Similar to its counterpart across the mountains in Argentina, the Lake District in Chile is all about nature and the great outdoors. General Pinochet's famous Carretera Austral road is an unforgettably scenic journey, which connects Temuco and Pucon in the north with Puerto Varas and Puerto Montt in south, where the land ends and the fjords and ocean take over.
Pucon is known as the adventure capital of the region, offering a plethora of water sports on Lake Villarrica as well as volcano climbing. Puerto Varas is a rather gentler place, where small villages and farmhouses sit around Lake Llanquihue, the Osorno volcano soars, and excursions include the waterfalls at Petrohue. There is a strong Germanic heritage here, and quaint colonial villages such as Frutillar and Puerto Octay are well worth a visit.