Considered the starting point of Chile, with the Andes mountains as a stunning backdrop, Puerto Montt is a great city to visit on your Chilean adventures.
Hike in Alerce Andino National Park
Visit the largest known living tree: Alerce Milenario, measuring 60 m (196 ft) tall and has existed for more than 3,600 years. In addition to the giant’s humbling lesson, the Jurassic Park-style landscape features waterfalls, huge ferns and rushing rivers. Covering a vast land along the foothills of the Andes, it is ready for guided hikes and treks. You will find it 40 km (25 miles) southeast of Puerto Montt, driving on Highway 7.
Get up close and personal with the Osorno Volcano
Between Llanquihue Lake and Todos Los Santos Lake is South America’s answer to Japan’s Mount Fuji. It is a volcano of remarkably similar appearanceThe horizon is dominated by a white peak that seems to be almost drawn. With its ethereal presence, Osorno invites you to come closer, and you can walk if you are up for the challenge. At the very least, you should make the trip to stand at the base and contemplate this powerful view.
Visit the lakeside town of Puerto Varas
If you are not prepared for the 90-minute drive to Osorno Volcano from Puerto Montt, head north for 21 km (13 miles) to the lakeside town of Puerto Varas. This Germanic colonial town comes with a sensational view: Osorno in the misty distance, framed by Lake Llanquihue. While you’re here, approach the white-painted wooden church, which looks more like the Bavarian mountains with its cherry-red towers.
Reloncavi Sound Boat Ride
The Reloncaví Sound is the body of water south of Puerto Montt. With the south of mainland Chile dividing into a variety of islands, peninsulas and bays of different sizes, this huge inlet eventually empties into the icy waters further south and offers some panoramic views from a boat or kayak. Ko’KayaK, based in Puerto Varas, offers guided kayak tours and equipment rental.
Travel on the Navimag Ferry
The trip south from Puerto Montt gives you two beautiful options: route 7 through the countryside by bus or car, or the slower and more exciting way: taking a boat with Navimag Ferries. Sailing from the port of Puerto Montt, it travels 65km (40mi) to Puerto Chacabuco. The trip lasts 24 hours, but you get a bed in a four-person cabin with a shared bathroom, although unfortunately there is no window.
Visit the John Paul II Historical Museum
Puerto Montt has had its ups and downs over the years, stories that are told in this history museum near the city’s bus terminal. It covers the magnitude 9.5 earthquake that occurred off the coast of Chile in 1960, which decimated the port of Puerto Montt. Given the museum’s name, of course, there is a section on Pope John Paul II, who celebrated Mass at this site in 1987.
See the landscape of the Natural Monument
Lahuen Ñadi Lahuen Ñadi Park, north of Puerto Montt, contains more of the world’s oldest trees in an area that feels like a virgin forest. And it is: the park comprises the last 200 ha (495 ac) of pristine forest in this region, including Patagonian cypress and Chilean myrtle. A network of trails and boardwalks has been designed through part of the dense forest, which facilitates walking.
Shop in Pueblito de Melipulli
Unique handmade souvenirs, local artisans come here to sell their products. The small town, known as Melipulli, is part of the city of Puerto Montt that has been surrounded, but not engulfed, by modern buildings, and stands as a clear representation of the old and new Puerto Montt.
Visit the archaeological site of Monte Verde
The Monte Verde archaeological site is important not only for this part of the world, but for all of humanity. He may surprise you with his fresh, if controversial, information on the movement of early humans and their settlement in the Americas. For example, it was widely accepted that humans arrived in the Americas about 13,500 years ago, but the findings here date back to 18,500 years ago. Here, instructional plaques show where excavations occurred over time.