Can you believe that several lakes can coexist on a little strip of land? Well, the can; one more beautiful that the last, all within just a few of miles from each other. Don’t miss the opportunity to see the legacy of the nature, once the heart of the Mapuche Nation. Each lake has one, or multiple volcanos (some still active) close-by, releasing the vibes that makes this region so special.
Puerto Varas – Puerto Fonck (50 kms.)
We walk around the town centre. PV, a small town with german look-alike facades. We heard the rumor that the 2nd biggest canopy in South America is located in the surroundings areas. At 70 km away from PV exists a small town (Ensenada) where we found a rafting agency to descend Petrohue River, very nice adventure with a nice snack with wine and cheese at the end of it. We parked at a camping in Ensenada to spend the night, and on the next we take the road that borders the Llanquihue Lake. We stopped at Puerto Fonck to stay for the night.
Puerto Fonck – Natural Reserve of Puyehue (129 kms.)
From Puerto Fonck we took the road to Rupanco Lake. We went fishing with a couple of guys who invited us to join them, and we were very lucky to get some for our meal. The next lake we drove to was Puyehue. We bought supplies at Entre Lagos and went to find the Natural Reserve of Puyehue to park the van for the night.
Natural Reserve of Puyehue – Bariloche (176 kms.)
From Puyehue National Park we followed the road to the border to cross to Argentina. We took the route straight to Bariloche, but we had to stop at Villa La Angostura to eat.
From Villa La Angostura we went to Bariloche. We found it similar to Pucon, but bigger. A disco tip for your stay here: bypass. They have lots of artisanal chocolates and ice cream that are worth a try. A very good option from here is to travel through the seven lakes route that unites Bariloche with San Martin de los Andes. You can drive very slowly here to enjoy the view and you will be able to find, just like us, innumerable places to park your van and spend the night. We also found some camping’s in case of a needed shower or an exchange of words with local with some hot mate.
Barilohe-Pucon (353 kms.)
From San Martin we continued north to Junin de los Andes, our last stop to eat before crossing again the border back to Chile through the custom Mamuil Malal, a very nice road with old araucarios on both sides of the road.
Once in Chile, we had to pass through Pucon. They are a lot of camping to choose from in Pucon, so you go and pick the one you like the most. The wicked team chose La Poza Camping as a place to rest. This tiny city is well known for its multiplying population during summer. You will find many restaurants, pubs and discos.
Pucon – Parque Nacional Conguillio
The main access is the route that starts from Temuco – Cunco – Melipeuco – Unidad. This road is paved until Melipeuco and the rest is gravel road and is passable throughout the year. Inside the park we found amazing scenery, an active volcano, and lots of treks and excursion options. The park has fully equipped camping zones available. Definitely worth the trip. Declared UNESCO heritage, the entrance cost is $2,800.
Next day, at dawn we continued south to Panguipulli to a less crowded beach that the one we found in Pucon (Pucon´s beach looks pretty much like a swarm of people inside a cigarette container). After a calm night at Panguipulli in a peaceful location, we were ready to go and on route 5 back to PV.