valdivian rainforest gradually changed into the Andean Patagonian forest. We got to Puerto Frías, where the light-blue and white flag was fluttering. It was at this point where we filled in the forms to access Argentina. A second catamaran was waiting for us in order to take us down the pleasant green waters of Lake Frías towards Puerto Alegre. Mount Tronador continued to be our escort until we reached solid ground and took another bus towards Puerto Blest.
The winding road bordered the Frías River under the shade of ancient coihues and Patagonian cypresses. Soon afterwards, Lake Nahuel Huapi appeared before us, as well as a small but coquettish inn located on its shore. We took another catamaran heading for Puerto Pañuelo. We were getting closer to the City of San Carlos de Bariloche, inside Nahuel Huapi National Park. During the last minutes of daylight, Puerto Pañuelo welcomed us as well as other watercrafts which had visited Victoria Island and the myrtle-tree forest.
We approached the civic center of Bariloche by bus, leaving behind trees and nature to get immersed in the lights of a city teeming with tourist attractions. We contemplated the delightful Swiss architecture as we imagined the gastronomic delicacies and chocolates awaiting us. The capital of the southern lakes in Argentina appeared elegantly with its hustle and bustle as we circled the Nahuel Huapi following the lakefront avenue.
This circuit touches unique solitary sites and joins two countries which share almost unspoiled nature and the crystal-clear waters of their lakes.