Article Updated April 2016
There is no denying that spending time outdoors in Chile’s lake district feels like a romp in Mother Nature’s playground. Surrounded by glorious lakes, raging rivers and snow-peaked volcanoes, the landscape is expansive and inspiring. Puerto Varas, on the shores of Lago Llanquihue, is a flower-bedecked small town and a convenient base-camp for exploring the multitude of outdoor activity options available. However, if you need a break from all the physical exertions consider an unique and unforgettable journey deep into the heart of the Andes.
Travel by Ferry from Puerto Varas to Peulla
Your short coach trip from Puerto Varas will stop briefly at the Saltos de Petrohué, raging falls carved into the lava beds from the nearby Osorno Volcano. Your first main destination is the ferry terminal on the western shores of Lago Todos Los Santos. From here your two-hour ferry crossing will display the true majesty of the Andes. If you are fortunate to have a clear day you can marvel at the mineral-laden emerald green waters as you watch the snow peaked Osorno Volcano fade into the distance. As you move further into the heart of the Andes, the steep and heavily-forested peaks seem to stand guard over your progress, ever watchful that no human should blight the pristine surroundings.
Your ferry trip ends at the tiny settlement of Peulla on the eastern shore. By this time the clean mountain air and lake crossing will have turbo-charged your appetite. Fortunately, a short walk will take you to Hotel Natura, a culinary and boarding oasis in the shadow of the majestic peaks. Choose to have lunch here before taking the return ferry or stay overnight. Whichever you choose, do sip a pisco sour in the lounge with its huge wood-burning fireplace and panoramic window.
Unless your soul and spirit are made of stone, you will marvel at the grandeur of the towering peaks that surround you. Shrouded in mist they seem to stand silent guard over visitors to their wonderland. You may even notice yourself whispering as though in the presence of something special, just as you would in a cathedral. Your journey has taken you from Mother Nature’s playground to her inner sanctum.You will feel like a privileged guest here, not only of the hotel, but of Mother Nature herself.