Before or after your Andes crossing with Cruce Andino, check out these top attractions in and around Puerto Varas, Chile. Puerto Varas is a picture-perfect town on the shore of Lake Llanquihue, with a backdrop of the snowcapped Calbuco and Osorno volcanoes.
Located along the Maullín River, the Senda Nativa Romahue offers 740 acres of indigenous flora and fauna. Guided activities include forest treks, birding, fly-fishing, flat-bottom boat rides through a sunken forest along the Maullin River, and tours of a wild animal rehabilitation center that shelters pumas, foxes, pudú deer and other creatures. Homemade meals are available with advanced reservations in their fogon (stove) room.
Artist Pablo Fierro is often there to personally show you around this quirky museum, which is packed with bygone relics. Everything can be touched. Items are arranged in a seemingly haphazard way to remind visitors of pioneer life in Chile’s Lake District, the era when German colonists arrived and began to blend their culture into the region’s already established ways and means. The architecture that evolved from this mixture is one of Fierro’s special interests. Great views of Lake Llanquihue and Osorno Volcano from the top-floor balcony.
Chile’s second largest lake is 22 miles long, 25 miles wide, 5,000 feet deep and shaped like a fan. Its primary outlet is the Maullín River, which flows into the Pacific Ocean. Known for its black-sand shoreline, the lake is a popular water-sports location — swimming, fishing, windsurfing, water-skiing, canoeing and more. It’s also a popular bird and wildlife spotting area. Puerto Varas is located at the lake’s southwest corner.
Housed in an old barn, this museum features objects collected by Antonio Felmer Niklischek from the homes of early German immigrants who settled in the region in the late 19th century. The eclectic mix includes farm machinery, musical instruments, furniture, photographs and more. The trilingual guides (English, Spanish and German) wear traditional clothing. There’s also a small café, pond and zipline.
Located 10 miles from downtown Puerto Varas, the Fundo Playa Venado dairy farm is open to the public. Visitors can tour the milking shed, calf barn and feeding patio, learn about milk production and the preparation of delicious homemade manjar (carmel milk spread) while enjoying a serene, green rolling landscape that overlooks the lake and two volcanoes.Tags: Chile, Cruce Andino, lakes, Museums, Puerto Varas, South America