Between the Bio-Bio and the Reloncavi Estuary, it is the humid land of lakes, forests, and volcanoes, which stands out for the heterogeneity of its landscape and for being the main territory of the Mapuche people and the German colonization of the late nineteenth century. Oceanic climate, humid temperate with rainfall all year round, and with the decrease in temperature as the location is further south, and the significant increase in humidity due to the proximity to the Pacific Ocean. The ideal place for the conservation of dense green forests, such as those of the "Selva Valdiviana" and where species such as oak, coigue, hazel, cinnamon, Araucaria, and larch are an essential part of the landscape and home to numerous species of birds, such as the Chucao, the Loica or Choroy parrot, or the Chilean marsupial "monito del monte", the small deer "Pudu", foxes and pumas.
The Araucanía area stands out not only for the presence of its forests of umbrella-shaped trees, but also for the cultural richness of the Mapuche people and their special relationship with the natural environment. They protected it during the Spanish colonization forcing a territorial division of the country that not only did not allow permanent settlements of Spanish colonies south of the Bio-Bio River, but also allowed an active transit and exchange between the first peoples of Chile and Argentina to continue developing in this area. This is also the main reason for the settlement of German and Swiss settlers in southern Chile. At the end of the 19th century they began to forge the cities of Puerto Montt, Puerto Varas, Llanquihue and Puerto Octay around Lake Llanquihue, and with them gave rise to an expansion to the north and the recovery of the cities of Osorno and Valdivia; they also continued to develop the transit to Argentina, creating a modern trade route that today survives as one of the main binational tourist attractions, allowing to discover and experience the green of the land of rivers, lakes and volcanoes.
Tourism, together with forestry, aquaculture, livestock and agriculture, is the main economic engine of the southern part of the country.
Trekking in Southern Chile
To hike or take tours in southern Chile is to enter the green of its forests and the majesty of its volcanoes. With endless options in public or private parks, both in terms of duration and difficulty, finding a trail where you can discover the flora and fauna, marvel at the views of the mountains or waterways is one of the unmissable activities to do on a trip through the regions of Los Lagos, Los Ríos and La Araucanía. Many areas manage to combine the natural environment with the cultural richness of the people who live in the adjacent areas, and it is common for them to share not only a conversation, but often their table or their home with visitors.
The Andes mountain range, its lakes and volcanoes
The morphology of southern Chile is intrinsically linked to its mountains. The dominant landscape of its numerous lakes, rivers, and valleys, from which emerge the forests that give way to its volcanoes. These mountains are also partly responsible for the large amount of hot springs that are concentrated in these regions. Thus, this set of elements allows the realization of numerous activities in contact with nature. From trekking through the forested foothills of its mountains, to the ascent to the summit of a volcano. From rafting down its rivers to navigating its lakes and fjords. Activities that can be done independently and/or through tours guided by companies and certified guides.