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The Lake District Travel Guide

Getting Here and Around

By Air. None of the Lake District's airports—Osorno, Puerto Montt, Temuco, and Valdivia—receives international flights; flying here from another country means connecting in Santiago. Of the four cities, Puerto Montt has the greatest frequency of domestic flights.

By Bus. There's no shortage of bus companies traveling the Pan-American Highway (Ruta 5) from Santiago south to the Lake District. The buses, which are very comfortable, have assigned seating and aren't too crowded. Tickets may be purchased in advance. If you are traveling overnight, consider spending extra dough on a "cama" bus, the seats are wider, fold back like a bed and thus much more comfortable.

By Car. It's easier to see more of the Lake District if you have your own vehicle. The Pan-American Highway through the region is a well-maintained four-lane toll highway. Bring plenty of small bills for the frequent toll booths you'll encounter.

Train Travel. Chile's State Railway Company, the Empresa de los Ferrocarriles del Estado, has daily service southward from Santiago's Alameda station as far as Temuco on its Terra Sur trains. Trains run daily all year; the overnight trip takes about nine hours. Shuttle-bus service to and from Pucón and Villarrica runs in conjunction with the trains.

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