Los Lagos Region is one of Chile's 16 administrative regions and comprises four provinces: Chiloé, Llanquihue, Osorno and Palena. The region in Zona Sur is known for its many lakes, Andean mountains, volcanoes and rugged forest environments.
Los Lagos Region: Zona Sur
Los Lagos Region ("The Lakes Region") or Región de Los Lagos is one of Chile's 16 administrative regions and comprises four provinces: Chiloé, Llanquihue, Osorno and Palena.
Los Lagos contains the country's second-largest island, Chiloé. It also hosts the second-largest lake, Llanquihue. The mainland portion of the region, south of Reloncaví Sound (Palena Province), is considered part of Patagonia.
It lies primarily within Zona Sur (South or Southern Zone), one of the five natural regions in which CORFO (Chilean Economic Development Agency) divided continental Chile in 1950. The Bío-Bío River, the limit with the Central Chile Zone, forms its northern border.
Los Lagos Region is bordered on the north by the Los Ríos Region, on the south by the Aisén Region, on the east by Argentina and the west by the Pacific Ocean.
The region is known for its many lakes, Andean mountains, volcanoes and rugged forest environments. Chiloé, along with its fjords and colorful wooden churches, constitutes a UNESCO World Heritage site to the south.
The Pan-American Highway and the main north-south railway terminate at Puerto Montt, the provincial capital. Other important cities include Osorno, Castro, Ancud, and Puerto Varas.
The province of Chiloé, including Chiloé Island and Chiloé Archipelago, is part of the Los Lagos Region. While the Chiloé Archipelago belongs geographically to Zona Austral, in terms of culture and history, it lies closer to Zona Sur.
A forested coastal mountain range is found in the northern part of the region as well as the lowlands of the Valdivia and Bueno river system. The Andes Mountains rise above the southern end of the fertile Central Valley.
In the southern part of the region, the Andean cordillera dominates the region's southeast mainland. Though the elevation is here much reduced, its peaks rise between glacial valleys to become fjordlike estuaries. Innumerable archipelagos and islands are found here.
Protected areas include:
Agriculture is the economic mainstay of the region. Lumber production in Valdivia province is of major economic importance. Tourism provides a significant source of income, for the northern area has many lakes, including Calafquen, Panguipulli, Riñihue, Ranco, Puyehue and Llanquihue.