Lake district

The lake district of Chile starts in the north at Lago Villarrica and ends in the south at Lago Llanquihue.

The main activity is dairy farming

Geologically, is it structured like the bordering Central Chile more to the north – the Cordillera of the coast, the Central valley and the Andes. The agricultural use is thereby adapted to the increased annual rainfall, which reaches up to 2 700 mm in Valdivia. Thus, the main activity is  dairy farming due to the juicy and green meadows. The botanical treasures of the Lake district, though, are affected by its strange forests. These are located, with some exceptions (e.g. P.N. Nahuelbuta, P.N. Alerce de la Costa), in the andean area.

Araucaria forest

The aruacaria forests (Auraucaria araucana) grow in an altitude between 900 m up to 1.700 m.  They spread in an area that starts from the north at the NP Laguna de Laja all the way down to the Villarica volcano in the south. Most of the time, you’ll find the auraucarias mingled with Coihues (Nothofagus dombeyi), Ñirres (Nothofagus antarctica), Lengas (Nothofagus pumilio) and Canelos (Drymis winteri).

Valdivian forest

Due to its biodiversity, the valdivian forest is threatened. The rainfall in this forests reaches up to 4.500 mm per year. Different kinds of myrtle-like Arrayan (Luma apiculata) and Pitra (Myrceugenia exsucca), southbeeches and characteristical forest species like Olivillo (Aextoxicon punctatum), Notro (Embothrium coccineum) and especially the magnificent flourishing Ulmo (Eucryphia cordifolia) are just some of the many represantatives of the evergreen mixed forest. The bush underwood is compared to the extremely thick forests of Central Chile, to the north. Especially, thick bamboo (Chusquea culeou), and also other different bushes (Desfontainia spinosa), ferns and twiners (Lapageria rosea, Mitraria cocinea) make hiking outside paths practically impossible.

Alerce forest

Already in the southern lake district start appearing the almost wiped out Alerce forests (Fitzroya cupressoides). It’s even worth it to visit the NP Llanquihue or the Carretera Austral is only because of this tree.

Travel destinations:

R.N. alalcahuello, P.N. Conguillio, P.N. Nahuelbuta, P.N. Huerquehue, M.N. Alerce Costero, P.N. Puyehue, R.N. Llanquihue