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Lago Panguipulli

From Los Lagos on Ruta 5, a paved secondary road heads northeast 39 kilometers (23.4 miles) to Pangipüyü, the Land of the Spirit of Lions—today called Paguipulli. The lake covers 111 square kilometers (67 square miles) and is 268 meters (879 feet) deep. On the shores of this azure lago are small villages with a much more relaxed feel than Lago Villarrica and other tourist-oriented destinations in the region. It is a paradise for outdoor activities and those looking to get off the beaten trail, with local cuisine that includes jabalí (wild boar), wagyu (Japanese black cow), ciervo (venison), salmon and trout.

Panguipulli town, the principal settlement on Lago Panguipulli, is the governmental seat of the Siete Lagos Region. It is the gateway to the various routes through the area, including the Ruta de Salud, passing by 14 hot springs. This village, known as the City of Roses, has a church inspired by Swiss architecture. The lakefront statue, Monumento a los Forjadores y Fundadores de Paguipulli, represents a Mapuche indigenous, a Capuchin missionary monk and a pioneer. It was mentioned in Spanish chronicles as early as 1776. The town also has a beach and pier.

The other principal town on Lago Panguipulli is Choshuenco, on the southeast littoral. From this hamlet tucked into the Andean foothills Reserva Nacional Mocho-Choshuenco and climb its namesake volcano. The reserve, between Lagos Panguipulli and Riñihue protects over seven thousand hectares of native forest, glens and mountains. The namesake volcano can also be climbed.

Sport fishing is rewarding at Lago Panguipulli, especially near Choshuenco and on the northwest corner. Trout is the principal catch. The season is November 15-May 30. The rivers connecting Panguipulli with neighboring lakes are great for rafting. The Río Enco, which flows at the base of Volcán Mocho-Choshuenco between Panguipulli and Riñihue Lakes, has Class II and III rapids. The more challenging river is Río Fuy, uniting Lagos Pirehueico and Panguipulli. Also passing by the volcano, this short waterway packs in Class III and IV rapids whirlpooling around rocks. Tour operators in Pangupulli and Choshuenco can set you up for fishing, rafting and kayaking adventures.

Plans of a hydroelectric plant are causing concern in the Panguipulli region, for fears of its effects on eco-tourism activities, like rafting, fishing and thermal springs, and on wood extraction, the mainstay of the economy.

Services are limited in both the principal towns on Lago Panguipulli. A larger selection of hotels and restaurants are in Panguipulli village. During the summer months (December-February), the area receives many more visitors. In the low season, many hostals, campgrounds and restaurants are closed. Winters are cold and rainy.

In Panguipulli


Tour operator: Río Fuy Turismo Expediciones (Martínez de Rozas 728, Tel.: 31-1460, E-mail:, URL: — rafting, kayaking, fishing, canopy, snowboarding, trekking, climbing Volcán Mocho-Choshuenco, Sendero del Jabalí and Ruta de Salud tours.

Lodging: Hospedaje Eva Ray (Los Ulmos 62, Tel.: 31-1483; $12 per person), Hotel Le Français (Martínez de Rosas 880, Tel.: 31-2496; 1 person $52, 2 persons $58-68).

Restaurants: On Martínez de Ross are several eatries, including Gardylafquén (no. 722, Tel.: 31-1887) and Girsol (no. 664, Tel.: 09-568-2927).

In Choshuenco

Websites: /

Tour operator: Rucapillán Expediciones (San Martín 85, Tel.: 31-8220, E-mail:, URL: — rafting , kayaking and trekking.

Lodging: Hostal y Cabañas San Martín (San Martín 74, Tel.: 31-8290; 1 person $20, 2 persons $32-40), Hostería Ruca-Pillán (San Martín 85, Tel.: 31-8220, E-mail:, URL:; 1 or 2 persons $50).

Restaurant: La Posada (San MartĂ­n 335, Tel.: 31-8213)

(Panguipulli — Altitude: 139 meters / 456 feet, Population: 33,300; Choshuenco — Altitude: 190 meters / 618 feet, Population: 625; Phone Code: 063)


Other places nearby Lago Panguipulli: Lago Pirehueico and Coñaripe.

By Lorraine Caputo

Upon re-declaring her independence at age 29, Lorraine Caputo packed her trusty Rocinante (so her knapsack's called) and began...

29 Jul 2011

Things to do in Lago Panguipulli

Huilo-Huilo Biological Reserve

Situated 56 kilometers (35 mi) from Panguipulli in the Tenth Region of the Lakes lies the Huilo-Huilo Biological Reserve. Huilo-Huilo can be found near the entrance to the Chilean Patagonia in the ...
National Park
Lago Panguipulli, Chile
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