Snow-capped volcanoes, rivers and deep blue lakes dominate the scenery of the Chilean Lake District. The southern region can be best explored from Puerto Varas, set on a lake with stunning views of the cones of the Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes. This charming German-influenced town is a starting point for one of the most spectacular Andean lake crossings into Argentina, as well as day trips to the nearby national parks of Alerce Andino and Vicente Perez Rosales.
Not far off the coast, the distinctive and mysterious island of Chiloé can be reached by ferry. Its main attractions are the 16th-century wooden churches, the colourful stilt-houses and quaint fishing villages, and many birds including a colony of Humboldt and Magellanic penguins.