Puerto Montt

Puerto Montt located in the South of Chile

Puerto Montt located in the South of Chile

The city of Puerto Montt has a beautiful view to the Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes, is located at the northern end of the Reloncaví (seno de Reloncaví), in the western area, and is protected by the Tenglo Island (Isla Tengo). Puerto Montt is located at 634.4 miles from Santiago and has a population of about 175,000.

Puerto Montt was originally a place covered by thick forest, called Melipulli, which means four hills in Mapudungun language. From the beginning of the XVIII century it was seasonally visited by timber merchants from Calbuco that stockpiled here alerce (Fitzroya cupressoides) boards serrated in the interior forests.

The city of Puerto Montt was founded on February 12, 1853 by Don Vicente Pérez Rosales, with the arrival of German immigrants that came to colonize the area of Llanquihue. It was created in homage to the president Manuel Montt, and it already counted wit a jail, church, cemetery and the government headquarters.

Puerto Montt grew rapidly providing services and becoming a center of the colonized territories. With the arrival of the railroad in 1912 the expanding efforts were renewed becoming a union point towards the Chiloé island and Magallanes.

In 1979 Puerto Montt, becomes the Capital of the X Region of Los Lagos with the provinces of Valdivia, Osorno, Llanquihue, Chiloé island and Palena, counting today with a population of about 110,000.

The city of Puerto Montt was almost destroyed by an earthquake in 1960 that devastated the marine border and the port. Today there are modern port facilities.

In the city of Puerto Montt, the salmon cultivation in more than thirty places, caused and explosive growth since 1985, along with the creation of great amount of services industries.

Puerto Montt, also has an important port and transportation activity. It’s the center of an agricultural, cattle and fishing area.

Puerto Montt located in the Lake District of Chile

Puerto Montt located in the Lake District of Chile

In the nearby areas of the city of Puerto Montt, at 1.2 miles from the Arms Square of the city of Puerto Montt you will find the Puerto Angelmó tourist attraction, which grew as a small port by the end of the XIX century: its name comes form the indigenous people that couldn’t pronounce the name Angel Montt correctly; he was a doctor that lived nearby and would assist emergencies. The Creek of Angelmó (Caleta de Angelmó), is one of the most typical places of Puerto Montt; its traditional cooking offers a wide variety of exquisite plates with seafood products. It’s also possible to find southern handicrafts and other rural food preparations such as the potato bread (milcao). On Saturday the locals from the islands come to sale their products. It’s an interesting tourist attraction center, since in Angelmó you’ll find the largest Seafood and Fish Market (Mercado de Mariscos y Pescados) of the country, offering exquisites products of the Pacific Ocean. It’s a big warehouse that in its interior there are many products from the sea, garden produces, homemade bread (pan amasado) and others according to the traditions of the area.

Also, at Angelmó is the Port of Boats and Ferries (Puerto de Barcos y Transbordadores) is located; departing from the port there are trips to Chiloé island, the Puyuhuapi Hot Springs (Termas de Puyuhuapi), Aisén, the San Rafael Lagoon (Laguna San Rafael) and Puerto Natales. You will also find the Puerto de las Islas where there are motorboats, schooners and some sailboats that go along the Reloncaví inlet and the archipelago of Chiloé island.

In Puerto Montt it’s recommended to visit Pelluco, which in Mapudungun language means water with big Chilean clams (choros). This is the resort of the city and it counts with a beach, hotels and restaurants specialized in food cooked in a hole (curantos). It’s sheltered by a bay, and the beach grows or shrinks depending on the tides. The chapel of Santa Cruz is worth a visit (capilla de Santa Cruz), built with the style from the Chiloé Island at the beginning of XX century and rebuilt in 1985. From here you can visit the Punta Pelluco Fossil Forest (Bosque Fósil Punta Pelluco), a nature sanctuary formed by 111 stumps of different diameter of alerce fossils of between 31,800 and 50,000 years of age, preserved without petrification in their natural form, in a surface of 328 feet x 1,312 feet that rose with the earthquake of 1960 and it’s only visible during a low tide.

