Holly loves road trips! Here she is in front of Lago Llanquihue and Volcán Osorno. For the Californians reading this, Lago Llanquihue is about twice the size of Lake Tahoe. It’s situated in northern Patagonia in the Lakes Region. If you look at a map, you’ll see there are a number of other very large lakes nearby. We’re staying in Puerto Varas, on the south end of the lake, which is near where our friend Eduardo from Viña del Mar was born.
There is a very scenic drive all the way around Lago Llanquihue, so we decided to make a day of it. It’s very easy to navigate because there are green signs that keep you moving in the right direction at all times. And, if all else fails, drive towards the lake! Factoring in little detours and a stop to eat, it takes about five or six hours. But, we didn’t take the turn off to the national park since we’re saving that for another day, which would add a couple more hours.
In some areas, the lake looks a lot like the ocean. We came across a number of spots where people were sunbathing and taking a dip in the waves. Here’s a more secluded spot we found near Las Cascadas.
We stopped at a little house along the way that serves onces alemán, which translates to German “elevenses,” or high tea. We thought we were going to get a coffee and a small pastry. But noooo…
We ended up with coffees, rolls, salame and cheese, jams, salmon, eggs, chicken, and a slice of kuchen AND cake for each person. Needless to say, we couldn’t eat it all. But don’t worry — the cakes are in the fridge for later.
During our drive, we also made the decision not to go further south after our next stop in Chiloé. It was a tough decision, but this month of hopping all throughout Chile hasn’t been cheap and is, quite frankly, exhausting. Flights to Punta Arenas are expensive (and not very dog-friendly), and bus trips are long and difficult — 22 hours weaving through the mountains. We’re ready to find another place to stop for a good month or so, so we’re working on figuring that out. We’re thinking it might be time to cross over to Argentina.
In the meantime, we’ll continue to enjoy the views here in Puerto Varas. Here are a few more from the drive, including a shot of our favorite backseat driver.