Travel Guide for Puerto Varas

Travel Guide for Puerto Varas

Personalized for these inputs:

  • Destination: Puerto Varas, Los Lagos, Chile
  • Trip length: 5 days
  • Trip dates: None
  • Travel style: None
  • Budget: None
  • Accommodation: None
  • Activities: None
Picture of Puerto Varas, Los Lagos, Chile

Key Facts

  • location: Los Lagos
  • currency: Chilean Peso (CLP)
  • religion: Christianity
  • population: 41,000
  • language: Spanish
  • electricity: 220V/50Hz, Type C, Type L?
  • time zone: Chile Standard Time (UTC-4)
  • country code: +56
  • internet access: Broadband, 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G
  • climate: Temperate climate with cool, rainy winters and warm, dry summers

Useful Phrases

Language: Spanish
    hola (oh-la)
    adiós (ah-dee-ohs)
    no (no)
    how much
    ¿cuánto cuesta esto? (kwan-to kwe-sta es-to)
    por favor (por fa-vor)
    thank you
    gracias (gra-see-as)
    excuse me
    perdón (per-don)


Located on the shores of Lake Llanquihue with a backdrop of stunning volcanoes, Puerto Varas is a charming town in the Los Lagos region of Chile. Its German architectural influence reflects its colonization history, and it's known for its strong German heritage. The town's culture is a fusion of indigenous Mapuche traditions and European influences, creating a unique blend of music, crafts, and cuisine.

Visitors can experience outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, and visiting the nearby national parks, as well as enjoy the town's vibrant arts and crafts scene, delicious seafood, and breathtaking views of the natural landscapes, making Puerto Varas a must-visit destination in Chile.

Getting There

Getting to Puerto Varas, Los Lagos, Chile is relatively easy. The nearest major airport is El Tepual International Airport in Puerto Montt, about a 30-minute drive away. Many major airlines operate flights to this airport from Santiago, the capital of Chile. From there, you can take a taxi, shuttle, or rental car to reach Puerto Varas.

Another option is to travel by bus if you are coming from nearby cities or towns. The bus station in Puerto Varas is well-connected with regular services to and from various destinations in Chile, making it a convenient and affordable choice for travelers. Additionally, the region's stunning natural beauty makes for a beautiful journey, but travelers should be aware that weather conditions, particularly during the winter months, can impact road and ferry travel.

Climate and Best Time to Visit

Puerto Varas, in the Los Lagos region, experiences a temperate oceanic climate. Summers, from December to February, bring warm temperatures and long daylight hours, perfect for outdoor activities and enjoying the stunning natural beauty of the area. However, it's also the busiest tourist season, so accommodations may be pricier.

Autumn, from March to May, sees milder weather and beautiful fall colors, making it a great time for hiking and sightseeing, with fewer crowds. Winters, from June to August, are cold and rainy, but the snow-capped volcanoes and winter sports activities attract some visitors. It's the low season, so if you don't mind the chilly weather, you can find good deals.

Spring, from September to November, offers milder temperatures, blooming flowers, and fewer tourists, making it a delightful time to explore the region.


Day 1

Begin your adventure in Puerto Varas with a focus on the natural beauty and stunning views.

  • Osorno Volcano Hike

    Embark on a thrilling hike up the Osorno Volcano, witnessing breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. This challenging yet rewarding trek is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Philippi Park

    Explore the tranquil Philippi Park, home to native plants and towering trees. Take a peaceful stroll and enjoy the lush greenery of this serene park.
  • Kuschel House

    Visit the charming Kuschel House, an architectural gem that offers insight into the region's history and craftsmanship. Delight in the picturesque setting and learn about the traditional design.

Day 2

Immerse yourself in the local culture and culinary delights of Puerto Varas.

  • Petrohué Waterfalls

    Marvel at the awe-inspiring Petrohué Waterfalls, where emerald waters cascade over volcanic rock formations. Take in the natural beauty and snap memorable photos in this picturesque setting.
  • Seafood Dining Experience

    Indulge in a delightful seafood dining experience at a local restaurant, savoring fresh catch from the nearby waters. Enjoy the flavors of Patagonian cuisine and the warm hospitality of the region.
  • Museo Pablo Fierro

    Visit the Museo Pablo Fierro, a captivating museum showcasing the artistic creations of Pablo Fierro. Gain an insight into the local art scene and admire the unique pieces on display.

Day 3

Explore the outdoor wonders and adventure opportunities that Puerto Varas has to offer.

  • Petrohué Lake Kayaking

    Embark on an exciting kayaking adventure on Petrohué Lake, surrounded by the breathtaking Andean landscapes. Paddle through crystal-clear waters and soak in the serenity of the natural surroundings.
  • Llanquihue Lake Biking Tour

    Enjoy a scenic biking tour around Llanquihue Lake, taking in the panoramic views of the snow-capped volcanoes and lush forests. This leisurely ride offers an immersive experience in the region's natural beauty.
  • Frutillar Beach

    Relax and unwind at Frutillar Beach, a tranquil shoreline with picturesque views of the surrounding landscapes. Take a leisurely stroll along the coast and enjoy the peaceful ambiance.

