The South American country of Chile occupies a long but narrow strip of land between the Andes to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Despite its relative narrowness, Chile is home to some of the most stunning and varied landscapes of South America ranging from tall mountains and volcanoes to vast deserts, large glacial lakes, and beautiful coasts. Below is a list of the largest lakes of Chile.
1. General Carrera Lake
General Carrera (name in Chile) or Lake Buenos Aires (name in Argentina) is an international lake shared between Chile and Argentina. General Carrera Lake is the largest lake in Chile with a total area of 1850 square km including an area of 970 square km in the Chilean territory. The lake is located in picturesque settings. The Andes Mountains surround it. The Baker River drains the lake to the west. General Carrera Lake is a major salmon and trout fishing destination in the country.
2. Lake Llanquihue
Located in the Los Lagos Region, Lake Llanquihue is Chile’s second biggest lake. It has an area of about 860 square km and a maximum depth of 1,040 feet. Lake Llanquihue is a glacial lake created during Quaternary glaciations. The massive Volcán Osorno can be seen from the lake. The cities surrounding the lake are popular tourist destinations.
3. O'Higgins Lake
O’Higgins is another large lake shared between Chile and Argentina. It has a total area of 1058 square km of which 529 square km is located in Chilean territory. The lake is located 820 feet above sea level and is the deepest lake in the Americas. It has a maximum depth of 2,743 ft near the O'Higgins Glacier. The Mayer River is the main stream that feeds the lake and the Pascua River drains it.
4. Ranco Lake
Lake Ranco is the fourth biggest lake in Chile. It is located in the Ranco Province where it occupies an area of 442 square km. Many islands are located in the lake with the largest being Huapi Island. Three rivers, the Nilahue, Calcurrupe, and the Caunahue are the major inflows of this lake. The Bueno River is its primary outflow. Ranco Lake has a maximum depth of 653 feet.
5. Presidente Ríos Lake
With an area of 352 square km, the Presidente Ríos Lake is Chile’s fifth biggest lake. It is located in the middle of the Taitao Peninsula.