Considered the bouncing-off point for Chile’s islands and Patagonian fjords, with the Andes mountains featuring as a striking backdrop, Puerto Montt is a great city to visit on your Chilean adventures.
Between Lake Llanquihue and Todos Los Santos Lake is South America’s answer to Japan’s Mount Fuji. It’s a remarkably similar-looking volcano, dominating the horizon with a white peak that looks almost drawn on. With its ethereal presence, Osorno entices you to get closer – and it is hikeable if you are up for the challenge . At the very least, you should take the trip to stand at the base and gaze up at this mighty sight.
If you’re not up for the 90-minute drive to the Osorno Volcano from Puerto Montt, instead, head north for 21km (13mi) to the lakeside town of Puerto Varas. This Germanic colonial town comes with a sensational view – Osorno in the hazy distance, framed by Lake Llanquihue. While you’re here, pop into the white-painted wooden church – it looks more like it’s from the mountains of Bavaria with its cherry-red turrets.
The Reloncaví Sound is the body of water to the south of Puerto Montt. With the south of mainland Chile splitting apart into a range of different-sized islands, peninsulas and bays, this huge inlet eventually empties into the frigid waters further south and provides some scenic views from a boat or kayak. Ko’KayaK, based in Puerto Varas, offers guided kayaking excursions and equipment rental.