Patagonia: Petrohué Waterfalls + Osorno Volcano

by | Jan 16, 2020 | International Travel, Travel

Our early morning flight out of Punta Arenas meant we had plenty of daylight to explore after checking into our B&B and grabbing some lunch in Puerto Varas. We decided to start with the Petrohué Waterfalls and then drive (and hike!) up the Osorno Volcano as the weather and light were still good at 6:30pm.

See below for an interactive map of our day one travels in the Lake District.

The Petrohué Waterfalls is a very popular place on a Sunday afternoon, despite the rather steep entry fee! It’s 6,000 CLP (~$7.50) per foreigner plus there is a guy in the parking lot collecting an additional 1,000 CLP to park. Although we had to maneuver around the crowds to get photos, the cascades were larger than expected and the views were gorgeous on this sunny, clear day.

Petrohué Waterfalls

Petrohué Waterfalls

us @ Petrohué Waterfalls

There are a few other short trails in the park with considerably less people which was a nice bonus. We saw another small falls and hiked through some forest trails. Most of the information was in Spanish so I could only read bits and pieces.

Petrohué Waterfalls


We spent about two hours at the falls (got our money’s worth!) then continued up the road to the town of Petrohué. The road is an extremely bumpy dirt road and along the way we stopped once for more cascade photos.

Petrohué Waterfalls

Eventually we saw signs for a free parking area at the very end of the road, past the roundabout. The Mirador Lago todos los Santos beach area was popular with locals and had a great view of the volcano.

Osorno Volcano from Petrohué

With the weather being what it was we figured a drive up the volcano was a good option. It’s a steep and narrow switchback road to the top and along the way we saw several cute Patagonian foxes!

South American Grey Fox

We arrived at the parking lot for the ski resort and noticed a trail leading even further up the side of the volcano… let’s do it!

hiking up the side of the volcano

Osorno Volcano views

The views as we ascended were just – WOW.

Osorno Volcano views

Lago Llanquihue (Calbuco Volcano on the left))

We followed the rocky path to the Crater Rojo viewpoint, which was relatively strenuous, especially the last bit. It took about 30 minutes from the parking lot to this viewpoint as I stopped a few times to catch my breath.

Crater Roja (flank crater)

At least we had this view of the Calbuco volcano and Lake Llanquihue on the way back down (when I wasn’t looking at my feet to avoid slipping on loose rocks).

the rocky trail...

Tired and ready for food, we returned to town. Apparently everyone else in the area had the same idea, so we sat in (mostly) stop and go traffic for over a half hour on our way into Puerto Varas where we could park and walk for the rest of the night.

Our Itinerary

2024 Trips

San Diego, CA (Jan)
Sarasota, FL (Feb)
Madrid, Spain (Mar)
Valencia, Spain (Mar+Apr)
Palma, Mallorca (Apr)
Croatia (May)
Faroe Islands (Aug)
London, UK (Sept)
Bari, Italy (Sept)
Rome, Italy (Oct)
Frankfurt, Germany (Oct)

2022 Trips

Florida (Feb)
NC Mountains (Apr)
Washington DC (Apr)
Valencia, Spain (May)
Hilton Head, SC (May)
Pacific NW (Jun)
Long Island (Jul)
Florida (Sept)
Chicago (Sept)
Poland (Sept)
NC Mountains (Nov)
Euro Xmas Markets (Dec)