Hey everyone! Lauren here to tell you about the rest of our time in Puerto Montt and the Los Lagos region of Chile.
Parque Nacional Puyehue
The next day in Puerto Montt, we got gas from a nearby station that Gerrod stalled on our way out of the lot, because he had the car in 3rd gear instead of 1st without realizing it. We then made the two hour drive to Centro Turístico Anticura Parque Nacional Puyehue.
We stopped at one viewpoint on the way to take pictures of Volcán Osorno from a different perspective, plus we finally figured out the bluetooth in the car which made driving very nice.
Parque Nacional Puyehue Waterfalls
When we finally arrived at the Centro Turístico Anticura Parque Nacional Puyehue, we paid a 1000 peso per person fee and were provided with a map with walking trails to waterfalls in the area. There were 5 waterfalls, and we were pretty much the only people there! We took our time walking all of the trails, and had a snack break in the woods. The forest was very dense and it was very relaxing (to me).
Relaxing in the hot springs at Termas Aguas Calientes
After our hikes, we went to Termas Aguas Calientes and walked a nice wooded path there followed by a hot spring dip. We did not pay for parking since there was no guard, but had to pay the cafe guy 4500 chilean pesos to get tickets to the hot springs.
The hot water felt so great after so many days of hiking, and it was right next to the river so we got to enjoy the outdoors still.
There were a few other people in the hot spring pool, including a mom and her two kids. They stuck out to me because the kids were speaking English with an American accent, but the mom kept speaking to them in Spanish. The kids would then respond to her in English and she would tell them no, you need to do it in spanish! The little girl then started crying that she “didn’t want to learn Spanish”. If only I could tell them how helpful it would be to have learned it as a kid!
After our hot spring soak we headed home to eat dinner and get some rest.
Another failed park visit: Parque Nacional Alerce Andino
We got kind of a late start the next day due to finding a way to print our bus ticket for the following day. After tracking down a printer in town, we prepared for another day of hiking. I was particularly excited, as the Parque Nacional Alerce Andino had a 3,000 year old tree, and I really like trees!
We followed directions via Maps.ME, which took us to a small gravel road past the posted entrance to the park. The road had a very steep portion that our rental car could not make it up, so we had to turn around and ended up on the larger gravel road that was posted with a small entrance sign.
The driveway to the park is very long. It is only wide enough for about 1.5 cars, so it is difficult to drive quickly due to traffic coming from the other direction. After we had been driving for awhile, a car coming from the other direction stopped us and told us the park was closed because the workers were on strike…..
Not wanting to believe it and being less than 1km from the entrance, we continued to the end of the road to find out it was true. The park was closed and we could not enter. We contemplated hopping the fence, but decided we didn’t want to get arrested. Another couple pulled up to where we were parked and hopped the fence themselves and immediately got yelled at which confirmed that it was a bad idea.
A fox came up to the gate while we were there which was pretty cool to see.
Viewpoint and beach
Since all of the parks in the area were apparently closed, and it was only 1pm, we decided to stop at a viewpoint that I found on Maps.ME with a great view of the bay and Puerto Montt. We had to do a U turn using a roundabout to get to the viewpoint parking, but the traffic was very light so this was not difficult.
There were several parking spots along the street, and we got out of the car and headed to the viewpoint. The viewpoint ended up being a fake cruise ship type boat made of concrete. The fake boat had a fake mast and anchor, and even had a spiral staircase up to a platform to get an even better view of the city. We spent time taking funny pictures before heading down the steps to the adjoining beach.
We assumed it was low tide, as there was live seaweed and shells growing all over the beach! After poking around for a bit and trying not to get our feet wet, we headed back to our rental car and went to a nearby gas station to fill up before texting the rental car employee on WhatsApp so he could come pick it up.
After Carlos came to pick up our rental car, we headed to the local supermarket. We needed a few essentials such as deodorant and snacks, but we were also looking for moustache grooming scissors since Gerrod’s stache was starting to grow too long. We went to a place called Lider, which is owned by the large American supermarket chain, Walmart. Since Walmart has literally everything you could hope for, we assumed Lider would be stocked.
We walked throughout the entire store looking for small scissors to groom Gerrod’s beard, and couldn't find a single pair of scissors! About to give up, Gerrod finally spotted a pair of scissors…in the baby section. So Gerrod is now trimming his moustache with tiny purple baby scissors that we found in a small manicure set in the baby section… Very manly.
Final Dinner and Goodbye to Puerto Montt
Since we had a rather disappointing day, Gerrod and I decided to treat ourselves to a nice dinner. I really wanted to get some good salmon since I read online that Puerto Montt was known for their salmon. We headed down to the main square thinking we would stumble upon something that looked good (and had salmon on the menu). We ended up at a restaurant called Sherlock.
Gerrod and I ordered a bottle of wine and I tried to order a salmon meal. Unfortunately they did not have salmon at the time, but our waiter recommended some type of fish to me that I had never heard of and I decided to try it. After a quick Google search, I found that I actually ordered Conger eel! I had never had eel before, but it was absolutely delicious and the perfect meal for our last night in Puerto Montt.
Although Los Lagos and Puerto Montt are not as popular of a tourist destination as the famous Torres Del Paine located in Southern Chile, there was a lot to offer and it was very easy to traverse. I would love to make a road trip out of the region in both Chile and Argentina as a future trip.
Until next time!
Lauren (and Gerrod)