Torres del Paine National Park

Lago Budi (Budi Lake)

Situated 83 km southeast of Temuco, on the coastal edge of the La Araucanía region near the Pacific Ocean, Lago Budi is enveloped by communities belonging to the ancestral Mapuche-Lafkenche ethnic group. Covering 56.2 km², its basin boasts the unique characteristic of being one of the 10 most amazing landscapes in Chile, according to The Guardian.
In addition, and more importantly, its basin has the unique characteristic of being one of the few brackish lakes in South America. It should be noted that after the 1960 earthquake, Lake Budi lost its natural connection with the Pacific Ocean. The tsunami of that year, one of the largest in the world, broke the natural connection between Chile's only salt lake and the sea, causing the ecological imbalance that is still felt today. For this reason, the communities and local authorities want everything to return to what it was before the earthquake, so they are working to design and build a structure that will artificially connect the lake to the ocean.

When is the best time to visit Budi Lake? 

The best time to visit Lake Budi is in summer, when the water is warmer and you can enjoy activities such as fishing, kayaking, hiking, horseback riding, swimming, diving, yoga, walking, running and cycling, as well as the tranquility of the lake and its surroundings. The weather in the area changes constantly at any time of the year, so it is advisable to bring rain gear. 

In summary, the best time to visit Lake Budi is during the summer, although various activities can be enjoyed at any time of the year.

Tourism in Lake Budi

Recently, the area has gained prominence as an alternative tourist destination, with local ethnic communities banding together to promote this once-forgotten gem. Although its remote location has limited mass tourism, there are several popular activities for visitors:
* Visit the Mapuche community: Learn about the Mapuche-Lafkenche cosmovision and stay overnight in a Lafkenche ruka for a unique experience. * Bird Watching: The wetlands surrounding the lake are ideal for observing wild birds, such as black-necked swans. * Boating: You can tour the lake by boat to appreciate its surroundings and natural beauty. * Swimming, Diving, Yoga, Hiking and Biking: Recreational activities such as swimming, diving, yoga, hiking, running and biking are popular in the area. * Enjoy the tranquility: The lake is ideal for those looking for a quiet place away from the hustle and bustle of tourism. In summary, Lake Budi offers a unique combination of cultural and natural experiences, making it an attractive destination for those seeking a more authentic tourism in contact with nature.
* To access Budi overland, travelers typically pass through the regional capital Temuco, traversing Cholchol, Nueva Imperial, Carahue, and Puerto Saavedra. Puerto Saavedra, ravaged by a colossal earthquake and tsunami in 1960, remains etched in memory, bearing witness to humanity's largest recorded seismic event, registering a magnitude of 9.5. Despite the cataclysmic event, Puerto Saavedra, now home to nearly 15,000 residents, has transformed into a pivotal tourist hub within the La Araucanía Region. Here, visitors can glean insights into the region's entirety and immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of Mapuche culture, represented by over a hundred communities in the vicinity.

Lago Budi  (Budi Lake), south of Chile.
Lago Budi and Isla Huapi are located 3 km southeast of Puerto Saavedra. Isla Huapi is not an island in the traditional sense, but rather a strip of land that separates the lake from the Pacific Ocean. 

Around the lake, you can enjoy activities such as sailing, horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking, excursions to Isla Llepo in the middle of the lake, and more. There are cabins and traditional restaurants available. You can also interact with and actively participate in the rituals and customs of the Mapuche people.
Location of Lago Budi