Torres del Paine National Park

Tourism in Rapel Artificial Lake and Surroundings

Lago Rapel (Rapel Lake), Chile.
Rapel Artificial Lake and surroundings

Lago Rapel, a term from the Mapuche language meaning "clay mud", is a Chilean artificial reservoir, located in the O'Higgins Region, also known by the former name of Sixth Region of Chile, 144 km. Southwest of the capital, Santiago. It was created in 1979, covers an area of 80 km2. and has a capacity of 695 million cubic meters that feed the hydroelectric plant. 
Surrounded by quiet rural villages, agriculture is the main activity, but the climate and gentle waters invite to enjoy the benefits of this beautiful corner of Chile. Thus, in recent decades, the lake has given way to tourism, positioning itself as one of the must-see attractions south of Santiago, reflected in the large number of restaurants, summer houses and especially the practice of water sports, including yachting, windsurfing, water skiing, wakeboarding, catamaran and recreational fishing. 
The area surrounding Lago Rapel includes the municipalities of Las Cabras, La Estrella, Marchig├╝e, Pichidegua and Litueche; on the southern shore of the reservoir are the villages of El Estero, Llallauquen and Las Balsas, along a road that borders the lake and branches off from Route 66, also known as the "Carretera de la Fruta" (Fruit Road). In the area where the three arms of the lake converge is where most of the tourists gather around Rapel, the place has several camping cabins, hotels and a residential complex in El Estero, belonging to Marina Golf Rapel.

Due to its extension, fly fishing and sailing are the most popular activities on the lake, but other recommended activities for visitors are a variety of water sports, hiking, mountain biking or visiting the surrounding villages that have their own entertainment options. 

Marina Golf Rapel, with its tranquil surroundings, is an excellent choice to visit as it has a 9 hole golf course, a tennis court, a marina with a floating dock designed for 300 boats, a swimming pool, horseback riding and a private beach. Moreover, in the restaurant Marina Rapel you can taste the best dishes of Chilean cuisine with a gourmet touch. Another interesting place to visit is the Anfiteatro Ecologico Llallauquen, a reserve created by the Movimiento Ambientalista de Rapel, who have managed to create a space where visitors will be impressed by the beauty of the environment, its biodiversity and tranquility. In addition to horseback riding, pedal boats and kayaks, visitors can enjoy a picnic in an area created by the community, built entirely from discarded tires and bricks made from plastic bottles filled with bags.

On the south shore of Chachapoal Bay you will find many options for lodging, camping and private clubs. There are also restaurants, bars and shops nearby. You can rent boats, kayaks, jet skis or water skis to explore the lake and have fun. You can also fish for trout, carp or pejerreyes.

If you want to learn more about the history and culture of the region, you can visit some of the nearby towns and villages, such as Las Cabras, Litueche, or Marchihue. You can also take a day trip to the Colchagua Valley, where you can visit some of the best wineries in Chile and taste their famous wines or take a tour of the Rapel Hydroelectric Plant and see how it works.

Lake Rapel is a great place to enjoy nature, adventure and tranquility in central Chile. It is easily accessible by car or bus from Santiago and other major cities. You can visit it all year round, but the best time is during the summer months (December to March) when the weather is warm and dry.