Todos los Santos Lake

Last updated
Lake Todos los Santos
Lake Todos los Santos.jpg
Los Lagos location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Lake Todos los Santos
Coordinates 41°06′S72°12′W / 41.100°S 72.200°W / -41.100; -72.200 Coordinates: 41°06′S72°12′W / 41.100°S 72.200°W / -41.100; -72.200
Type monomictic
Catchment area 3,036 km2 (1,172 sq mi)
Basin  countries Chile
Surface area178.5 km2 (68.9 sq mi)
Max. depth337 m (1,106 ft)
Water volume34.4 km3 (27,900,000 acre⋅ft)
Residence time 4 years
Surface elevation189 m (620 ft)
Islands one (Isla Margarita)

Lake Todos los Santos (Spanish for "All Saints Lake") is a lake located in the Los Lagos Region of southern Chile, 96 km northeast of the regional capital Puerto Montt and 76 km east of Puerto Varas, within the boundaries of the Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park. It has a surface area of 178.5 km² and a maximum depth of 337 m. [1] The Lake's National Park status has ensured protection to its environment. The catchment is largely covered with old-growth Valdivian temperate rain forests. The present form of the lake is the result of glacial and volcanic processes. [1] [2]



The main tributary of the lake is the Río Peulla/Río Negro, next to the Peulla locality. Its outflow at the Petrohué locality gives rise to the Petrohué River, with an average outflow of 270 m³ per second. Even though the lake has a regulating effect, it is subject to water level variations that may exceed 3 m and reflect in the discharge at the outflow. At a short distance from the Petrohué locality, the river flows through the Petrohué Waterfalls.

The lake may appear green, blue or silver depending on the cloud cover and weather on a given day. The majority of the greenish tint comes from glacial meltwater containing mineral debris. [3]


As recently as 20,000 years ago, the basin of Todos los Santos Lake was filled by a large glacier that did not withdraw until approximately 10,000 years ago. [3] At that point, the area was still a glacial basin with rivers flowing through it. The lake itself did not form until lava flows from the Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes formed a dam across the lower part of the valley, trapping the water from the rivers and gradually forming the lake. [3]

This lake has been known by multiple indigenous names in the past: Purailla, Pichilauquen, and Quechocavi.[ citation needed ] German colonists in the 19th century labelled it Lake Esmeralda ("Emerald Lake"), due to the green color of its water. [3] However, later practice reverted to the name given by Jesuit missionaries, Todos los Santos Lake. [3]


A regular road and boat transport service provides tourist transport between Puerto Montt or Puerto Varas in Chile and San Carlos de Bariloche on Nahuel Huapi Lake in Argentina. There are two main lake ports: Petrohué at the western end, and the village of Peulla at the eastern end; there is no road connecting these ports. The lake is surrounded by steep mountains leaving only minor plains. The mountains include Osorno volcano in the west, the Puntiagudo to the north, and the Tronador to the east.

Lago Todos los Santos.jpg
View from a camping in the west side of the lake, near Petrohué River

Related Research Articles

1960 Valdivia earthquake May 1960 earthquake in Chile

The 1960 Valdivia earthquake or the Great Chilean earthquake on 22 May 1960 was the most powerful earthquake ever recorded. Various studies have placed it at 9.4–9.6 on the moment magnitude scale. It occurred in the afternoon, and lasted for approximately 10 minutes. The resulting tsunamis affected southern Chile, Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines, eastern New Zealand, southeast Australia, and the Aleutian Islands.

Los Lagos Region Region of Chile

Los Lagos Region is one of Chile's 16 regions, which are first order administrative divisions, and comprises four provinces: Chiloé, Llanquihue, Osorno and Palena. The region contains the country's second largest island, Chiloé, and the second largest lake, Llanquihue. Its capital is Puerto Montt; other important cities include Osorno, Castro, Ancud, and Puerto Varas. The mainland portion of Los Lagos Region south of Reloncaví Sound is considered part of Patagonia.

