Andean Lakes Crossing from Argentina to Chile by Bus and Boat
If you’re transferring from Argentina to Chile, why not take the scenic route? Travel through mountain passes by bus and cruise over pristine lakes by boat on this spectacular crossing of the Andes, from Bariloche to Puerto Varas. Your day trip takes you across three Andean lakes – Nahuel Huapi, Frías and Todos los Santos – with gorgeous views of Cerro Tronador and Chile’s Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park. This tour operates with a maximum of 10 people, ensuring you’ll enjoy a small-group experience.
Depart from Bariloche in the morning upon pickup from your hotel and enjoy the scenic drive to Puerto Pañuelo, your first stop en route to Chile. Relax aboard the coach and keep an eye out for the characteristic Swiss-style architecture of the wooden buildings as well as beautiful gardens and flowers that dot the landscape.
When you arrive at the port, board your catamaran – either Victoria Andina or Victoria del Lago – and set sail on Nahuel Huapi Lake for an hour-long ride to Puerto Blest, located about 15 miles away. Your guide will inform you about the history of the area as you take in the grandeur of the landscape, including a variety of birds that inhabit the green forests surrounding the lake.
Upon arrival at Puerto Blest, board a bus for a ride that borders the Frías River for just three miles to Puerto Alegre. Then, sail aboard City of Faith over the peaceful and pristine waters of Lake Frías and admire its deep green hue as you take in magnificent views of Cerro Tronador. Hovering approximately 11,500 feet (3,500 meters) above sea level, the extinct volcano is the Lake District’s highest mountain.
After a 20-minute voyage, reach the small port of Puerto Frías, where you’ll go through departure procedures at Argentina customs before continuing by bus to Peulla. Along the way, appreciate the lush vegetation of the Cordillera de Los Andes and marvel at Tronador, which has nine glaciers on its summit.
Enter Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park, Chile’s first national park, and arrive in Peulla. Once you’ve carried out entry formalities, you'll have free time to purchase lunch (own expense).
Around 3:30pm, set sail on Todos los Santos Lake with great views of Osorno Volcano, Tronador and Puntiagudo Hill (if the weather allows). Then, continue to your final destination of Puerto Varas by bus, stopping en route for an optional visit to the Petrohué Waterfalls (Saltos del Petrohué), where green falls cascade over volcanic rock in the upper reaches of the Petrohué River (admission not included).