Puerto Varas, Carretera Austral, Patagonia, Chile

Puerto Varas, Carretera Austral, Patagonia, Chile


Located 22km north from Puerto Montt, Puerto Varas has a village atmosphere and style, situated by the large Llanquihue lake with direct views to the imposing snow-covered Osorno Volcano. If you decided to start the Carretera Austral from here, you would follow the southern side lake road before passing through a native forest and then pass by the shores of a pretty fiord to get to Puelo and then Hornopiren. Puelo is 125km from Puerto Varas and Hornopiren is a further 90km, therefore, the drive from Puerto Varas to Hornopiren is 215km, half of which is on unpaved road, which means slower average speed. The overall drive time would be around 3hrs, or more, if adding in stopping off time.

What’s Here?

Puerto Varas is one of a number of early settler villages, with a Germanic past. It is also a base from where you can explore the perimeter around the large Llanquihue lake, go halfway up the Osorno Volcano by car, to the ski centre, for spectacular long-distance panoramic views, visit the Vicente Perez Rosales National Park, see the powerful “Saltos de Petrohue” (waterfalls) and the emerald-coloured Petrohue lake.

On the north-western shores of Lake Llanquihue are the early settler, German-style villages of Frutillar and Puerto Octay. If you are into activities there is rafting on the River Petrohue, fly fishing, hiking and tree zip wire routes.

Note: ExperienceChile.Org will create a custom-made travel itinerary to your specifications. Just let us know.