This is what you get when you mix volcanic rock, lush green vegetation, and a rushing sparkling blue river at the base of a volcano:
Pretty damn remarkable…
Los Saltos de Petrohué (the waterfalls of Petrohué), are located at the base of volcano Osorno, within Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park.
About two hours from Puerto Varas, this incredible natural area is understandably a huge tourist attraction. In fact, while we were there, it felt like there were more tourists than we had seen in all of Puerto Varas. Only later would we learn that this was because a number of buses crossing from Argentinian Patagonia into Chile pass through the area and stop. Luckily, the majority of the buses were only there for a short while, so it was never too overwhelming.
A little ways down from the walkways that crisscross above the falls, we found ourselves in a much more tranquil area. First, an almost magical bright green lagoon, colored by millions of bacteria:
Then, a bit further down, we came across this wonderful little area right next to the raging river without any other people. We set up to eat lunch, read, chat, and simply enjoy the beautiful weather and each others company. What started as a short break turned into almost two hours relaxing. Sitting on a rock while reading next to the sound of a rushing river and then looking up to see the hulking, towering mass of Volcano Osorno was a pretty surreal experience:
Will and I also went swimming (although I’m not sure it was totally legal so I’m not condoning this or recommending it here!)
I’m hard pressed to think of many other half day trips that were as great as this one. Los Saltos de Petrohué checks all the boxes: accessibility to base city, value for money, and quality of experience.
I think its appropriate to end this post with one more picture of the amazing volcano. Next time, to the island of Chiloé