Day 4

Experience the rich heritage and historical sites of Puerto Varas, delving into its cultural offerings.

  • Colonial Architecture Walking Tour

    Embark on a guided walking tour to explore the charming colonial architecture of Puerto Varas. Admire the elegant buildings and learn about the city's history and development from a knowledgeable local guide.
  • Pablo Fierro Monument

    Pay a visit to the striking Pablo Fierro Monument, a tribute to the renowned local artist. Marvel at the intricate artwork and unique design of this cultural landmark.
  • Opitz House Museum

    Explore the Opitz House Museum, a historical site that offers insight into the early settlement and lifestyles of the region. Discover artifacts, photographs, and stories from the past.

Day 5

Engage in memorable experiences and connect with the local community, leaving a positive impact during your visit.

  • Local Food and Crafts Market

    Explore the vibrant local market, where you can sample traditional foods and admire the craftsmanship of local artisans. Engage with the community and support small businesses while immersing yourself in the authentic culture.
  • Chilean Cooking Class

    Participate in a hands-on Chilean cooking class, learning to prepare traditional dishes using fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Engage in a cultural exchange and gain culinary skills from experienced chefs.
  • Puerto Varas Community Center

    Visit the Puerto Varas Community Center, where you can spend time interacting with locals and contributing to community enrichment initiatives. Get involved in meaningful activities and create lasting connections.


Puerto Varas offers a range of accommodations to suit every budget and preference. For a luxurious stay, Hotel Cabaña Del Lago and Hotel Awa are popular choices with stunning views of the lake and excellent amenities.

If you're looking for a more budget-friendly option, there are many charming hostels and guesthouses dotted around the town, such as Compass del Sur and Hostal Margouya Patagonia. For a unique experience, consider staying in one of the beautiful resorts along the shores of Lake Llanquihue.

Booking websites like Booking. com and Airbnb are useful for finding the perfect place to stay.

The downtown area and the waterfront are both excellent neighborhoods with easy access to restaurants, shops, and the beautiful scenery.

Food and Drink

Puerto Varas offers a delectable array of traditional Chilean dishes such as curanto, a seafood stew cooked in a hole in the ground, and sopaipillas, fried dough often enjoyed with pebre, a spicy condiment. For drinks, the region is known for its local craft beers and exquisite Chilean wines.

For a delightful culinary experience, visit Mercado Municipal for fresh seafood or check out La Olla for traditional Chilean cuisine with a modern twist. Cafe Danes is perfect for a cozy coffee and pastry, while Becketts Resto Bar offers a friendly ambiance for drinks and snacks. Tipping around 10% is customary in restaurants.

Vegetarian and vegan options are available in most restaurants, and be sure to try the local raspberries in the summer. Additionally, remember to ask for a doggy bag if you can’t finish your meal – it's encouraged!



Empanadas are a beloved Chilean snack, featuring a flavorful filling of meat, onions, olives, and hard-boiled egg, all encased in a golden, flaky pastry. These hand-held delights are often enjoyed as street food or as a traditional choice for family gatherings and celebrations.



Cazuela is a delightful Chilean stew that typically includes chunks of meat, corn, rice, potatoes, and vegetables, all simmered in a savory broth. This hearty and comforting dish is a popular choice for weekend meals and social gatherings, showcasing a blend of local ingredients and traditional cooking techniques.



Chorrillana is a hearty and indulgent Chilean dish composed of French fries topped with pan-fried beef, onions, and eggs. This satisfying combination of flavors and textures is a favorite among locals and visitors alike, often enjoyed as a flavorful and fulfilling meal during a night out.

Pastel de Choclo

Pastel de Choclo

Pastel de Choclo is a traditional Chilean dish that features a savory pie made with a sweet corn crust and filled with a delectable mixture of ground beef, chicken, olives, onions, and hard-boiled eggs. This comforting and fragrant dish is a celebrated part of Chilean culinary heritage, often enjoyed during festive occasions and family gatherings.



Curanto is a unique Chilean dish that originated in the Chiloé Archipelago, showcasing a blend of seafood, meat, and potatoes cooked in a hole in the ground. This communal and festive cooking style brings together an assortment of ingredients, including mussels, clams, pork, and sausage, resulting in a rich and aromatic culinary experience that reflects the coastal traditions of Chile.

Attractions and Activities

Puerto Varas, a charming town in the Los Lagos region of Chile, is known for its breathtaking views of the Osorno Volcano and Llanquihue Lake. Visitors can explore the German-influenced architecture, stroll along the picturesque waterfront, and enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, and biking. Food enthusiasts can indulge in the local cuisine, including seafood dishes and artisanal beer. The surrounding area offers opportunities for adventure with nearby national parks and natural hot springs.

Off-the-Beaten-Path Experiences

For a unique experience, venture to the hidden waterfalls of Petrohué. Hike through lush forests and rugged terrain to discover these secluded cascades, surrounded by untouched natural beauty. Another off-the-beaten-path adventure is a scenic horseback ride along the shores of Llanquihue Lake, offering stunning views of the Osorno Volcano and the Andes.

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