At Lago Llanquihue’s east end, 45 kilometers from Puerto Varas, the shoreline village of Ensenada lies midway between the symmetrical cone of 2,660-meter Volcán Osorno, to the northeast, and the serrated caldera of 2,015-meter Volcán Calbuco, to the southwest. Most services are on or near the junction with the northbound road to Las Cascadas and Puerto Octay.
Accommodations and Food
Just north of the Las Cascadas junction, Hotel Ensenada (tel. 065/212028, www.hotelensenada.cl, US$40–75 pp with half board) is a century-old classic that oozes character out of the woodwork—all the rooms are spacious, even the 3rd-floor rooms with shared baths, and museum pieces fill the common areas. It’s closed April–September.
In a class of its own, built by Seattle tech entrepreneur Michael Darland, the punning Yan Kee Way Lodge is an over-the-top luxury resort with whimsical (even kitschy) decor targeting big-bucks travelers for expedition holidays and/or fly-fishing (considerably more expensive). Accommodations include regular hotel rooms and two-unit bungalows (which share a wall). The dining room and elaborate kitchen at its Latitude 42 draw gourmets from around the country. For more information, contact Southern Chile Expeditions (Casilla 149, Puerto Varas, tel. 065/212030, fax 065/212031, www.southernchilexp.com).
From Ensenada, a narrow gravel road follows the eastern lakeshore for 22 kilometers to Las Cascadas, where it becomes a paved road to Puerto Octay. There is no public transportation on this route, but there are four buses daily from Las Cascadas to Puerto Octay.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Chile, 2nd edition