Caburgua fences prevent livestock from wandering. The dominant tree used is the coihue, an evergreen giant. Its wood is very resistant to rot. It is split, buried vertically in a trench, and if additional height is needed a crossbar is added.
Lake Caburgua is surrounded by mountains on all but the south side, where the largest beach is located. Often the lake has no waves. On the mountain crests the original native forests are still preserved.
On the Caburgua is a stack of hand-hewn railroad ties. The lack of roads along the lake's shores led woodsmen to transport their ties by boat to south shore to sell them to merchants for $5 to $10 each. The boys on the beach are Carlos and Alex Bratz whose grandparents pioneered the area.
Carileufu river, now known as Rio Caburgua, is the main above-ground drainage of Lake Caburgua. It usually flows during winter and spring, but dries up in summer as the lake recedes. During dry years, however, the river may not flow. There is also a substantial underground drainage of the lake through an aquifer which comes to the surface a few miles south of the lake at a place called Ojos de Caburgua, a beautiful combination of artisian springs and waterfalls.
The west side of Lake Caburgua has some beautiful white sand beaches. Due to the steep mountains which circle the lake on all but the south side, Caburgua's beaches are vey narrow. One exception is Playa Blanca.
The mountains east of the lake separate Caburgua from a valley called Rio Blanco. Today this valley is accessible by vehicle and there is a modest hot springs resort. In the 60s people even rode horseback many hours or rowed the entire length of the lake to catch a truck to Pucón.
This image is one of many of the snags left by an immense fire in the 1940s that burned the forests of southern Chile. According to local residents, the fire coincided with the blooming of the quila, a vine-like bamboo that dies after going to seed. This raises fire hazzards and causes an explosion of the rodent population.