Self-Drive: Hidden Treasures of the Lake District


This is a great itinerary for nature lovers. The Lake District is an amazing assembly of natural features, perfect, cone-shaped volcanoes, crystal clear turquoise lakes, hot springs, monkey puzzle tree forests and weird and wonderful plant species reclaiming areas that were once swamped with lava flows. This itinerary allows you to explore several exceptionally beautiful National Parks and Nature Reserves in this stunningly beautiful region. If 8 days hardly seem enough, you are right. But the good thing is, you can extend your stay and add extra days if you wish.

Day 1


Upon arrival at the Freire Airport, pick up your rental car and start your adventure reaching the unspoiled nature of the Malalcahuello National Reserve. With a surface area of 13,730 hectares (30,206 acres), including the Lonquimay Volcano, rivers, lagoons, ravines and marshes of this park boast a diverse range of environments for its visitors to enjoy. Overnight in the Malalcahuello National Reserve.

Day 2


Today will be at leisure to enjoy this magnificent national reserve. The ancient Araucaria forests along with the surrounding snow-capped volcanoes set the perfect scenery for those who enjoy photography or simply to relax in nature. If you feel like doing something adventurous there are a variety of activities offered such as trekking, mountaineering, fishing, skiing and horseback riding. Overnight in the Malalcahuello National Reserve. (B)
NOTE: Activities and excursions available depend on the season.

Day 3


In the morning you will have an enjoyable breakfast and then continue your journey to the Conguillío National Park. Among the attractions in the park are the Llaima Volcano, Sierra Nevada and wild landscapes characterized by islands of vegetation completely surrounded by turquoise waters. The combination of endemic plants and volcanic rock formations increases the scenic beauty of the park. Overnight in the Conguillío National Park (B).

Day 4


Take advantage of the morning to rest and relax or if desired take a half day excursion of your choice inside the Conguillío National Park. In the afternoon you will depart towards the shoreline of the Araucanía Region to reach Budi Lake. Your destination is among the few lakes of the west coast of the Americas that have seasonal inflows of sea water. In addition in the surrounding vicinity you will find a large number of indigenous Mapuche people. Overnight near the Budi Lake. (B)

Day 5


After breakfast, take some time to get to know this area taking in the scenery of this unique environment. In the afternoon, your drive will take you back to civilization. On the way, you can choose whether to follow the traditional route along the highway or an alternative road along the coast passing several local villages before arriving in Valdivia. Overnight in Valdivia (B).

Day 6


The picture-book charms of Valdivia convey an air of beauty and elegance. With Spanish and German influences and visible landmarks, the city is full of unique characteristics. Today, spend as you please getting to know this southern community. A boat ride along the town’s river is highly recommended, or if you prefer, explore the coastline. Overnight in Valdivia. (B)

Day 7


Todays’ drive will take you through rolling hills and incredible scenery to the city of Puerto Varas. Along the way, don’t forget to make a stop at the Osorno Volcano or the awesome Petrohué Waterfalls. Also, the charming towns of Puerto Octay and Frutillar can be visited along the way, each with hidden curiosities. Once in Puerto Varas, enjoy the evening with a night out in this city of roses. Overnight in Puerto Varas. (B)

Day 8


At the appropriate time, you will need to drive to the Puerto Montt Airport where you will return your car and take your departure flight. (B)

Rates in 2018/2019

Self-drive itineraries are highly flexible and can be adjusted to your preferences. The rates below are sample rates for this itinerary with the specific car types and hotels mentioned in the table. However, Hotels are subject to availability as well as your choice. The final rate of this itinerary will reflect the specific options you have chosen in the course of developing your itinerary.

Rates are per person, based on double occupancy. For single or triple rates, different hotels or extra nights, please inquire.


