As the capital of Chile’s Lake District, the port city of Puerto Montt serves as the gateway to Patagonia’s lakes and mountains, and functions as a major transport hub. If you’re spending a day here rather than just passing through, here’s how to make the most of 24 hours.
Morning: Explore the City
Though most travelers blitz through Puerto Montt on their way to the Andes mountains, the laid-back, working-class city merits exploration. Get your bearings and learn more about Puerto Montt’s history and culture on a morning sightseeing tour that takes you along Costanera Avenue, which runs along the seashore to the Pelluco district and is home to beaches and a yacht club. Tours typically visit Chinquihue and the craft village of Angelmó, where you can browse for knitwear and woolen goods, and sample freshly-caught seafood.
Afternoon: Osorno Volcano or Frutillar
Even with just an afternoon to spare, you’ll have time to visit the snow-capped Osorno volcano, which is considered the starting point of Chilean Patagonia. Tours tend to provide stress-free pickup and drop-off from your hotel in Puerto Montt, and save you the hassle of driving to Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park. There, you’ll have ample opportunity to enjoy panoramic views of Petrohué Lake and the Petrohué Falls as you follow a trail or take a chairlift up the 8,700-foot (2,650-meter) volcano. Alternatively, spend the afternoon in the charming town of Frutillar, which resembles a German Alpine village; it’s just a 30-minute drive from Puerto Montt.
Night: Dine in Town
Seafood is ubiquitous in Puerto Montt, which is considered Chile's seafood capital. Dedicate your final evening to sample some Chilean fruits of the sea, which include abalone, sea urchin, or barnacle. Head for the Fish Market of Angelmó, located at the end of Avenida Angelmó, for the freshest and best seafood in town. Otherwise, you can find plenty of restaurants in the city center, particularly around Rengifo. Stick around the area for a nightcap: there’s a good selection of bars on Rengifo, particularly those concentrated between the streets of Baquedano and Salvador Allende.