Puerto Montt is the Main gate to Patagonia and Chilean Fjords in South America …, and that is barely enough to say…
Puerto Montt in a port-city in the south of Chile where a lot of cruises stop by and therefore is a good option to start your South America tour. It is the capital of the Lakes district, and it is a great place to start volcano tours with Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes filling up the city’s landscape and of course the main gate to Patagonia and the famous Austral Road.
What to do in Puerto Montt?
Private Tours from $ 85 per person
Puerto Montt is a port city in southern Chile’s Lake District, known as a gateway to the Andes mountains and the Patagonian fjords. The city’s neoclassical cathedral, built from wood in the 19th century, overlooks Plaza de Armas square. Nearby, Casa del Arte Diego Rivera displays contemporary works by local and national artists. Just outside the city lie Caleta de Angelmó Market and Calbuco, an active volcano
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Originally, the site was covered by thick forest and was called Melipulli (which means “four hills” in Mapudungun). It was selected as an entrance to Lake Llanquihue when its proximity to the open sea was discovered. The expedition was entrusted to Bernardo Philippi, a German naturalist and cartographer, but after his death in 1851, Vicente Perez Rosales took over his duties, and by the end of September started to chop trees at Reloncaví sound using local woodsman coming from Huar, Maillen, Huelmo and Calbuco Mainly. By December, after the forest was cut down, the area was burned to clear the land in anticipation of completing the settlement plan. The city itself was founded on February 12, 1853, after government-sponsored immigration from Germany that began in 1848 populated the region and integrated it politically to the rest of the country. It was named after Manuel Montt, President of Chile between 1851 and 1861, who set in motion the German immigration.
Climate. Puerto Montt has a wet oceanic climate with heavy rainfall throughout the year but a drying trend in the summer. Although temperatures are consistently below 25 °C (77 °F), frosts are very rare and occur only a couple of times per month in the winter. For the 41st parallel south, closer to the equator than to the south pole, Puerto Montt is much cooler than areas further inland in terms of summer temperatures, due to cool ocean currents nearby. This is compounded by the lack of a sizable landmass on those parallels in the southern hemisphere (see also Wellington, New Zealand, which is also at a similar latitude). That means that Puerto Montt has much cooler summers than areas at similar distances from the equator in the northern hemisphere, with the only exception being the Northern California coastline, also being affected by cool Pacific currents. Economy. Puerto Montt is the capital of the Los Lagos Region and the Llanquihue Province, and the main sea port at the lower end of Chile’s western continental land. The city is the principal commercial, services, and financial hub of the Chilean Northern Patagonia—Zona Austral. As the geographic region’s main port, Puerto Montt is often considered the ‘capital’ of Chilean Patagonia. Puerto Montt is also the gateway to the Chiloé Archipelago and Chiloé Island across the Chacao Channel, and the many other smaller islands in Chile’s inland Sea of Chiloé. The city’s economy is now based upon agriculture, cattle, and forestry on the surrounding islands, and fishing and salmon aquaculture in the fjords and nearby Pacific Ocean.
- Salmon aquaculture. The city is configured as the hub of one of the largest salmon aquaculture industries in the world. Hatcheries, fisheries and packing plants are mostly located south of Puerto Montt. Fresh salmon is flown daily to world markets and frozen salmon is shipped by ocean to all destinations. The tremendous growth of the region, mainly due to the salmon industry, but also due to rapid expansion of forestry, cattle, and tourism, has proven the massive economic potential of Puerto Montt and its surrounding area.
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