Car type until 31 Dec 2018 1 Jan – 30 Apr, 2019
Europcar cat D1 $921 $930
Europcar cat I3 $992 $1002
Hertz cat C $845 $852
Hertz cat G $969 $975
Hertz cat J $942 $948
After arriving at the international airport in Santiago, you need to take a domestic flight to Temuco, or, if you are doing the itinerary the other way around, to Puerto Montt.
  • 7 Nights including breakfast.
  • 8 Days car rental (Hertz category G) including unlimited free mileage.

  • Local tax.

  • Full CDW coverage with a deductible (for details see rental contract).

  • Drop off charge.

  • Roadmap and descriptions.

Chile car rental companies charge an additional airport service fee when the vehicle will be picked up from the airport. This service charge is not included in the published rates. This extra fee has to be paid upon returning the car.

This itinerary includes no meals or excursions


The lake district is a fairly large region and weather conditions may vary quite significantly between places. In general, it can be said that temperatures are relatively mild throughout the year, never getting very hot or very cold. However, it is rather wet, especially during the winter months, between May and August.
Road Conditions
Most main roads in the Lake District are in reasonably good condition and paved. However, as this itinerary explores several remote areas and takes you into the National Parks, it is recommended to use a 4×2 or 4×4 vehicle for this journey.

Car types


cat D1 – New Mazda 3 Sedan S1,6 5 (mt) or Similar

cat I3 – Mitsubishi L200 Katana (Mt) or similar


cat C – Toyota Yaris Sedan or similar

cat G – Toyota RAV4 or similar

cat J – Mitsubishi L200 4×2 Katana or similar

Please note that car rental companies only reserve a specific category of cars, not a specific type of car within that category.

Please mention at the time of booking if you need a vehicle with automatic transmission.

Rental cars do not come with a GPS system by default. They can be added on at an additional cost, but the cover is not complete in remote areas.


Driving License

Foreign nationals must have an international driver’s license in order to be able to drive in Chile.

Hosteria Suizandina

Suizandina is a very cosy, small and family-run hotel. It is surrounded by volcanoes and close to the town of Curacautín, situated at about one hour and a half from Temuco. This Swiss styled property features a main house, a guesthouse and a cabin with a combined capacity for up to 44 people. The main house includes a restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The guesthouse and cabin feature a kitchen and common areas. In addition, the grounds also boasts a camping site in the middle of lush green vegetation.

Ecolodge Baita

Set in the beautiful surroundings of Conguillo National Park, Baita Ecolodge was inaugurated in 2008. Its earthy design is dominated by wood. Despite the rustic looks and remote location, it is a very cosy and comfortable place.

Cabin Lago Budi

These simple cabins provide basic comforts in an amazing, natural setting, on Budi Lake, which due to its saltwater inflow attracts numerous species of birds. It is also an area where Mapuche culture still thrives.

Hotel Naguilan

Hotel Naguilán is set in a German style heritage building and can be found near the city center of Valdivia, located only a few minutes from the main square. The hotel overlooks the Haverbeck channel and boasts 36 fully equipped rooms featuring Wi-Fi, TV, minibar, private bathroom and balcony. The Esencia restaurant serves Mediterranean dishes using fresh fish and seafood and other local ingredients. After a full day of exploring Valdivia guests can relax at the hotel’s pool, take a drink at the Naviera Lobby Bar or enjoy the beautiful surrounding scenery.

Hotel Cabaña del Lago.

This grand property overlooking the Llanquihue Lake has a total of 157 rooms. In addition, there are also fully equipped modern cabins which can accommodate up to 6 travellers each. The hotel is decorated with recycled materials, creating a unique and comfortable atmosphere. Furthermore, the property features a bar and restaurant which offers an excellent menu of regional dishes and amazing views of the bay of Puerto Varas and the Osorno Volcano. The hotel’s own Piscina Club House is located at the opposite side of the main building and there, guest can enjoy swimming in the pool or using other spa facilities including an outdoor hot tub, sauna and fitness center. Likewise, the hotel has a variety of conference room’s ideal for all types of events.

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