We aim to be honest on this blog, and for the sake of honesty we will tell you to skip Puerto Montt. You see, the only reason we went there is because Google Images and every piece of tourism propaganda this side of the Andes tricked us into believing the famous white and red church overlooking a lake and volcano of Puerto Varas is in Puerto Montt. In fact, it’s not even on the same lake. It would seem that Puerto Montt is so void of things to do and see that they have to use an attraction from 20 miles away to lure people in, and hey, we fell for it!
It was probably the least safe-feeling of all the places we visited in Chile, and while we’re usually happy to stroll around unbeautified, everyday streets, Puerto Montt just didn’t do anything for us. The only real advantage of Puerto Montt is that you get to see medium-sized-town Chile virtually untouched by tourism.
If you really must go, the market near the bus terminal is an experience, and there is a quiet artisanal village just down the main road (away from town). You can also get day-trips to Chiloe Island from Puerto Montt, where you can see penguins, wooden-stilted houses and serene landscapes.
You might also consider visiting these nearby destinations in Chile instead of Puerto Montt: