Puerto Montt & Lake District
Puerto Montt is Chile’s gateway to Patagonia and base for exploring the lakes region. The small port city, 1000 km south of the capital, stretches along a wide Pacific bay.
Puerto Montt’s center extends only a few blocks into the hinterland. Chile’s developed road connections to the south end here. The neglected railroad also has its southernmost station here. Most passengers and goods continue their journey by ship, either to the legendary island of Chiloé, or even further south to the Patagonian fjords on the way to Puerto Natales. On Puerto Montt’s attractive waterfront, you’ll find a large market with regional handicrafts as well as freshly caught fish and seafood prepared at food stalls. But beware of salmon, which is farmed here on an industrial scale in ecologically dubious and politically controversial aquacultures. NGOs are raising awareness of the far-reaching consequences of this maritime form of factory farming with campaigns such as “Sin Miedo contra la Corriente” (Fearlessly Against the Current) by Oxfam and the Chilean environmental organization Terram.
Puerto Montt’s most important promenade and thoroughfare is the Costanera, which leads to Caleta Angelmó in the west.
As a travel destination, Puerto Montt is especially interesting for those travelers who want to take the passenger ferry to the south, for example to the Torres del Paine National Park, which is not far from Puerto Natales, or who want to continue their travel route into neighboring Argentina. There is a bus connection as well as a flight connection to Bariloche. For passionate hikers, Pucón, located further north in the lake region, is a more suitable location.