For as long as I can remember, South America has been on my travel wish list. Lucky for me, I overheard a friend saying the airfares were cheap and he was going to South America. After asking a few questions, I headed home to find the website and book my airfare.
Fast forward to February, 2017, and I was on the long haul flight to Santiago, Chile.
New Zealand Airport
My first flight was from Brisbane to Sydney, Australia, then I changed to LATAM Airlines and was on my way across the Tasman Sea to Auckland, New Zealand where I had another stop to change planes yet again before I arrived in Santiago, Chile at 1.30pm.
Nearing Santiago Airport
I then waited 5 hours for my Sky Airlines flight to Puerto Montt in Southern Chile.
My flight to Santiago was good, especially as it was in a new Dreamliner aircraft with the most modern features available, plenty of leg room, nice stewards and good food.
Sadly, huge bushfires were burning out of control in Chile and there was dense smoke that made the Andes mountain range difficult to see.
View from the plane - Puerto Montt area
Puerto Montt is a port city, located 1,055 km to the south of the capital, Santiago. In 1853, the Germans settled here. It wasn't long before it became the gateway city into Chiloé Archipelago, Llanquihue and Nahuel Huapi lakes and Western Patagonia.
Typical Puerto Montt house
I had booked a room at B&B Mi Casa in Puerto Montt. Most people stay in nearby Puerto Varas, but I decided as it was much cheaper to stay at Puerto Montt, this is where I would stay. The shuttle bus dropped me off at the designated bus stop where I was met by my hosts, a very friendly brother and sister I was thankful to see as it was dark by now.
My room was only small, but did have a shower and toilet, and I could use all the facilities in the house. As I would be out all day, the small room didn't matter. The bed was comfortable and the area was quiet and in a good position.
Getting around from Puerto Montt was very easy. Small mini-buses with signs on where they were going, plied the main highway at least every 5 minutes.
Mini Bus at Puerto Montt
A big plus was the bus-stop was across the road from my accommodation and the fares were cheap, all I had to do was hail the bus and pay 900 pesos for the 20km trip to Puerto Varas. All my drivers were good except for one who threw my 100 pesos change on the floor of the bus so I had to bend down and pick it up. I had read about this before leaving home. "Gringos" as we are known by, are given this treatment. Even though I knew it could happen, when it did, it still came as a shock.
I did walk to the main part of the city and found it to be very busy. There was a market in full swing, a big, busy Bus station, a nice esplanade and impressive cathedral.
Puerto Montt Esplanade
I was lucky to be taken to a look-out point where I had wonderful views over the city and surrounding area.
Puerto Montt look-out
As for the rest of Puerto Montt, well there really wasn't much more to report, after all, it is a very busy port city.