Chile travel blog by Mark Berman -
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With centerpieces being the great Lake Llanquihue and volcanoes Osorno (2652m) and Calbuco (2003m), Puerto Varas is a place where it's picturesque
surroundings (on a fine day) take center stage! Puerto Varas has a German heritage that can be seen in the buildings and churches and tasted in the food.
Summertime brings thousands of tourists and holidaymakers to and around the lake (Puerto Varas, Frutillar, Llanquihue, Puerto Octay) for a wide variety
of outdoor activities such as trekking, kayaking, rafting, canyoning, fishing, swimming, sailing, windsurfing, waterskiing, jetskiing, zip-line canopy,
bike riding, Petrohue waterfalls, horseback riding, hiking to the volcano and Vicente Perez Rosales National Park. Wintertime in Puerto Varas offers
skiing, trekking, snowboarding and tubing on Osorno Volcano.
More Expensive Than Puerto Montt
Puerto Varas is just 20mins by bus from Puerto Montt
which is where I came here
from. Prices for accommodation in Puerto Varas are twice the price than in Puerto Montt! I had to give up staying in a private room and settle for a
dorm in a hostel. However, being off-peak season and a little rainy in early October I was lucky and had the dorm to myself anyway. You could easily
stay in Puerto Montt and enjoy Puerto Varas on day trips if you are on a budget!
Sights In Puerto Varas
Puerto Varas has a supermarket where I particularly enjoyed the ready-made
salads of top quality that are available. The town has an easy-going feel and is tidy and attractive to walk around. Of course the best and most popular
area of town is the waterfront where you can walk and enjoy the sights and activities around. As you stroll around the lake you are bound to see the
eye-catching antique mansion that houses the museum Museo Pablo Fierro
. It has on display items relating to the German colonization around Lake Llanquihue
and also some of the 300+ paintings of German houses painted by Pablo Fierro. The museum was created in 2002. Another building on the tourist circuit in
Puerto Varas is the small yellow church on the hill called Iglesia Luterana (1924) which is a national monument. The lake is pretty around here with views
of the volcano across the other side, the beach is more stone than sand. The small park with grassy lawns and bench seats that juts out into the water
behind the tourist center is a nice place to sit and relax and enjoy the panoramic view. During my stay in Puerto Varas was held the Gourmet Food Fair
with some interesting specialist food
items like marmalades, syrups, sauces, conserves, honey, vinegar, pasta sauces, olive oil, liqueurs, ceviche,
oysters and much more! In town up a small hill sits a very famous landmark of Puerto Varas, Sagrado Corazon Parish Church (1918), the first church (1872)
was destroyed by fire. The Romanesque / Baroque church has a German design and is a national monument. For a classic photo of this church with the lake
and volcano in the background, you can make your way to Cerro Philippi (hill) on a good day when the sun is in a suitable position! Puerto Varas in early
October is quiet and peaceful. I imagine during the summer months between November and March it is extremely busy and crowded. So, pick your time and
enjoy Puerto Varas!
2hrs Bus to Osorno
From Puerto Varas I took a taxi out to the main highway and waved down a bus coming from Puerto Montt
to take me north to Osorno
(2hrs) where I would make my way to Bariloche
(Argentina) early the next morning.