From the Source: Discover South America’s Lake District with Brigitte Lämmle

From the Source: Discover South America’s Lake District with Brigitte Lämmle
August 2020

With Patagonian forests as far as the eye can see, mountain ranges to hike and sparkling namesake lakes to admire, the Lake District is one of South America's dreamiest regions. Its breathtaking pristine natural beauty is a siren call to many travellers, with plethora of spectacular experiences to be enjoyed, from kayaking the legendary lakes aplenty, to flying over an ancient volcano, peeking into an otherworldly landscape. Shared by Argentina and Chile, the Lake District is a melting pot of cultures, whimsical whispering accents and magical traditions, set among truly legendary landscapes.

The perfect destination for family trips or an adventurous outdoor exploration, this area is a hidden cradle of the newest and most exclusive lodges and private villas in South America, perfect for a luxurious escape away from travelling crowds. Plan your perfect Lake District discovery with an insider’s perspective from A&K Chile’s Manager, Brigitte Lämmle.


Who is Brigitte?

Brigitte was born in Germany and started her travel career in 2001. Now, with almost 20 years of experience in the field, working for local and luxury travel providers, Brigitte manages the Chile office of A&K, bringing with her an appetite for travel and for Chile in particular. She fell in love with this charming country and has a desire to share her passion with the world and its intrepid travellers.

What is it you love about the Lake District?

The Lake District is the perfect place to combine adventure, with relaxing tranquility in breathtaking natural landscapes. For instance, you might choose to explore mountains, forests and lakes on scenic hiking trails. Brave the mighty rapids on a white-water rafting trip. Soar above the Andes and have a peek inside an active volcano on a scenic helicopter ride. Or, you can slow it down, and take a relaxing bath in one of the natural hot springs. With three distinct regions, each one offers a different reason to visit. The north, with the town of Pucón, and the Villarrica Lake and Villarrica Volcano, the south with Puerto Varas, Lake Llanquihue and Osorno Volcano, and Chiloé Island with its archipelago, and world-famous UNESCO heritage-listed wooden churches.

Many properties also feature luxurious spa facilities, where you can unwind after a long day of activities. One of my personal favourites is the heated indoor pool at Awa Hotel in Puerto Varas, which offers a great view over Lake Llanquihue and Volcano Osorno.


How long should one stay there?

If you just want to focus on one area, 3-4 nights will be the perfect short-stay getaway. However, this area is great too for a self-drive road trip, and a fantastic way to explore would be a few multi-day stops. So, the sky (or your driving preferences) are the limit! If you’d rather fly, the Lake District is very well connected to the rest of the continent. So, even after you visit to immerse yourself in the spectacular landscapes, getting away from it all, travelling to and from the Lake District to your next destination is quite easy and quick.

The Lake District is also great as part of a more expansive exploration across South America, located half-way between Santiago and Patagonia. Many flights to Southern Patagonia offer a stopover in

Puerto Montt. You could combine the Chilean Lake District with a visit over into Argentina, with its own beautiful lakes and mountains. Bariloche, for example, is well-known for its picturesque location and tasty chocolate.

What should travellers be sure to see in the Lake District?

It seems obvious, but you should visit as many lakes, mountains, volcanoes and forests in the different national parks and private reserves as possible, I promise the landscapes will leave you in endless awe! Between outdoor adventures, leave some room for lesser-explored places and activities, such as encounters with the indigenous Mapuche community in the Northern Lake District, or seasonal penguin and whale watching on the coast of the Southern Lake District.

What are some of the most exciting experiences you recommend there?

There are so many amazing things to do, both on land and out on the water. Helicopter rides over a volcano, watersports aplenty and the opportunity to venture out in search of the fascinating endemic wildlife within the region’s many National Parks. There really is something for everyone!


What about if you’re looking for a secluded getaway?

The Lake District delivers private tranquility in spades! This is still an area of Chile that is off the beaten track, with many of the properties located far away from the crowds. For example, places such as Mari Mari Natural Reserve, and Parque Futangue are located in private nature reserves, offering unspoiled natural landscapes to admire far from the crowds.

But if I had to pick just one, I would recommend the staying at your own private cabaña up in the mountains of Parque Futangue, only reachable after a scenic 4 hour trek (or quadbike ride), where you can indulge in a stay with a small team of hosts, including a private chef, enjoying unrivalled views of untouched nature, including natural geysers and your own exclusive hot springs.

What did you enjoy the most on your last trip?

Spending quality time with my family, especially my 2-year-old daughter. Seeing her enjoy the great outdoors for the first time, marvelling at the wildlife, the waterfalls, and just running through the wilderness was a very special experience for this city girl. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to share my passion for travelling with my family, creating memories that will last a lifetime.


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