"Puerto Montt" Top 5 Page for this destination Puerto Montt by patagoniapaul

Puerto Montt Travel Guide: 110 reviews and 462 photos

Home sweet home

Although not the most exciting place in the world in terms of night life or culture, Puerto Montt is the gateway to Chilean Patagonia. We moved here mid 2009 because of the beauty of the region. From here one is only 40km away from stunningly beautiful places which I will mention in the tips below.

The most interesting place in Puerto Montt for tourists is the crafts market at Angelmo. Here real handcraft is sold, not "made in China" stuff. People living on the islands around Purto Montt use the wool from their sheep to produce products of very high quality. Remember that this is a cold place in winter, so their jerseys and ponchos are warm. Also available here is lapic lazuli jewelery. This semi-precious stone is mined only in Chile and Afganistan.

The central plaza is quite nice with a fountain in summer. The cathedral is on the plaza and is open to the public.

There is a big fairly new mall on the foreshore with a food court selling mostly fast foods if you prefer this.

The harbour and bus station are at the opposite end of town from the mall and just before Angelmo. The city is not that big. A walk from the harbour to the mall can be done in 15 to 20 minutes without exerting yourself.

The weather is temperate to cool. Although it does not snow here we have had sleet on many occasions. The average rainfall is over 2000mm per year so a good raincoat or rainsuit is handy. Although Puerto Montt is not a very windy place rain is often accompanied by some wind making umbrellas useless.

The alerce

Second only to the sugar cone pine in longevity, the alerce can grow over 4 000 years old. Imaging a tree that was already old when Plato wrote his "Republic". It also grows very very slowly. About 1m in diameter in 1500 years.

Then came the European. Cut it down and build homes. Almost as if a 2000 year old tree is a renewable resource..... Today very few remain and they are still being poached because the wood is of such exceptional quality. Alerce should be treated like ivory. Ban the trade. And enforce the ban.

Unfortunately even if we do manage a ban, none of us will see the recovery of the alerce like we saw the recovery of the African elephant as it grows so slowly.

Douglas Tompkins and his Conservatio Land Trust is doing a marvelous job of rehabilitating destroyed eco systems in Patagonia but the name of the project gives an idea of the challenge: Project 3000. Yes, the third millenium.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Good infrastructure, prices
  • Cons:Street dogs and graffitti
  • In a nutshell:Almost
  • Intro Updated May 11, 2010
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