Frutillar is a small village on the shore of the lake Llanquihue, in the Lakes Region in the South of Chile. It’s so charming that it feels like being in a fairy tale.
The dwarfs were looking at me from behind the window. They were singing while working, happy because it was a sunny day.
In the South of Chile, in winter, sunny days are rare.
But that day it was extremely sunny. I hadn’t seen such a deep blue sky for weeks. I felt full of energy! “It’s sunny today! Where could I go?” I asked my host, who was a friend of a friend. “Go to Frutillar”, he told me.
I was staying in Puerto Varas, on the shore of Lake Llanquihue, in the Lakes Region in Chile. I had already learnt that green regions with plenty of lakes were rainy places, so I had to take advantage of that beautiful, sunny day. So I listened to my host and took the bus to Frutillar, which was around the same lake.
The smiling dwarfs welcomed me. “I’ll like it here”, I thought.
The first thing I saw was, of course, the lake. As a sea lover the water attracts me like a magnet, so I left the children’s park behind and went to the beach.
The sand was black.
In addition to the lakes, there are several active volcanoes in the region. In fact, there were two volcano eruptions in 2015, only a few months before I was there: Villarrica and Calbuco. The volcano Calbuco erupted in April and left several areas covered in ashes. The Vicente Perez Rosales National Park, the most visited in the region, even had to close some spots and some people lost their jobs.
I walked along the beach towards a building which was constructed over the water. Later on I learnt that it was a theater.
I spent the morning walking the streets of Frutillar. It was quite small, actually. And charming.
I saw dwarfs, dogs, fairies, a sailing boat and more dwarfs in the windows.
I found berries and flowers.
I saw beautiful houses that combined the architecture from the South of Chile with the German.
I sat on a bench that had the best views of the lake.
I saw a violin and a piano, a couple of puppets dancing, a sol clef.
Frutillar felt like a fairy tale.
I came back to the lake, and that’s when I saw it: the volcano Osorno, slowly appearing from behind the clouds. The Volcano Osorno is white because it’s covered by snow, and there is a glacier in the crater.
“If there is ever an eruption, the glacier might explode”, told me my host. I didn’t even want to imagine it. It was such a beautiful image, the white cone on the other side of the lake, reflected on the water. The blue sky. The silence. So beautiful and yet, so dangerous. Looking at the volcano I thought that it represented nature very well: its beauty, and its power.
I entered a handicraft shop and observed that many objects had musical decoration or designs. I asked the owner why there were so many things related to music, not only in the shop but all around the village, and she told me that the building I had seen before, in the lake, was a theater.
“El Teatro del Lago (Theater of the Lake) is very famous for classical music. People come from all over the world for the concerts. The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra has played here. Sometimes they play other kinds of music too”.
“Have you been to a concert there?”.
“I’m Mapuche, I prefer folkloric music”.
We started talking about Mapuches and their language. She told me that its use depended on the family. Her grandmother, for example, spoke Mapuche and didn’t know Spanish. People who emigrated to other regions lost the language, but new generations were trying to get it back.
“Nowadays a lot of children are bilingual. It’s very rich to be bilingual”.
“I’m bilingual too”, I said.
“Are you from Barcelona?”. Wow, how did she guess?
She told me that she was very interested in Spain and in the fusion of the cultures – the Mapuche and the Spanish – the influences in the clothes, the handicraft, the food.
When I looked at the watch, I had been talking to her for two hours.
It was time to say good bye to Frutillar, the fairy tale village, and go back to Puerto Varas.
Have you ever been to a place that felt like a fairy tale?
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Katie Ackerley says
This place looks adorable! I love hearing about hidden gems like this! Thanks for sharing!
Yes Frutillar is great, a true hidden gem!
The place looks wonderful! I’ve never heard of the place a def must go see! Your way of writing is so intriguing i loved every word of it <3 I've been to Hobbiton myself which was the closest thing to a fairytale!
Thanks Kirsten, so happy to hear that you enjoyed my writing! 🙂
Ohh I was in New Zealand but didn’t make it to Hobbiton, I believe it must feel like a fairy tale!
