The Land of Fire and Ice: The district of lakes

In South America, there is a country you need to take your time exploring and experiencing its culture. It is a nation that has deserts, wineries, a district of lakes and glaciers, all in one place. Which country in South America has that description? That would be Chile, situated along the western seaboard of South America. It extends approximately 2700 miles (4300 km) from north to south and borders Peru,  Bolivia, and Argentina.

In my visit to Chile, I went deep south to the district of lakes where I arrived in Puerto Montt. From the airport, I drove to this little town call Frutillar where I stayed in a house near the lake Llanquihue. Some people say this area of Chile feels like a European country such as Germany or Switzerland. I can guarantee you that it felt like that. The whole countryside of Chile is filled with farms, vineyards and lumber mills. It felt like I was in a European country. The reason why it looks European is that most of the people that immigrated to Chile during the 19th and 20th centuries came from Spain, Italy, France, Croatia, Austria, Germany, Great Britain and Ireland. Even today, most of the architecture in Chile has a European influence.

Here are a few towns and cities that you must visit in this region:

Puerto Montt

The city has a beautiful sea breeze and the view of the Pacific ocean. Puerto Montt was gorgeous wherever I explored and walked around.

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The city of Puerto Montt offers a variety of seafood in the area; it took my breath away how much salmon they were selling. The fish market, Angelmo, is one of the places you need to visit. For the people who go crazy for salmon this the perfect market for you. Not only do they have salmon, but also the right amount of cheese and meats, IMG_8597which I do recommend to buy.

All the local food and utensils that you can buy in the Angelmo crafts market. After eating or buying stuff in the market, you can stroll along the pier with a great view of Tenglo Island and the Cabulco Volcano. You can take ferries to Chiloe that sail through the Fjord of Aysen and Magallanes.

People, fair warning, you cannot miss this dish. Curanto is a local dish made of seafood, meat, and vegetables cooked overheated in a hole dug in the earth. Eating this meal is a gift from the Chilean people that is mandatory not to pass this opportunity to taste it. For people who love grilled food, this is the mother lode of grilled seafood and meat. This technique is similar to Hawaiian cooking with pork but with a buttload of stuff Chilean style.

Puerto Varas

This town has a lot of German influence and tradition. You can see it in their buildings and streets. Located on the shore of Lake Llanquihue, it is the opposite of Puerto Montt.

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Its nickname is the “city of roses,” and it lived up to this name. Walking around sure relaxes you with tended gardens around the residential district.

Like Puerto Montt, it has excellent restaurants around the pier. For most of your choices, expect much German food. It was his German-style little town theme, and for this little town, it has a good circulation of tourist. I see the beauty of the place that makes you want to buy a property for retirement.

Frutillar

IMG_8769You could not ask for more peace from this town. The view of this town will make you want to do yoga or just stand in front of the window with a good cup of coffee. The shore of the lake has a charm for walking and swimming in the lake. It is the place for cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy an apple strudel and good local draft beer. The best part of this town is the ice cream truck, which I do recommend trying it.

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They have a theater, “Teatro del Lago,” which is the main attraction of this town. For those who love classical music,  this is your place, and you will enjoy the setting they have inside the theater. I suggest checking out shows there because they bring people from all over the world. Some of them compose songs for movies, legends in the classical world among others.

Of course, continuing my travels through the region, not only did I walk around the towns. National parks are the pride of Chile. The lake of Lanquihue is a place for camping and exploring the region. After hiking the Petrohue, you can take the ferry to cross “Lagos de Todos Los Santos” and even zip line which I do suggest it.

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