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Petrohué Waterfalls
Petrohué Waterfalls

Petrohué Waterfalls

The roaring waters of Chile’s Petrohué Waterfalls (Saltos del Petrohué) tumble through the lush, volcanic landscape of Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park in Patagonia. The falls’ steps are made up of dramatic basalt formations, brought to the surface eons ago by the snow-capped Osorno Volcano, which rises photogenically above the cascade.

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Puerto Varas,, Los Lagos Region, Chile

The Basics

The Petrohué Waterfalls are a major draw for visitors to the Chilean Lake District and a popular stop for travelers en route to Bariloche, Argentina. The chilly Petrohué River, which flows between Todos los Santos Lake and Llanquihue Lake, doesn’t hold much appeal for bathers; most visitors are content to hike around the countryside. Keep an eye out for torrent ducks—tiny but tough birds who can navigate the rapids with a dozen chicks in tow.

The easiest way to reach the waterfalls is on a full-day tour of Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park. Tours typically include round-trip transportation from Puerto Varas or Puerto Montt and visit park highlights, such as Llanquihue Lake and the Osorno Volcano. If you’re planning to make the incredibly scenic border crossing between Puerto Montt, Chile, and Bariloche, Argentina, consider a bus-boat-bus trip package from either city, which can include visits to several difficult-to-access spots (including the waterfalls) en route.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • Petrohué Waterfalls are a must-see for nature lovers and first-time visitors to the region.

  • Wear long pants, comfortable hiking shoes suitable for walking on uneven ground, and other gear appropriate for the outdoors.

  • Bring sun protection, plenty of water, a warm jacket, a hat, and gloves.

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How to Get There

The falls are located near Todos los Santos Lake, on the eastern slopes of the Osorno Volcano, just within the borders of Chile’s Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park. The best way to visit is on a day trip, as all but the hardiest travelers will need private transport and a guide.

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When to Get There

As with all of the Lake District, the Petrohué Waterfalls can be visited year-round. Winter weather conditions may restrict access to the area from June to September. Ask at the local tourist information office or check national park reports before heading out.

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Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park

Chile’s oldest national park, Vicente Pérez Rosales spans an area of more than 620,000 acres (250,905 hectares) in the Patagonian Lake District. The park is known for its volcanoes, rivers, lakes, and waterfalls, and is a popular destination for hiking, fishing, rock climbing, mountain biking, kayaking, rafting, and skiing. Highlights include the Osorno Volcano, Petrohué Waterfalls, Llanquihue Lake, and Todos los Santos Lake.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the nearest attractions to Petrohué Waterfalls?
What else should I know about attractions in Patagonia?
As well as visiting the Petrohué Waterfalls, check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: