Header photo 1Header photo 3Headr photo 4

  • Home • Destinations • Top Travel  Picks • Travel Links • Contact us • Our other web sites •







The path down from the lodge to the Lake Renihue. 


Hotel RIŅIMAPU, Lake Renihue, Chile


     We were on the way to Pucon, the outdoors adventure Mecca in southern Chile and  picked out HOTEL - RIŅIMAPU  [***] [$$] out of a guide book as a possible one night rest stop along the way.   But soon after we settled in at Rinimapu we knew we had found something really special and decided to skip Pucon and stay on at Rinimapu until it was time to go back home. 

     The hotel/lodge is paradise.  It fronts Lake Renihue, which is one of a string of pretty lakes in the Andes foothills.  This and the neighboring lakes are fed by glacial run-off of the Choshuenco volcano.  The volcano is in constant view from the lodge.  From our 2nd story room the sun rose over the volcano cone - a magnificence view.


     You can loaf around, sit with a book by the fireplace, or get active with rafting, hiking, and horseback riding.  Proprietor/host Catalina introduced us to her neighbors Ian and Maggy Staples [**].   They are Brits that gave up the corporate life in GB, did a stint of sailing around the world, and landed here in the 1990s to start a farm, B&B, and horseback riding on the trails through their estate of several hundred acres.  On our three hour horseback tour Ian gave us a running commentary on such topics as making fence posts, the best grass for fattening cattle, and Chilean versus Argentinean beef (Chilean is better). At the end we cooled off with beers on their deck overlooking the San Pedro River gorge. 


     The RIŅIMAPU hotel is also situated on a large estate.   Catalina's parents used to breed horses here and later established a fisherman's lodge on the property.  Catalina came down from Santiago in the late 1990s to take over running the lodge.


     The lodge and L. Rinihue are very secluded.  There is shopping for basic and some local arts and crafts 20 miles away in Panguipulli.  There is a radio phone at the hotel.      


     If you go: stay here for at least a few days.  And on the way back home stop at Puerto Varas [***] for a couple of nights.


Hotel staff and guests gather for Christmas night gifts exchange and dinner.  Owner/manager Catalina Puga is at far right, Marlene is far left.


Chain of lakes in the area of Renihue.  This map is painted on one of the walls in the lodge.   

 The town of Panguipulli, on the adjacent lake is the nearest shopping and the gateway to more lakes in the back country.

What's cooking?


     The kitchen at the lodge is exceptional and one more reason for an extended stay.  A different culinary specialty is presented every night and everything is on par with a Michelin "stared" restaurant.  There is no menu: you tell Catalina what you like and leave the details to her. 

Juan’s Andes Cinnamon Apples - a specialty at Hotel RIŅIMAPU


(This was to die for.  We were told it was an invention of Juan, who works the farm by day and is chef by night.)


Peel and core apples. Cut into 1/8 inch thick rounds.

Mix flour, eggs, a pinch of baking powder, cinnamon and sugar into a batter.


Dip apple rounds in batter and fry. Coat with more cinnamon.


Fresh baked breakfast pastry at the lodge.



A small sample of the plate collection (painted by the owner's mother)

 that adorn the walls of the Hotel RIŅIMAPU