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Lake Villarrica in Chile shares its name with one of Chile's most active volcanoes on its southern shore and a city on its western shore. All three combine to make the area one of the top tourist destinations in Chile that offer year round excitement and adventure tourism known as Chile's Lakes District, a place of lakes and volcanoes. Lake Villarrica is also known as "Mallolafquen" which is its pre-Hispanic name that means "cretaceous water."
Lake Villarrica, with an area of 42,749 acres, was formed by glaciers in the last ice age. During the summer months with water temperatures in the 70's, this large lake offers visitors opportunities for boating, kayaking, sailing, waterskiing, swimming and beaches for sunbathing and relaxing. Sport fishing is a big business and many guides are available to take you to just the right spot for a memorable catch of trout, rainbow trout, and salmon.
The city of Pucon, one of Chile's top tourist destinations, is located on the eastern shore of Lake Villarrica. Pucon offers vacation rentals from spas, cabins, hostels, five star hotels, condos, and privately owned summer homes. In this city, there are well groomed beaches on Lake Villarrica for swimming, pedal boats, sunbathing and relaxing. Along the streets are casinos, restaurants, pastry shops, bars, and shopping venues. White water rafting along neighboring rivers offers excitement as well as horseback riding along the many trails around the lake and area that can also be used for hiking or biking.
The road that connects Pucon to the city of Villarrica, approximately 15 miles, borders Lake Villarrica and is filled with condos, chalets, and garden homes that make this location a prime real estate opportunity. With the tourist industry and people seeking summer homes, frequent buying and selling make land ownership opportunities and property values rise in this area. Villarrica is more rural than Pucon but benefits from the area's popularity. Besides tourism, the area's main economic activities include grain and dairy farming and forestry in Huerquehue National Park. Here vacation rentals are available for a more modest budget and include bed and breakfast inns, lodges, motels, and camping areas. Restaurants and local eateries will tempt your palate with dishes of fish, fruit, and local vegetables.
No matter where you choose to stay at Lake Villarrica, the great Villarrica Volcano can be seen from anywhere in the area. During the warm summer months, guided tours will take you on a hike up the volcano where you can peer into the bubbling lava inside the crater or gaze at the beauty of the area from your high altitude perspective. During the winter, great skiing and snow boarding are available down the slopes of the active volcano. Zip line rides through the forests are available for the daring. All of this fun is located in the Villarrica National Park, but you can choose to hike the many trails throughout the park and gaze at the beauty of the park's unusual plants, rare animals or the natural hot springs that are a result of the volcano heating the nearby springs.
Picture yourself hiking up one of the world's most active volcanoes and then cooling off with a swim in beautiful Lake Villarrica. Or, if you prefer colder climes, then imagine swooshing down the side of the volcano on skis and warming up with a soak in one of the hot springs. It is up to you to choose which season to visit, but Lake Villarrica will be a destination that brings life long memories.
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