Title- Andes, Lake Todos Los Santos

At the eastern end of Lake Llanquihue lies a Parque National Vicente Perez Rosales, a park of volcanos, lakes and the Andes Mountains. The park extends all the way to the Argentine border. At its center is Lago Todos Los Santos, a lake which extends deep into the Andes.

We booked seats on a catamaran to take us across Lake Todos Los Santos to Puella, a ranch and recreational community in the mountains. We caught the 8AM bus which followed the southern edge of Lake Llanquihue, pausing frequently for road construction. At one point we had to stop while a construction crew herded llamas back into a broken corral.

Past the eastern end of the lake, the road turned to gravel, and we drove alongside the pounding Petrohue River, which empties the overflow of Lake Todos Los Santos. Considering that Lake TLS is surrounded by tall mountains, the overflow is considerable.

The road ended at Petrohue, a park community with boats, camping and some beautiful homes. We boarded the catamaran and were soon joined by a two bus loads of tourists from a cruise ship. They would take the catamaran to Puella, as we did, but then would continue by bus and then another lake to Bariloche, a mountain town and ski resort in Argentina.

It was cloudy as we started our boat trip, and the tops of the volcanoes and mountains were shrouded in spewing cloud. Along the shoreline were a few homes which were grand fathered at the time the park was formed. We were told that the children of these families went to boarding school in Puerto Montt and that the catamaran would bring them home every weekend. On our return trip, a couple of these families drove their outboard boats out to the catamaran and a family member swung aboard so as to go shopping for a day.



Bus to Petrohue

We catch a local bus to start our day trip into the Andes.


Llamas escaped from a farm.

Construction workers round up escaped llamas.


Petrohue River

The Petrohue River discharges the overflow of all the water flowing down the mountains into Lake Todos Los Santos.


A tour group would take the catamaran, a bus, and another boat to Bariloche, Argentina.



Osorno Volcano in Clouds

As we started across Lake Todos Los Santos, Amy caught this shot of Osorno Volcano.


A home above the lake.

A small ranch in a meadow above the lake.


Andes in the morning mist. A waterfall just visible lower right.



In Puella, kayaking was just one of several recreational choices.


Wild bamboo grows beside a waterfall.



While Lope explored the paths around the ranch, Amy and I took a horse ride with a guide to the Rio Negro River. The ranch had a variety of animals, including alpacas, emus, sheep, goats and cattle. The ranch even had its own grass airstrip to accommodate clients flying in to the five star hotel for recreation.

Amy on a horse

Amy and horse.


Riding by alpacas.

Amy and guide, Miguel, ride past alpacas and goats.


Fording the Rio Negro River.

Fording the Rio Negro River.

Don fording the river.

True Grit


Spray on boat windshield.

A storm hit as we crossed the lake back to Petrohue, sending heavy spray onto the catamaran's windshield.




Hitchhiking home after the last bus left.

Back in Petrohue, we found that the last bus of the day had left. One of the dock employees said that if we would wait two hours until he finished work, he would take us the 40 miles to Puerto Varas as he lived beyond it. He had an old two bench Toyota pickup truck, and we were happy to bundle in with his sister-in-law and his nephew for the ride home. He said that during the summer, the three of them work 12 hour shifts, 7 days a week. After the tourist season, they had to find other work. In Puerto Varas, we thanked them for their hospitality, and left them a goodly tip.