In this post we provide information on how to visit the Lake District in Chile, how to make your way from Castro to Puerto Montt, best way to visit the Lake District, how to rent a car from Puerto Montt, and the different towns to visit in the Lake District. All costs also included.
The Lake District is a beautiful region in Chile and we wanted the ability to roam on our own and find different stops along our journey. We didn’t want to abide to bus schedules and stops for once. We decided to rent a vehicle for three days and visit the different towns.
Where to Stay in the Lake District
We slept in the car during our journey through the Lake District but there are many hostel options in each town to serve all the different clientele:
Here are a few options to passed by during our trip but we did not stay there:
Puerto Varas : Hostel Vermont Backpackers – starting at USD $21 for a bed in 8-dormitary room with breakfast included
Licon Ray: Lican Shelter – basic rooms with shared bath for USD $30.
Pucon: Hostal French Andes – very clean private rooms for 2 with shared bath starting at USD $40. Very clean with barbecue/grilling area outside and full kitchen inside.
Frutillar: Cabanas Angelica for USD $50 for a double room with private bath – possible views of the volcano
How to Visit the Chilean Lake District
The Lake District in Chile is filled with mountains, volcanoes, and natural parks. A heaven for adventure seekers and families. We were told by other travelers that a good way to visit the region was to rent a car and drive around. Cities to visit include: Puerto Varas, Licon Ray, Frutillar and Pucon.
Though a car provides a lot of freedom and saves you the night at hostels, it can be quite expensive. The towns in the Lake District are all well served by bus if you have more time and prefer to visit each towns.
We thoroughly enjoyed having our own mode of transportation and being able to take our time.
The best place to rent a car is at the Puerto Montt airport. This is where all car rentals booths are, all aligned and you can request information from each of them. We initially wanted to drop off the car at another location but it doubled the price of the rental so we decided to rent the car for 3 days and drive back to Puerto Montt from Pucon and save 90,000 CHP (USD $130). We paid 30,000CHP (USD $45) per day. Fuel was about 30,000 CHP (USD $45) for a full tank. We rented a Nissan Tiida.
We had 3 days in the Lake District and we decided on the following stops:
Puerto Varas: quaint laketown with a casino and views of Mount Osorno. We spent an evening by the lake before looking for a quiet place to sleep.
Las Cascadas in Puerto Octay, a 30-min trek leading to a 50-meters high waterfall, 85km from Puerto Varas. We didn’t intend on going to Las Cascadas but after meeting a Chilean traveler who mentioned it was worth the detour, we added the stop to our itinerary. We did the short hike to see the waterfalls.
On our way to Lican Ray, we found a hotspring – you will encounter many along the Lake District Roads. The hotsprings are well maintained and not too crowded.
Lican Ray where you can lay by the lake and enjoy kayaking, cycling on the water or take a boat ride. Lots of families around. We only stayed the afternoon.
Pucon, lots of activities in Pucon, you can hike the volcano, go to a hot spring at night. We only had one night so we didn’t have time to hike the volcano but were able to enjoy hot springs at night.
Frutillar where we ate Kuchen before heading back to Puerto Montt
There are a lot more regions to explore and so many more activities we could have done in the Lake District of Chile but with the time we had, it was just nice to be in our own car, take our time and feast on the scenery with our eyes before we headed towards the capital of Chile.
From Puerto Montt to Santiago/Santa Cruz
We returned our rental car at the Puerto Montt airport and boarded the shuttle to the Puerto Montt bus station. There are daily and almost hourly buses to Santiago. The ride is overnight and takes 10 to 14 hours.
What else did you do in The Lake District? Share your experiences with us! We love to hear from you!