In a corner of the Biobío Region we find a land full of stories and millenary landscapes. A mixture of culture with the Mapuche people, the legacy of German architecture and a deep nature that surprises any tourist.
Thanks to its proximity to the sea, the 150 km route from Concepción to Lanalhue, with a double track route, is already a good visual spectacle, bordering first the coasts of the Province of Arauco, to go through a winding road to reach Cañete The lake is 10 km from this city and about 7 from Contulmo.
In the summer months, the entire shore of Lake Lanalhue becomes a family resort and its 32 km2 is a paradise for water sports, including windsurfing, water skiing and kayaking.
The lake is located in the Cordillera de la Costa. It is surrounded by native forests and plantations, where you can enjoy nature, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking and observe the birdlife that congregates, where hundreds of black-necked swans stand out.
After enjoying the lake, we recommend you immerse yourself in the history and culture of the area in the Ruka kimvn Museum Taiñ Volil-Juan Cayupi Huechicura, erected as a tribute and conservation site of the Mapuche culture. Through audiovisual resources, exhibitions and photographs, the museum tells us the stories of a living town that has inhabited the territory since time immemorial.
When the south of Chile was an inhospitable place, the German settlers made their way through the extensive vegetation and installed their homes in search of a new life. Helmut Grollmus, descendant of the 4th generation of immigrants, tells the story of his family through his Grollmus EcoMuseum. Through objects and tools, you can learn a little more about the cultural fusion of our country.
In the same place is the mill of the same name, artisan machinery that for years was in charge of providing electricity to the entire town of Contulmo. Today it is used for the grinding and preparation of apple chicha.
If we talk about gastronomy, merkén, its star condiment. To be part of a more complete adventure, it is best to know a ruka, the ancestral home of the Mapuche people. At the center they have a stove that is always on, where they cook, smoke and keep the ruka heated. With mate in hand, it will be an instance to learn from their worldview, listen to stories and approach the wisdom of a millenary culture.
Walking through the streets where the Battle of Tucapel took place, some clashes of the Arauco War and knowing the place where the conquistador Pedro de Valdivia was captured by the Mapuche contingent, Fort Tucapel.
Another option is to travel to Contulmo, located at the foot of the Nahuelbuta Mountain Range and very close to Lake Lanalhue. It is known for the influence that the German settlers had on its foundation in 1884, and its architectural and gastronomic legacy.
It is a very picturesque place with wooden heritage houses very well preserved and worthy of photography. And although Contulmo in Mapudungún means “place of passage”, here you can measure the legacy left by the German settlers since the end of the 19th century.
For those who love nature, the best is the Contulmo and Salto Rayén Natural Monument. It has a forest conservation area of 82 hectares, and currently houses about 146 species of plants (26 fern varieties), of which 120 are native. The fauna is also present with at least 51 species, such as the pudú, la chilla and the frog of Darwin.
There are trails and rest areas for visitors, so hiking and picnics can not miss the visit. In addition, next to the Contulmo National Monument is the Rayen jump, a waterfall with a height of 22 meters, a spectacle without equal.
Undoubtedly a place with a lot of history of our country, accompanied by richness in flora and fauna, together with dream landscapes.