In the city of Puerto Montt, you must visit the John Paul II Municipal Museum (Museo Municipal Juan Pablo II), which was inaugurated in 1988 and counts with different collections. It stands out the natural history collection with specimens of native fauna and flora. Regarding archaeology and anthropology, the museum keeps pieces of the Mapuche culture, from the Chiloé island and information boards about the ethnic-archaeological findings in Monte Verde, a locality dating to the glacial age of 12 thousand years ago. Its section on arms and navigation is also interesting, which presents a heterogeneous series of objects, and also the iconography section, with religious icons, and “retablos” of churches of Chiloé island, declared Cultural Legacy of Humanity. You can also find figures of mythological beings from the Chiloé island carved on wood, plus a collection related to the German colonization and another about the history of Puerto Montt that counts with old photographs of the city and testimonies of the visit of the Pope John Paul II, on April 4, 1987.

In your trip along the city of Puerto Montt, visit the square and the Cathedral Church (Iglesia Catedral), which is the oldest building of the city, with a strong classic style. After the 1960 earthquake it was rebuilt in 1963 with a wood facade, in whose doorways there’s the founding stone of Puerto Montt. It’s also recommended to visit the Church of the Jesuits (Iglesia de los Jesuitas). This church was built in 1872, and its facade and interior were restored with fine native woods, after the earthquake of 1960; behind the church over a hill there’s the Jesuits Camp (Campamento de los Jesuitas), declared National Monument, which is surrounded by forests and it’s an urban landmark built in 1894.

From Puerto Montt, ferries and cruises ships depart to different touristic sites in the south of Chile. A ferry toward Chiloé island leaves from the port every day, Navimag Ferry from Puerto Montt to Puerto Natales every monday at 16:00 hours,  the Cruises Skorpios II has its own terminal in Puerto Montt and has a departure schedule depending on the month and there is also a ferry to San Rafael Lagoon leaving Puerto Montt in the afternoons (schedule changes depending on the travel date.

In the nearby area of Puerto Montt the following cities can be mentioned and are recommended to visit them:

Calbuco

(Blue water)

Calbuco is located at 32.9 miles form Puerto Montt, the city lies on a strategic hill and counts with ports in its northern and southern sides. The city of Calbuco has a population of about 8,760.

Calbuco, was founded as a fort-town in 1602 by the Spaniards. It’s 250 years older than Puerto Montt and, during a long time, it was the only place inhabited in the area.
Calbuco lived a feeble life until half of the XVIII century, when it became a receiving center of alerce and cypress wood. Currently its economy is based on salmon and seaweed extraction activities.

Maullín
(To be filled with water)

Maullín has a population of about 3,173 and is located at 43.3 miles from the city of Puerto Montt.

Maullín is a port located along the bank. Since its foundation in 1790 it was accessed through the river. Until 1930 trips to Puerto Montt were made through the Chacao Channel and then to the sea.

At the square of Maullín, surrounded by old and unique commercial buildings, there’s the Church of Nuestra Señora del Rosario (Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Rosario), built in 1895 over the foundations of stone of Cancagua (stone chimmey originary of Chiloé island); its interior is covered with painted filigrees. You can also visit Pangal, a resort with an extensive beach, situated among pine and mimosa forests over dunes of white sand. Maullín has cabins and campsites available for visitors.

Carelmapu (Green land)

Carelmapu is located at 52.8 miles from Puerto Montt and has a population of about 2,840.
Carelmapu is a fishermen town founded in 1602 by the Spaniards. In front of the locality of Carelmapu, Ancud and the high towers from which electricity cables run up to Chiloé island can be seen.

In the city of Carelmapu you can visit the Church of La Candelaria la (Iglesia de La Candelaria) that was declared National Monument and built in 1860, and is the oldest one of the area. Inside this church the feast of the Candelaria is celebrated in February with decorated boats coming from all over Chiloé island. You will also be able to access the Mar Brava, an extensive and devastated beach, with cliffs from where there’s a great view of the entire Corcovado Gulf (Golfo del Corcovado). There you will find wild strawberries plants; this is the origin of the strawberry and berry introduced all over the world by the French engineer Frezier.

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