A beautiful colonial town nestled on the edge of Llanquihue Lake, Puerto Varas is renowned for its imposing volcanoes, Osorno and Calbuco. The city centre features German-style architecture and centuries-old houses and churches, while its surrounding region reveals Chile’s oldest national park.
Things to do in Puerto Varas
Start your exploration of Puerto Varas by walking around the tranquil Llanquihue Lake, then indulging in fresh seafood and Chilean wine at one of the local restaurants. For the best view of Puerto Varas, visit Cerro Philippi park to enjoy its scenic hiking and biking trails and popular lookout spot.
Learn about the history of immigration and colonisation in the region at Museo Pablo Fierro. Sitting on the lakefront, the museum showcases unique artefacts highlighting the changes that took place when the German culture mingled with the rich Chilota customs.
For a day of adventure, take a day trip to Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park to explore the rainy temperate biosphere of the Southern Andes. This historic park dates back to 1926 and features excellent trails where it’s possible to spot deer, puma and river otters.
Trek further into Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park to discover Petrohue Falls, which flows down volcanic rock chutes etched by lava and is surrounded by small shops selling local artwork. The snow-capped Osorno Volcano is nearby and offers plenty of skiing, snowboarding and tubing adventures during winter, along with panoramic views of the surrounding lakes, volcanoes and Puerto Montt.
Getting around Puerto Varas
The compact streets of Puerto Varas are best explored on foot, while buses are available for travelling further afield. El Tepual International Airport is located in Puerto Montt, only a 30-minute drive away. Long-distance buses also travel from major cities in southern Chile, including Santiago.