Puerto Montt (pop. 110,000), is located 600 mi. south of Santiago at the southern end of the Chilean Lake District. It is gateway to the scenic Lake District, a natural quilt of millenary forests, emerald lakes, snow-capped peaks and slumbering volcanoes. Colonized in the mid-1800s by German immigrants, the area retains its European flavor best appreciated in Bavarian-like towns and villages of weathered wooden homes, high-pitched, shingled roofs and ornate balconies. Puerto Varas is a charming 19th century town 12 miles north of Puerto Montt, on the shores of Lake Llanquihue and facing the eternally snow capped cone of majestic Osorno Volcano.
Two to three nights
When to go
Best time is December-April, when days are longer. Although Patagonia’s weather is unpredictable, summer (December-March) is characterized by sunny days and cool nights with temperatures ranging from 50F to 80F.
• National Parks: Amazing scenery in Alerce Andino and Vicente Perez Rosales National Parks.
• Lake Crossing: Crossing to Argentina (Bariloche), via emerald lakes and winding Andean roads.
• Colonial Cities: The area is replete with colonial cities of undeniable German origin.
• Chiloe Island: A trip back into time on a storybook isle of myths and legends.
• Whitewater Rafting
• Mountain biking