Puerto Montt is the starting point to begin the adventure of traveling the Carretera Austral. With a population that exceeds 250 thousand, the capital of the Lakes Region composes the main link to Patagonia. The international airport and El Tepual air base, the second largest in the country, combined with its seaports where one of the largest fleet of vessels in Chile operates, receiving several international cruises annually, as well as its different bus terminals and dry ports, make Puerto Montt a metropolis that is well connected to the rest of the country. The soul of this great city is found in its inlets and its people. Angelmó being the most iconic. Its small restaurants, architecture, and markets bring us closer to Chiloé and its rural and nostalgic style. A tour of the city’s micro-center allows us to see its beautiful cathedral built of larch wood, the Jesuit church, and the art house of Diego Rivera, the epicenter of famous international theater seasons and a rich cultural calendar. Puerto Montt also has an impressive historical heritage. Towards the southwest of the city is the archaeological site Monte Verde. It is here that objects and evidence of human presence have been found, dating back more than fourteen thousand years, making it the oldest human settlement in the Americas. In the town of Piedra Azul and in some sectors of the Bay of Chamiza, fossil accumulations have been discovered that show a human presence dating back six thousand years. All of Puerto Montt is located in a large archaeological site that reveals its link with Patagonian and Mapuche groups. During the pre-Hispanic era the area was inhabited by the Huilliches. Then, in the mid-nineteenth century, the arrival of German settlers forever transformed the life and economy. Today the range of services offered by the city is geared towards tourism, fishing and aquaculture, transport, telecommunications, agriculture and livestock. Its relationship with the Carretera Austral is much more complex and profound than simply being its main gateway.
Caleta de Pichipelluco. Fresh fish in the city In the commune of Puerto Montt there are approximately 24 active coves. Located 1.5 km into the Carretera Austral, the Pichipelluco cove is the closest to the city center and one of the few where it is possible to stock up on fresh fish directly from the fishermen themselves. Next to the picturesque market of the cove it is surprising to see the existence of a small shipyard where boats are made and sold for artisanal fishing, elaborated using the techniques of the old seashore masters. Pelluco, the bohemia of Puerto Montt Located 4 kilometers from the Plaza de Armas of Puerto Montt, the first stop on the first stretch of the Carretera Austral is the Pelluco spa, which was arranged as a summer place of rest for the elite of Puerto Montt from the 1930`s onward . Although the life of the coastal sector was naturally social and tourist, in the upper part daily life revolved around rural and peasant activities accompanied by new residential neighborhoods. The 1980`s witnessed the opening of restaurants, pubs and discos which gave Pelluco a more bohemian and youthful feel and consolidated the residential area in the high sectors. A double-lane highway is currently under construction, which provides this century old resort a projection for major urban and tourist growth.
HOW TO GET THERE: Puerto Montt is accessible by sea, land, and air.
SERVICES AND TOURISM INFRASTRUCTURE: In Puerto Montt and in the Pelluco area there are a great variety of hotels, cabins, and accommodations ranging from 1 to 3 stars. In addition to a good selection of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. There are also tourist programs offered by operators and travel agencies.
ATTRACTIONS: City tours through the city of Puerto Montt, National Monument Lahuen Ñadi, Port and Market of Angelmó, Chinquihue, Pelluco, Chamiza, Correntoso, Lake Chapo, Alerce Andino National Park and the coastal towns of Reloncaví.