known for its adventure sports and natural beauty
|Biobío and Ñuble |
great surfing and spas
|Chiloé Island |
the largest island of the Chiloé Archipelago is home to a collection of churches that form a UNESCO World Heritage site
|Los Lagos |
the Lake District of Chile draws visitors to its ski resorts, hot springs and recreational fishing
|Los Ríos |
rivers, lakes, mountains, volcanoes, virgin forests, ecological parks and ocean beaches
- 1 Concepción — Chile's second largest city
- 2 Curacautín — A town known for its natural environment, and the close-by Conguillío and Tolhuaca National Parks, and Malleco and Malalcahuello-Nalcas National Reserves.
- 3 Frutillar — Especially Frutillar Bajo, a popular tourist destination due to its German history and nearby Osorno vulcano.
- 4 Futaleufu — A small town in Southern Chile, in the Northern Chilean Patagonia, 10 km from the Argentinian border.
- 5 Pucón — On the eastern shore of Villarrica Lake in the southeast of the region. Popular for hiking to the nearby Villarrica vulcano and Huerquehue National Park.
- 6 Puerto Montt — Not that touristy, more a busy working city, but gateway for trips to the nearby Alerce Andino National Park and Hornopirén further south.
- 7 Puerto Varas — Similar to Frutillar but larger
- 8 Temuco — The biggest city of the Araucanía
- 9 Valdivia — A city bordering the Calle-Calle river
- 10 Villarrica — A beach town on Villarrica lake, like Pucón but a much more laid-back and relaxing option to stay in the region.
- 1 Chiloé National Park — A national park with zones of dunes, Valdivian temperate rain forests, swamps, and peat bogs.
- 2 Cochamó Valley — A beautiful valley known for its granite domes and old-growth forests, attracting serious hikers with trails ranging from easy to challenging.
- 3 Isla Mocha — An island 40 km off the coast, which is noted for numerous historic shipwrecks.
- 4 Parque Tantauco — On Chiloé Island
The Southern Chile region consists of the four local government regions of Araucanía, Biobío, Los Lagos (which includes Chiloé Island) and Los Ríos.
Before Spanish colonization, Southern Chile was populated by indigenous Mapuches from Toltén River northwards and by Huilliches south of the river, both groups are classified as Araucanian. The mountainous zones in the east were populated by Pehuenches Puelches. Until the Battle of Curalaba and the following Destruction of Seven Cities around 1600, the southern zone was part of the General Captaincy of Chile and Spanish Empire. After 1600, the Spanish settlements were destroyed or abandoned with the exception of Valdivia that was re-founded in 1645 with heavy fortifications. The zone between Valdivia and Chiloé was gradually incorporated into Chile by a series of agreements with local Huilliches and founding of settlements. By 1850, this process was culminated with the immigration of thousands of German immigrants to Valdivia, Osorno and Llanquihue. The zone north of Valdivia was incorporated into Chile in the 1880s during the occupation of the Araucania.
Spanish is widely spoken in all the region, but the southern people speak a bit slower than Santiaguinos. In the Araucanía region, the Mapudungun (the dialect spoken by Mapuche people) is used in rural communities, especially between elders.
German is widely spoken in the region because of German colonization, but mostly as a second or third language.