Gaze up at the snow-capped Osorno Volcano, which looms over this large port city and discover the settlement’s German origins.
Visit Puerto Montt, a picturesque port town founded by German settlers in the late 19th century. Its European origins are evident in the intriguing designs of some of the buildings, particularly its cathedral. Wander the busy streets and check out the unique scenery and natural sights on its outskirts.
German immigrants set up this commune during their colonization of southern Chile in 1853. Learn about the cultural heritage of the city, which blends the customs of these early European colonizers with those of the native people.
Among the most interesting landmarks in town is the Puerto Montt Cathedral, which was built entirely from larch wood to withstand earthquakes. Dating back to 1856, the church is the oldest building in the city. Head downtown to see the Colonizacion Alemana Monument, which honors the city’s German roots.
Puerto Montt is renowned for its seafood, and in particular, its salmon. Walk around the Angelmó Fish Market near the port and browse the stalls, which sell everything from mussels to edible sea plants. The city is also known for its first-class restaurants. Try local specialties such as erizo del mar (sea urchin) and cancato, which is a fish stew with chorizo and cheese.
For a change of scenery, explore the region’s parks and lakes. Tour Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park and look for deer and other animals in the forest. Don’t miss the park’s highlight: the Petrohué Falls. Here white cascades flow through a black volcanic rock canyon. Behind them, the white peak of the Osorno Volcano is visible.
The town is in the Los Lagos Region in southern Chile. The best time to go is between October and early March, but expect heavy rainfall and cool temperatures year-round. The nearest city, Puerto Varas, is a 12-mile (19-kilometer) drive north. To get here from Santiago, fly to the nearby El Tepual Airport.
Puerto Montt is the economic and cultural hub of the Chilean Lake District and provides easy access to the stunning natural wonders of the region.