This little village fuels many a Chilean's vision of the south—Germanic towns nestled among sapphire-hued lakes—and is often synonymous with summer vacation. Frutillar, just north of Puerto Varas, seems to be straight from Bavaria with its majestic "casonas," built in the German tradition—a nod to the strong ancestry and settlement in the region.
Frutillar's lakefront has black-sand beaches, the shimmering lake dotted with white swans, magnificent views of the Osorno volcano, manicured lawns, and darling boutiques and cafes along the town's streets. During the last week of January and first week of February, music lovers flock to Frutillar for the classical music festival where maestros from all over the world play in the Teatro del Lago, with some of the best acoustics in Chile.
Besides strolling the relaxed lakefront, Frutillar is perfect to stop for a coffee and "kuchen," a delectable German cake found throughout the lake district made with seasonal fruit.