Picture lakes and snow-capped mountains, add llamas, Latin culture, and you arrive at the Lake Districts in Chile and Argentina... which Jeff Watson will never forget.
This town is famous for its unique fish market. Barnacles and sea urchins are just some of the local delicacies.
Navigating the Andes mountain range and surrounding lake district requires three different boats and four trips on a bus. The active Osorno volcano is revealed on the first leg of the journey while circling Lake Llanquihue.
A breathtaking boat trip across Lago Todos Los Santas to Peulla takes two hours. This is the last Chilean town before Argentina. It has one hotel and several interesting local characters. The hotel owner keeps a pet puma to entertain the guests. Wild pumas, though, still roam this spectacular countryside.
Argentina's best alpine resort, Bariloche, is a perfect base for exploring the region. Jeff Watson thinks Bariloche is the "most gorgeous town" in the Argentina/Chile lake area. "It's also famous for chocolate and one of its not-so-sweet former residents," says Jeff. (A former German SS captain allegedly involved in wartime crimes has been recently extradited to Italy to face trial.)
A renowned current resident of Bariloche is Raul Perez, maker of musical instruments, who has customers all over the world. Tronodor glacier is a great day trip from Bariloche. As a result of global warming, this stunning glacier has shrunk 300m in 25 years. Sometimes big chunks of ice fall off the side of the glacier causing a loud crash. That’s why it’s called El Tronodor, "the thunderer".
The scenery of Chile and Argentina is equal to any European vista; breathtaking views, coupled with an exciting Latin society, make this a superb holiday destination.