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Highlights in the Lakes District

Valdivia – Boat tours down the city's many rivers to Spanish fortresses, nature reserves and small villages is only one facet of this fascinating town. La Ciudad de Ríos has a fine gastronomic plate, from fresh seafood to German standards, like spätzel, homemade sausages, sauerkraut and crudos. Need we mention Kunstmann and the other fine beers brewed here?

Pucón – Imagine scaling a perfect cone volcano in the dawn's light to watch the glow of lava within its crater, then snowboarding back to town. Other adventures waiting in Pucón are rafting wild rivers, fly fishing, hiking in Villarrica and Huerquehue National Parks, and skiing.

Parque Nacional Puyehue – Hot springs next to a river, Southern Chile's best ski runs, volcanoes, smoldering craters and geysers are the gems of this national park.

National Parks – If Villarrica, Huerquehue and Puyehue National Parks have whetted your appetite for trekking, then explore the Lake Districts' other nature reserves: Conguillío, Tolhuaca, Malalcahuellos-Nalcas, Alto Bío Bío, Vicente Pérez Rosales, Alerce Andino and more.

After all the high-octane sports, soak in the Lake Districts many hot springs. Dozens are located near Pucón. Many others form the Ruta de Termas, between Coñaripe and Liquiñe in the Siete Lagos Region.

By Lorraine Caputo

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

18 Jun 2009

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