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Area Code: 65

Altitude: 54 meters (180 ft)

Lying at the foot of Volcán Osorno on the southeastern shore of Lake Llanquihue, Ensenada is little more than a collection of lodges, vacation properties, and modest shops. The town's proximity to Parque Nacional Vicente Pérez Rosale draws anglers, hikers and summer crowds; outside of high season you may feel as though you have the place to yourself. Puerto Varas lies about 50 kilometers to the west, and Lago Todos los Santos, Laguna Verde and Volcanes Calbuco and Puntiagudo are within striking distance, making Ensenada an excellent base place from which to explore, raft, bike, trek or soak in hot springs.

For such a small, seasonal town, Ensenada has a vast number of hotels, lodges and campgrounds in its vicinity. In general, rates are priced according to three seasons: low, which lasts from April to September; medium, running the month of March and from September to late December; and high, from year's end to the end of February. Rates creep up slightly during the the medium seasons, but expect to pay double the low season rates in high season. Cabañas Bahia Celeste (Ruta 225, 21 km 335383,, has cozy, self-contained lodging for two ($60 per person in low season) to six people ($87). Cabins have lake views and wide wooden decks, plus modern amenities like WiFi, heating, and maid service. Cabañas & Piscina Rucamalen (Ruta 225, 36 km; 335347,, has private beach-facing cottages, eateries and a heated pool with aquabar. It offers many outdoor activities including professionally guided multi-day fishing excursions in nearby rivers. Its three-room cabins come with kitchen, cable TV and central heating. Choose from Standard ($77 per person) or Superior ($92 per person) accomodation.

Private restaurants are a rarity in Ensenada, but many hotels have establishments on the premises.Midway between Puerto Varas and Ensenada, posh Club Alemán Molino de Agua (Ruta 225, km 21.5, 330140) features Chilean and international cuisine. The BBQ at Las Tranqueras (Ruta 225, km 41, 212056) is a solid bet after a day spent adventuring or relaxing by the lake.

Ensenada is usually reached via Puertos Varas or Montt. You can fly into the latter, and Osorno as well. From there, buses, minibuses and taxis will get you to Puerto Varas, the best place from which to find your way to Ensenadas–buses run between Puerto Varas, Ensenada and Petrohué a couple of times a day. Renting a car will give you more freedom to explore the area and avoid waiting for infrequent public transportation. Ensenada is just a 20-minute drive from Puerto Varas and 1.5 hours from Puerto Montt. For more infomation see Puerto Varas Getting To and Away


Other places nearby Ensenada: Reserva Nacional Malalcahuello-Nalcas, Parque Nacional Villarrica, Lago Ranco, Parque Nacional Conguillio, Lago Panguipulli, RalĂşn, Parque Nacional Alerce Andino, CochamĂł, Lonquimay and PucĂłn.

01 Jul 2009

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