A long way from north to south

Vulcono Osorno, Petrohué

After visiting the wonderful island of Cuba I wanted to see countries in South American and put some places in Bolivia and Colombia on my list. My friends were not really happy with this choice and telling me that there are cheaper ways to kill oneself. As I am always recognizing concerns of friends and didn’t know too much about the region yet I selected a very well developed and secure country: Chile.

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Penguins at Puñihuil

Penguins, Puñihuil

If you follow the Panamericana from Puerto Montt down to the south it will end suddenly and you need to take a ferry boat to the island of Chiloé. It is a wonderful place where you have the possibility to see penguins in their natural habitat. A very good place for this seems to be Puñihuil beach – you can reach it if you turn west after the ferry usage and pass the town of Ancud; and then simply continue through empty landscapes.

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Ferry to Chiloé

Ferry to Chiloé, Chile

In most parts the Panamericana seems to be a road running straight down to the south. Especially at the southern end of Chile this changes because of the natural conditions. Close to Puerto Montt, before entering the area with the main natural preserves of Chile, the Panam – here called Ruta 5 – cannot simply lead on. You’ll need to cross the waters to Chiloé island by ferry boat.

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Hotel Solace

Hotel Solace, Puerto Varas

The hotel Solace in Puerto Varas, Chile is the last overnight stop I made at the country. It is a very nice and plain hotel on a small hill at the center of Puerto Varas. You can easily walk to the city center from here and you’ll have nice views on the city; you’ll have a car park (which is important, as the rest of the city doesn’t offer much parking lots) – and it is very comfortable to explore the city frome here.

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Lago Llanquihue, Frutillar

During different times in history, German settlers came to Chile and started a new life here. In this region, in 1846 settlers arrived and built up the capital – Puerto Montt. In 1853 a new town was created at the shore of the beautiful (but artificially created) Lago Llanquihue: Frutillar – which means strawberry bed.

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German settlers, river cruises & sea lions

Fish market, Valdivia

The city of Valdivia in the south of Chile dates back to 1552. It is 15 kilometers away from the sea but is located at the crossing of three mighty rivers: Rio Cruces, Rio Callecalle and Rio Valdivia. This place has seen many important events in history; conflicts with the native Mapuche and between the Spanish and Chilean fleets. From 1846 on German settlers began to live here and added a lot to the city – even a German brewery.

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German brewery

Cerveceria Kunstmann, Valdivia

What do German settlers do first, when they arrive? They start a brewery. In Valdivia, Chile in 1846 the first settlers arrived and the Cerveceria Kunstmann was created instantly, promoting their beer in Chile under the claim “… das gute Bier“. They brew traditional Lager and Bock beers, but also some Chilean specialties and rather experimental things like chocolate beer. Be brave but better keep your lips away from the honey (miel) beer.

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