South America has its Lake District. It is located 600 kms south of Santiago on the Chilean side, and 1200 kms south-west of Buenos Aires on the Argentian side. This area includes the region of Araucania & Los Lagos in Chile, and Neuquen & Rio Negro in Argentina.
It offers amazing landscapes with snow-capped volcanoes, huge lakes (lago Llanquihue near Puerto-Varas is the 3rd largest in South America), forests and flowers. It is also provides a large variety of outdoor activities, such as mountainering, hiking and skiing in winter. Undoubtedly it is a region to visit, if you happen to go one day in Chile or Argentina !
> From Santiago :
You can take a night bus to one of the three main spots, offering hiking and climbing : Temuco (for Llaima), Pucon (for Villarrica) and Puerto Varas (for Osorno and Calbuco).
Other sites would require to take a local bus.
You can also fly directly to Temuco (for the northern part of Lake District) or Puerto Montt (for the southern part of Lake District).
> From Buenos Aires :
Night bus to Bariloche (Andesmar is a good company). From there you can take another bus to Junin de Los Andes, in order to reach Volcan Lanin.
There are also daily flights with Aerolineas Argentinas.
VolcanoesFor the volcanoes located in National Parks (for example Villarrica) you will need to pay a fee.
They will also ask you to show your equipment and a valid mountaineering club card for insurance matters.
Even though these are volcanoes, most of them have crevasses ! Be cautious.
Here is a list of the main ones :
|Tronador||3478m||Los Lagos (CHI) / Rio Negro (ARG)|
|Osorno||2652m||Los Lagos (CHI)|
|Choshuenco||2415m||Los Lagos (CHI)|
|Quetrupillan||2360m||Los Lagos (CHI)|
|Puntiagudo||2278m||Los Lagos (CHI)|
|Puyehue||2240m||Los Lagos (CHI)|
|Calbuco||2015m||Los Lagos (CHI)|
In Chile :
PN Conguillo (near Temuco)
PN Huerquehue (near Pucon)
PN Villarrica (near Pucon)
PN Mocho Choshuenco (near Choshuenco)
PN Puyehue (near Puyehue)
PN Vicente Peres Rosales (near Puerto Varas)
PN Alerca Andino (near Puerto Montt)
In Argentina :
PN Lanin (near Junin de Los Andes)
PN Nahuel Huapi (near Bariloche)
Books & Maps
Two good guidebooks for hiking would be :
Trekking in the Patagonian Andes(Lonely Planet)
Chile and Argentina Trekking Guide(Bradt)
For Climbing a good one is :
Andes - A guide for climbers (John Biggar)
Good maps of the area can be found in any outdoor shops.
Those edited by JLM Mapas are recommendable.
Weather forecast for :
Los Lagos (Region X)
Araucania (Region IX)
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