Frutillar City and Commune in Los Lagos, Chile

Frutillar is a city and commune located in southern Chile, Chilean Patagonia within the Los Lagos Region, the lake district. The bay of Frutillar is placed on the banks of Lake Llanquihue, the largest lake entirely within Chile. Frutillar is known as the "City of Music", and since 2017 is part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN), becoming the first Chilean city to be nominated, as well as the southermost Creative City of Music in the world.

Llanquihue Province Province in Los Lagos, Chile

Llanquihue Province is one of four provinces of the Chilean region of Los Lagos (X). Its capital is Puerto Montt. Chile's second largest lake, Lake Llanquihue, is located in the province as well as four volcanoes: Osorno, Calbuco, Puntiagudo and Cerro Tronador.

Llanquihue Lake

Lake Llanquihue is the second-largest lake in Chile with an area of about 860 square kilometres (330 sq mi). It is situated in the southern Los Lagos Region in the Llanquihue and Osorno provinces. The lake's fan-like form was created by successive piedmont glaciers during the Quaternary glaciations. The last glacial period is called Llanquihue glaciation in Chile after the terminal moraine systems around the lake.

Puerto Varas City and Commune in Los Lagos, Chile

Puerto Varas, also known as "La ciudad de las rosas" or “the city of roses”, is a city and commune located in the southern Chilean province of Llanquihue, in the Los Lagos Region.

Los Ríos Region Region of Chile

The Los Ríos Region is one of Chile's 16 regions, the country's first-order administrative divisions. Its capital is Valdivia. It began to operate as a region on October 2, 2007, having been created by subdividing the Los Lagos Region in southern Chile. It consists of two provinces: Valdivia and the newly created Ranco Province, which was formerly part of Valdivia Province.

Osorno (volcano) Stratovolcano in Chile

Osorno Volcano is a 2,652-metre (8,701 ft) tall conical stratovolcano lying between Osorno Province and Llanquihue Province, in Los Lagos Region of Chile. It stands on the southeastern shore of Llanquihue Lake, and also towers over Todos los Santos Lake. Osorno is considered a symbol of the local landscape, and is noted for its similar appearance to Mount Fuji.

General Carrera Lake

General Carrera Lake or Lake Buenos Aires is a lake located in Patagonia and shared by Argentina and Chile. Both names are internationally accepted.

Melado River

The Melado is a river of Linares province, Maule Region, of Chile. It rises in the "Cordillera de los Andes" with the name of river Guaiquivilo where it is formed by two tributaries, the river Cajón Troncoso, born near the Argentine border and the river Palaleo, from the outflow of Dial lake, located some 70 km upstream from the joining of the two rivers. The Guaiquivilo flows northwardly along a typical interandean longitudinal valley.

Calbuco (volcano)

Calbuco is a stratovolcano in southern Chile, located southeast of Llanquihue Lake and northwest of Chapo Lake, in the Los Lagos Region, and close to the cities of Puerto Varas and Puerto Montt. With an elevation of 2,015 meters above sea level, the volcano and the surrounding area are protected within the Llanquihue National Reserve.

Purranque City and Commune in Los Lagos, Chile

Purranque is a city in the Chilean Los Lagos Region, which lies on the Pan-American Highway about 65 km (40 mi) north of Puerto Montt. It is part of the Osorno Province.

Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park

Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park is located in Los Lagos Region, Llanquihue Province, of Chile. Its western entrance is close to the Ensenada locality, 82 km (51 mi) northeast of the provincial capital of Puerto Montt, and 64 km (40 mi) from Puerto Varas along Ruta CH-225. This national park covers about 2,530 km2 (977 sq mi) and is almost entirely in the Andes mountain chain. The adjacent national parks Vicente Pérez Rosales and Puyehue National Park in Chile, and Nahuel Huapi National Park and Lanín National Park in Argentina, provide a continuous protected area of close to 15,000 km2 (5,792 sq mi).

