This incredible phenomenon was created when Volcán Osorno errupted, sending hot lava racing through the Petrohué River. When the lava hardened, its formations created powerful chute-like waterfalls in an already beautiful landscape.
The rain let up a bit, but the clouds were more stubborn and we were lucky to steal quick looks at the picturesque Volcán Osorno that the city boasts in the pages of guidebooks and on the fronts of postcards. We spent the days exploring the city, climbing to the top of a park hill or patiently waiting by the water’s edge to catch a better view of the volcanoes. One morning, we sipped hot tea at a lakefront café and watched the clouds as they parted; first, slightly to show Osorno’s tippy-top, then more to expose almost its entirety before closing in on it again until the volcano disappeared completely … all in 20 minutes time.
I can still honestly say I am lucky to have coincidentally visited Castro during Festival Costumbrista, despite it likely being the reason I wound up calling 37 hostels (while standing outside in the rain). The annual festival is held in various towns on the Isla de Chiloé in February, and celebrates the history and culture of island life. For an entry fee of about $1.25, we listened to live traditional folk music, watched locals weave and form unique apple-wood baskets, shopped at an artisan market, visited farm animals and learned to cook (and taste!) authentic island food.
I received polarizing reviews on whether to visit Chiloé, an archipelago of more than 40 islands. A friend of mine said he loved the beautiful island, and could spend a month there if he had the chance. A fellow traveler said he heard it was boring unless you were 80 years old and liked to visit churches. Nora and I decided to go for it anyway, and were glad we did. We spent two days on the island, and loved it.
I spent ten days in February traveling through Chile’s Lakes District with my lovely friend Nora. Defined by towering snow-capped volcanoes overlooking deep blue lakes, sweet people with southern charm, sheep roaming emerald hills, salmon exports, a rich German influence and teal waters rushing down grandiose falls — the Lakes District is set in the bottom half of this ribbon-shaped country. Here’s a look at Valdivia.