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Puerto Montt, Chile

Gateway to fjords, lake cruises, and national parks


Puerto Montt

Puerto Montt


At the southern end of the Pan American highway in Chile, Puerto Montt is not only the end of the road, but the beginning of the fabled land of fjords, canals, islands, snow-capped volcanoes, fertile agricultural fields, green forested hills and the enchantment of Southern Chile. (see map.) The Carratera Austral begins here on its rough route south through Patagonia.

Likened to Seattle and Vancouver, but not as spectacularly scenic, Puerto Montt overlooks water, in this case the Bay and Estuary of Reloncavi. It is a good base point for trips around the area. See the good description provided by Fly Fishing Chile. Views.

Named for Manuel Montt, president when Puerto Montt was established in 1853, the port city is the capital of Region XX, Los Lagos. As such, it is the center of commercial fishing, agriculture, tourism and is imbued with the culture and architecture of early German settlers.

Getting There

By Air:

Check flights from your area to Santiago and other locations in Chile. You can also browse for hotels and car rentals. LAN, LADECO and other airlines maintain regular flights north to and from Santiago, Temuco, Concepción, and south to Punta Arenas, Chaitén, Balmaceda, Puerto Natales and to Buenos Aires, Bariloche and Neuquen.

By Land:

Long-distance buses , Santiago and intermediate points, Coyhaique, Punta Arenas, Argentina. By car, either personal or rented.

By Water:

Transmarchilay and Navimag car and passenger ferries from Chaitén, to Chiloé, Puerto Chacabuco and Laguna San Rafael.

When to Go The Lake District is best in summer, but Puerto Montt is an all-season destination. Be ready for rain anytime, with cooler temperatures in the winter.

Check today's weather in Puerto Montt.

Things to Do and See

  • Tours of Puerto Montt include visits to the national parks, cruises, fishing and other sports plus plenty of nature time.
  • The famed and spectacularly beautiful year-round Cruce de Lagos: from Puerto Montt to Bariloche, Argentina, crossing Todo los Santos Lake in Vicente Perez Rosales National Park by luxury catamaran, then by bus through an Andean pass, and then back to the water on two Argentinian lakes. This is a two-day trip and one not to be missed.
  • Navimag three day cruises via the fjords to Puerto Natales. There are shorter cruises to Laguna San Rafael, and car/passenger ferries to Puerto Chacabuco/Coyhaique.
  • Read about Clarence Fisk's Viaje Por Los Canales Y Fiordos Del Sur De Chile. in Spanish.
  • Tour Parque Nacional Alerce Andino, protecting national forests, Parque Nacional Hornopirén for skiing on the volcano of the same name, and of course, a visit to Parque Nacional Chiloé.
  • Chiloé Island is South America's largest island, and offers varying attractions to the visitor: the scenery of course, sports such as sea kayaking, walking, fishing, plus a rich mythology of legends and sea monsters, buildings on stilts at water's edge, called palafitos, and colorful wooden churches.
  • Try a day trip for horseback riding, boat tours, curanto (traditional Mapuche stew of seafood, chicken, pork, lamb and potatoes. See this recipe) and more.

    Shopping and Other Tips

  • Lapis lazuli, found only in Chile and Afghanistan, plus woolen wear, basketry, wood, leather, shell, and metal works in the Feria Artesanal, handcraft markets, of Angelmó, the fishing port. Try the seafood restaurants and the local foods.
  • Lodging options range from family-run pensiones and hospedajes to deluxe hotels. Here is a listing with availability, rates, amenities, location, activities and other specific information. and another by name.

    Whenever you go, Buen Viaje!

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