Puyehue National Park

Puyehue National Park is located in the Andes mountain range, in Los Ríos and Los Lagos regions of Chile formerly referred to as the 10th region. The park boast 220,000 acres of natural thermal springs, volcanoes, and evergreen forests, after having been expanded in 1950 and 1981. The park is Chile's most visited national park with 400,000 people enjoying it each year. Puyehue National park forms part of the Reserve of Temperate Rainy Forest Biospheres of the Southern Andes. Chile Route 215 passes through the park, which connects with the Argentine Route 231 via Cardenal Antonio Samoré Pass.

Reloncaví Estuary

Reloncaví Estuary is a fjord off Reloncaví Sound, located in the Los Lagos Region of Chile. Several National Parks and Wilderness Areas are situated in the vicinity of this fjord. Among them are: Alerce Andino National Park, Hornopirén National Park, Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park, Llanquihue National Reserve and the Cochamó Valley. The Yate Volcano towers above this fjord. The Puelo River empties into this estuary. It also receives the outflow of the Todos los Santos Lake through the short tortuous Petrohué River.

Yelcho Lake

Yelcho Lake is a large fjord-shaped lake located in Chilean Patagonia, in southern Palena province of Los Lagos Region, Chile. The lake receives the waters of the Futaleufu River at its southern tip, near the tiny settlement of Puerto Ramirez. The river then flows northward through mountainous and glaciated terrain, until it outflows via the Yelcho River north-west and empties into Gulf of Corcovado, near Chaitén. The lake is a popular destination for fly fishing, and several lodges and hotels operate on its shores. Yelcho Lake is most frequently accessed via the town of Chaitén to the north. Two small commercial airlines operate daily flights from Puerto Montt. Another option is ferry service direct from Puerto Montt, the bimodal ferry service from the town of Hornopiren, or direct from the port of Quellón on the island of Chiloe on the other side of the Gulf of Corcovado. Traffic on the Carretera Austral along the western shore of Yelcho Lake was interrupted in December 2017 due to a mudslide in the settlement of Villa Santa Lucía, which killed 22 people. The road reopened in February 2018.

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Puerto Montt Archdiocese in Chile

The Archdiocese of Puerto Montt is a Metropolitan See of the Roman Catholic church, in Chile. Its suffragan dioceses are: Osorno, San Carlos de Ancud and Punta Arenas.

Chapo Lake

Chapo Lake is a lake of Chile located in Los Lagos Region. It lies immediately southeast of Calbuco volcano and south of Llanquihue National Reserve. Just south of the lake is Alerce Andino National Park.

Petrohué Waterfalls

Petrohué Waterfalls is a chute-type waterfall in the upper reach of Petrohué River in Chile, a short distance downstream of the source of this river in Todos los Santos Lake. This waterfall is inside the Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park, close to the road leading to the Petrohue locality on lake Todos los Santos. Tourists on the international route between Puerto Montt in Chile and Bariloche in Argentina are generally offered a stop for a walk to enjoy the sights.

German colonization of Valdivia, Osorno and Llanquihue

From 1850 to 1875, some 6,000 German immigrants settled in the region around Valdivia, Osorno and Llanquihue in Southern Chile as part of a state-led colonization scheme. Some of these immigrants had left Europe in the aftermath of the German revolutions of 1848–49. They brought skills and assets as artisans, farmers and merchants to Chile, contributing to the nascent country's economic and industrial development.


  1. 1 2 "Lake Todos los Santos". World Lakes Database. International Lake Environment Committee Foundation. Retrieved 2014-01-19.
  2. "Cayutué-La Viguería". Global Volcanism Program. Smithsonian Institution . Retrieved 2006-10-27.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Scheffel, Richard L.; Wernet, Susan J., eds. (1980). Natural Wonders of the World. United States of America: Reader's Digest Association, Inc. pp. 382–383. ISBN   0-89577-087-3.