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The Lakes and Volcanoes District is an area in southern Chile known for its forests, the Andes Mountains full of imposing snow-capped volcanoes and for the myriads of lakes throughout the territory and even glaciers.
It includes the Araucanía (capital Temuco), the Region of the Rivers (capital Valdivia) and the Region of the Lakes (capital Puerto Montt). Beyond the southern shores of this large area, is the island of Chiloé, renowned for its wooden churches, also UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and for fjords where whales roam. The main cities have colourful houses built on stilts (“palafitos”).
Historically, this region was (and still is) the home of the pre-Hispanic Mapuche ethnic group, which established its frontier with the Spanish conquistador in this area, and of German immigration, so everything here is a melting pot of peoples and customs.
The region’s climate is characterized by the transition, from north to south, between Mediterranean and rainy oceanic climates. In the summer, especially in the north, it can reach maximums of 30°C and in winter the minimums reach below zero.
In the pre-mountainous areas, it usually snows in winter and in the southern and coastal zones the region’s climate is rainy oceanic, with an average temperature of 11°C with a low thermal oscillation on the coast as a result of maritime influence. The precipitations are really considerable and in the coastal area, they exceed 2000 mm annually, which makes it the rainiest area in the country.
Temuco, Pucón, Puerto Montt, Puerto Varas, Valdivia, Chiloé.
From Puerto Montt Airport (PMC): to Santiago (1000 km/1:45 hrs), Puerto Natales (1139 km/2 hrs), Punta Arenas (1300 km/2:10 hrs, Balmaceda (similar).
Ground: Bariloche, Argentina (320 kms./5 hrs).
Mapuche culture throughout the Araucanía, scenic landscapes, adventure (hiking, kayaking, fishing, rafting, bird watching, cycling, private navigation through fjords), various National Parks, Osorno Volcano, Villarrica, Petrohue Falls, Puerto Montt Cruise Port, gastronomy and heritage on Chiloé Island.