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.
If you divide the long stretched country of Chile into three sections (Atacama desert, center, natural preserves) then the El Tepual International Airport in Puerto Montt is ideally located between the central area where most Chileans live and the natural parks – like the beautiful Parque Nacional Torres del Paine.
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.
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.
There are many beautiful landscapes in the lake region of Chile. One very beautiful is close to the volcano Osorno: when you follow road 225 towards Lago Todos los Santos it ends there in a very small place called Petrohué – with a nice hotel at a very quite place. On your way you can find a small but nice site: the waterfalls of Petrohué river.
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.
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.
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.
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.