Justine Cross says
Chile looks beautiful! I love your mention of the little dwarves too – totally like something out of Snow White! I think the closest fairy tale like place I’ve been to is Vienna – there were so many buildings there that looked like something out of a Disney movie! Either that or Puzzlewood in the UK (where Star Wars Rogue One was filmed) — that place was pretty weird and fairy tale like too!
You’re right Justine, Vienna does have a fairy tale feeling with those big elegant buildings! Never heard of Puzzlewood before, I’ll have to check!
I’m digging that theater over the water — such a cool-looking building (and the location ain’t too shabby, either!). I’d love to go and listen to a concert there.
I think it must be a unique experience to listen to a concert in that theater! It was a day trip so I didn’t see the place at night but I guess it might look magical.
Reena | Just24Days.com says
Beautiful photos! Adding this place to my travel wishlist!
Thanks! Hope you can make it there!
Kelly Duhigg says
So cool. It is gorgeous here and black sand huh? Very cool. You are totally rught though, looks like a fairy tale come to life. Can’t wait to visit Chile and go to Easter Island. Thank you!!
Yeah it was a cool place with the black sand and the volcano on the other side of the lake! Hope you enjoy Chile 🙂
Alice Chen says
This looks so quaint! It’s like a tiny place just waiting to be discovered! I will definitely go here next time I’m in Chile!
It is indeed a tiny place, just a few streets next to the lake, but worth to visit if you’re nearby!
Cory Varga says
This looks like such great place for sure. I’m loving the pictures and I would love to visit Chile. We have been planning a trip to South America for such long time but things always seem to happen.
I am so impressed she figured out you are from Barcelona tho :O
Right? I was so impressed too! maybe she was just lucky? haha
What a little cute place!! It looks fake!! so Beautiful!! Generally is it safe in Chile??
I’d say that yes, generally Chile is a safe place. I was there alone for three months, from South to North, and never had any problem. Just beware in Santiago (the capital) at night, like in any other big city.
That looks surprisingly European. I never knew this place existed. So pretty!
Haha yes, it does look European! It’s because of the people who arrived there, mostly from Germany (they even had German desserts!)
I swear, it looks like Switzerland! What a cute little town! I’d love to visit Chile. Saved for the future.
It does look like the Alps right? With the lake and the architecture… There were German colonizers in the area which is why the architecture looks European
Lara @ Find Your World Girl says
Wow, this is so beautiful and unexpected! Love these hidden gems 🙂
It is indeed a charming place!
It certainly has a fairy tale feel! What a beautiful place, Laia 🙂 🙂
Thanks Jo! It was a beautiful place to have a walk 🙂
Diana Garcés says
Cuando vi las fotos pensé que era un lugar de Europa, no imaginé que fuera Chile, es que no vi el título, lo juro. Que gracioso, como que no me concordaba el relato con el país jajaja
Precioso Frutillar, parece una pequeña ciudad europea cerca al mar, lindo lindo. Gracias por compartir guapa, como siempre nos invitas a viajar y conocer 🙂
Jajaja es verdad que no se parece a la idea que uno tiene de Chile. En esa zona llegaron colonos alemanes, por eso la arquitectura parece europea 🙂
Wow, Laia, another fantastic trip! This looks indeed like a fairy tale village. The name already suggests it. Do you know how the dwarfs got to dominate the village? They have not come with Snow White, did they?
Haha I didn’t see Snow White. I think after she got married with the prince the dwarfs also felt they wanted a new life, so they left the work and traveled until they settled down there 😉
Wow Laia is a beautiful place, and as always, your photos are awesome. When I saw the first photo I thought it was a place in Europe, but I quickly realized that it was Chile. The colors, the buildings of the houses, the tranquility of the lake. It is quite noticeable the German influence and the gastronomy should be a delight. How good that you have spent one day in Frutillar and you have taken another image of Chile.
Thanks Eliana! Yes it’s looks German because of the colonizers from Germany. And yes, even the food has influences… they had German desserts (which I tried in the cafeteria of the theater!)
So pretty. Have often seen completely different pictures of Chile. This is so surprising. Have to scribble it in for my trip to this land
Chile is a very long country and full of surprises! Frutillar is quite a pretty unique village, definetely recommended 🙂