Puerto Montt, Chile

                                               Lago Llanquehué

January 25, 2010

Puerto Montt, Chile is at the south end of the Chilean mainland, and another place we’d never heard of before.  There are five glacier-capped volcanoes in the area, the most notable being Orsono Volcano (photo below).

It dominates the scenery of the area.  The Puerto Montt area is also home to the fourth largest lake in South America, Lago Llanquihue (pronounced yangkee-way) (photo above).  The largest lake is Maracaibo in Venezuela, followed by Titicaca in Peru and Lago General Carrera in Chile.  The city of Puerto Montt was established in 1853 was named in honor of the Chilean president at that time, Manuel Montt.  The area was largely settled by Bavarian immigrants, and the style of much of the architecture still reflects the German heritage.  At our first stop along the shore of Lago Llanquihuè we encountered a pen of llamas, one of which apparently enjoyed having its photo taken with anyone willing to pose with it.  After this short photo stop we proceeded to the Petrohuè Cascades.  We walked across a couple of bridges, through the woods to get to the falls.  The scenery was very pretty, and although these are cascades rather than falls (they are not very tall), the water pours through them very fast, and you can hear them long before you see them.  The Orsono volcano quietly dominates the scenery, and on a sunny day, like the one we had, the combination of the glacier-clad volcano and the roaring blue waters was spectacular.  Despite the number of people visiting the cascades, there was a peaceful feeling in the area.

Our final stop for the day was in Puerto Varas, also known as the City of Roses.  We were given an hour to shop or explore the city.  After browsing through the craft market, where we bought a small penguin carved out of their native redwood, we wandered over to the edge of the lake and then did a little walking around the town before heading back to the bus.  We got slightly disoriented regarding the location of the bus, but we did find it in plenty of time.  

This excursion was more relaxing than most, and once again we were glad we had chosen an excursion that went beyond the limits of the port city and introduced us to more of the area.  The Puerto Montt area gets approximately 4 meters or 160 inches of rain per year.  It has been amazing to see the variety of climates and landscapes in Chile.  The southern end of the country has a beauty that is in complete contrast to the beauty of the north.

                                                            Orsono Volcano

© Susan L. Stone 2015                   rovingstones@me.com