Puerto Montt is a port city in southern Chile in the Las Lago Region in the Llanquihue Province. The population is approximately 218,000 people (as of 2012). Founded in 1853, this port city grew at a vast rate due to the importance of its position at the southern part of the Chilean Central Valley. It is known as a gateway to the Chileo Archipelago. There are lots of great things to do in Puerto Montt, such as visiting the Casa del Arte Diego Rivera and the Parque Nacional Alerce Andino.
Puerto Montt was one of the finest hotspots for salmon fishing during the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. However, in the late 2000’s there was a large increase in unemployment due to the salmon crisis. The culture here is a mix of many cultures, the most prominent being a mix of Chilean with German culture – in fact, German immigrants established city. To this day, Puerto Montt is still considered one of the largest suppliers of Salmon in the world. Below is our Puerto Montt travel guide with information on all the best things to do, places to go and what not to miss.
CASA DEL ARTE DIEGO RIVERA – This is a place that was a joint Project by both Mexicans and Chileans built in 1964. Upstairs you’ll find artwork by local artists - including photography and sculptures - as well as a café and a boutique. It is a great little place to check out, and located centrally in Puerto Montt (on the corner of Antonio Varas and Quillota street). Sometimes cultural events are held here, such as music, theatre, and dance.
PARQUE NACIONAL ALERCE ANDINO – This national park located in the mountains, and although not a popular spot to visit, it does offer a great chance to hike through the protected forests and see the beautiful wildlife. There are camping grounds available as well as back country camping, and several agencies offer trips into this beautiful national park, which covers around 393km².
PRIVATE TOUR – This will take you to the main plaza and church of the town, as well as to other attractive sights around the city, such as the town hall. You can visit the local shops selling crafts and woollen products, and the best restaurants where you can try some of the great food, such as seafood. The tour lasts around 2 hours.
*** WHAT NOT TO MISS ***
Puerto Montt is a place known for its seafood. One of the things that cannot be missed is experiencing the food that is offered here.
One of the best places to experience the great seafood is the small fishing village of Angelmo, which is around 2km from Puerto Montt’s centre. It’s a nice bay, where you’ll find crab, shrimp, and salmon, amongst other things, all freshly caught. Along with the seafood market here you can find great restaurants. Shop Local No.2 is one good place to try out in this area, as it isn’t too expensive - try paila marina – a traditional seafood soup. In Angelmo there are also some art and craft stalls, great for souvenir shopping. A taxi here costs around $2.
There are a handful of places that offer a good chance to enjoy the night: most of these are nice cafes and pubs where you can enjoy a good drink to wind down the night. Try Sherlock – here you’ll find cocktails alongside typical Chilean dishes, and there’s even a live music and karaoke area. The Apache is a disco that offers a little more energy and is great for younger people.
The average temperature ranges from 14 degrees Celsius in January to a colder 6 degrees Celsius in July. There is rainfall almost the entire year, with the most rainfall coming between April and October. The dry season runs from January until March.
There is a national airport connecting Puerto Montt to Santiago and to Punto Arenas. Several airlines operate here, including LAN, and Sky Airlines (which is cheaper than LAN). There is also a large bus terminal 1km from Plaza de Armas that offers trips to many of the cities in the north, to Chiloe Island, and even into Argentina. Many bus companies operate here, including Cruz del Sur. Another option is to travel by ferry, and there are ferries that come in from other port cities in Chile.
There are multiple places to stay in Puerto Montt, including many lower budget places which can be found in the centre of the city. House Rocco Backpacker features delicious coffee and crepes for breakfast, and has welcoming owners. Another homely option is Casa Perla – comfy, clean, and where you can try delicious homemade marmalade. Pink House offers a great view of the surrounding natural beauty, and of course, hospitable owners and a lovely breakfast.
Be careful at night time when wandering outside the main plaza of the city.
When selecting tours, make sure that the tour is safe and well known.