The “blessed” spring has arrived: An opportunity to get to know the native flowers and trees of the Lakes and Volcanoes Route

This week spring begins. Little by little the warmer days return, animals begin to wake up from their hibernation, migratory species return and native plants and trees begin their flowering process.

This season, associated since ancient times with planting, fertility and the renewal of nature, is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the flora that abounds on the Lakes and Volcanoes Scenic Route. This is unique in the world, due to its soils full of life, rainy and evergreen forests, all typical characteristics of the “Valdivian jungle”.

Ricardo Cárdenas, administrator of the Puyehue National Park, says that "this spring the presence of snow will remain for a while longer compared to the last 15 years, due to the greater amount of rain that fell in winter. But you can already see in the higher areas, the color changes of the vegetation due to the change of season."

Photo credit: Lakes and Volcanoes Route.

Within the Lakes and Volcanoes Route, there are 12 National Parks, and in its 725 kilometers distributed in six tourist circuits, such as Seven Lakes, Lake Ranco and Lake Llanquihue, you can find plant species such as hydrangeas, chilco ( fuchsia), azaleas, dandelions, narre and buttercup. The myrtle , the copihue, various ferns and trees such as laurel, lenga, hazel, mañíos and larches are also highly appreciated; and fruit trees such as cherry, plum and peach trees.

Most of these species produce very colorful blooms. But you have to be patient because some of them show up in all their splendor well into spring. Even the quila (chusquea quila) blooms once every 15 or 20 years.

Also, you have to train your eyes. “Unlike the phenomenon of the Blooming Desert, on the road, not everything blooms at once. There are many species within a forest, and only a few may flourish, sometimes it may be a group of tineos or a group of ulmos. There are many native species with their own characteristics”, adds Ricardo Cárdenas. For first-time visitors, it won't be so easy to distinguish one species from another.

Tulip fields, in Puyehue.

A separate show are mushrooms. Most grow in the fall, but there are also species like dihueñe that are easier to find in spring. At this time the maqui also blooms, with its characteristic whitish flowers, giving an indication of how the ripeness of its fruit will be in summer. Another must-see are the tulip fields in Puyehue (Osorno province). During the second half of October you can see them in all their splendor.

Through Ruténica, you can find various proposals to connect with nature this spring. The tourist guide Yasna Alvear organizes "walks" through Frutillar, in which she addresses the heritage history of this city famous for its musical shows. He says that in spring a garden contest is organized, reflecting the importance given to this season: "Through the walkways, you can see how well-kept the gardens are, where notros, climbers, aromos and hydrangeas bloom. ”.

Photo credit: Lakes and Volcanoes Route.

Here we share panoramas for the day to enjoy this spring and get closer to the flora and fauna of the Lakes and Volcanoes Route.

Bird watching walk - Wetlands Route (Llanquihue): Take a walk bordering Lake Llanquihue, Maullín River and the Llanquihue wetlands, where in addition to being surrounded by evergreen nature, You will be able to observe more than 40 types of endemic and migratory birds in the area (more information: https://bit. ly/3y2X9gP).

Trekking and once southern: Enjoy a wonderful day walking the trails of more than 100 km of the Futangue Park, where you can find barbecue areas, picnic areas, suspension bridges, piers and viewpoints. In addition, the panorama includes a coupon for a southern eleven at the Finca del Ranco Restaurant, with kneaded bread, homemade cookies, kuchen and other delicacies (https://bit. ly/3SjfjlZ).

Hydrangeas from Quincho Tierra Sur.

Discover Puyehue and its native forests: This panorama includes entrance to the Isla Salto la Olla Park, which you can visit between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. There are 6.5 hectares of native forest, traveled since ancient times by the Mapuche culture. We can book a lunch at Quincho Tierra Sur Restaurant, at the time that suits you, where you can savor exquisite preparations with organic products from our own production. In addition, you will be able to visit the Lago Puyehue Aquarium and farm, the only freshwater one that exists in Chile (https://bit. ly/3BZo1AI).

Day of connection with nature in Anticura: It is the opportunity to do interpretive hiking through different paths of the Anticura tourist complex, inserted in the Puyehue National Park, such as: the Salto del indio, Salto Repucura , Salto La Princesa, Salto de Los novios, Salto El Pudú, Mirador "El puma", a place where we can appreciate the imposing Puyehue volcano and the valley of the Gol-gol river. This guided experience includes nature connection techniques and stories from the local culture. Includes a portion of the march and lunch (more info: https://bit. ly/3Bh3Z31).

Multi activity full day: bicycle and kayak by Maullín River. The adventure begins by bicycle in Puerto Varas, to head towards Llanquihue, a town where you can enjoy incredible views and landscapes with mountains and volcanoes. After a delicious lunch, the journey continues with a kayak descent through the only outlet of Lake Llanquihue towards the sea, through the Maullín River (more details: https://bit. ly/3BprXKM).

Guided cultural walk in Frutillar: This experience seeks to reveal and publicize various aspects of local history, through a tour that includes a visit to various parts of the city. The guide will show you houses and temples of the typical area, highlighting the various manifestations of local heritage: living, architectural, and cultural heritage, among others (https://bit. ly/3xAQU3t).

The flora is very diverse in the area, due to the characteristics of the "Valdivian jungle".

Photo Credit: Lakes and Volcanoes Route.