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Five magical cities in the south of Chile that you must visit

Five magical cities in the south of Chile that you must visit

By: Hernan Claro - 8 April, 2024

Valdivia, Frutillar, Cochamó, Caleta Tortel, and Puerto Natales are five cities in the south of Chile which stand out for their stunning architecture and the many activities to do in their surroundings.

The south of Chile has numerous cities and towns with beautiful landscapes, whose surroundings captivate not only those who want to adventure, but also those who want to relax. We will tell you here about the appeal of five cities located between the Los Ríos and Magallanes Region that you cannot miss.

5 magical cities in the south of Chile

1. Valdivia

Photo: Sernatur Audiovisual Bank.

Come to visit Valdivia and surprise yourself with the oldest extreme southern city in the world. Inspire yourself by navigating along the Río Calle-Calle and watching the amusing sea lions, while you enjoy delicious sea products at the Mercado Fluvial.

You must visit the Botanic Garden at the Universidad Austral de Chile, where you can find more than 950 plant species to discover the secrets of nature. Moreover, treat yourself by enjoying the delicious craft ale, a hallmark in the district.

And if you travel 18 kilometers southwest, you will arrive at the riveting Castillo de Niebla (Niebla Castle), a Spanish fortress built in 1671. This is a historical landmark that holds remains of cannons, gunpowder, and other elements constructed during the conquest period.

2. Frutillar

Photo: Sernatur Audiovisual Bank.

Frutillar is located on the shores of the Llanquihue Lake, an impressive city of German architecture that is characterized by its varied cuisine, craftwork stands and dreamy landscapes.

Frutillar was founded by German immigrants that dedicated themselves to ranching, tannery and warehouses for trade. The Museo Colonial (Colonial Museum) is the best place to understand said legacy since it recreates settlers’ lives in the mid-19th century and maintains the facilities which account for the technologies that changed the lifestyle in the place.

Another unmissable place is the Teatro del Lago (Lake Theater), which has been established as one of the main cultural venues in the region. Every year different spectacles are offered, the Semanas Musicales de Frutillar (Frutillar Musical Weeks) being the most important.

3. Cochamó

Photo: @parquecochamo.

If you are aiming to connect with nature, Cochamó is your ideal destination. Its name derives from the mapudungún word Kocha-mo, which means ‘where the waters meet’, and this is not a minor detail: here the wonderful Cochamó River crosses the valleys and creates landscapes postcards with the Volcán Yates and the Estuario de Reloncaví in the background.

Trekking to La Junta is one of the most famous activities you can do in Cochamó. It extends for around 12 kilometers, and it will take you over footbridges, streams, natural waterslides, and the vertiginous ‘Paso de la Muerte’.

Do not miss the Coihue de los Columpios, where you can see a beautiful panoramic view of the city. Moreover, if you need to relax, in the Termas del Sol you will find 10 thermal water pools and a 300-meter walkway in the middle of an impressive natural landscape.

4. Caleta Tortel

Photo: Sernatur Audiovisual Bank.

Caleta Tortel is a unique town in the world. Instead of traditional streets, this district in the Aysén Región is made up of seven and a half kilometers of platforms, bridges, and stairs built of wood.

From Caleta Tortel you can set off for the Jorge Montt and Steffens glaciers and visit the Lago Quetru (Lake Quetru) and the Río Pascua (Pascua River), the most torrential on Chilean Patagonian and the third mightiest in Chile.

An unmissable destination is the Isla de los Muertos, where you can find 33 wood crosses belonging to 120 workers of the Compañía Explotadora del Baker. Since the decease of them remains a mystery, a variety of theories have been originated, which increases the enigma around the island.

5. Puerto Natales

Photo: Sernatur Audiovisual Bank.

Located in the Magallanes Region, this city with a strong rancher identity is a favorite with adventure seekers. Puerto Natales is surrounded by amazing natural destinations, the Torres del Paine National Park being the most recognized of all.

Considered as the eighth wonder of the world, the ‘horns’ of the Torres del Paine massif form a landscape you will never be able to forget. And its better if you see them at the dawn as they are dyed in a purple color, which makes them look like a cinematographic postcard.

Furthermore, from Puerto Natales you can go up Cerro Dorotea to see the flight of the majestic condor, part of our national emblem. The Cueva del Milodón is another must-see place to visit, where you will be able to learn about the Mylodon, gigantic mammals that became extinct at the end of the Pleistocene.

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