Puerto Montt is a large port city and popular hub for those exploring the Lagos Region of Chile. This bustling city is surrounded by pretty coastline, towering volcanoes, beautiful islands with abundant wildlife, and overall stunning scenery. We really enjoyed our time in Puerto Montt and put together this city guide with hopes that it helps you plan your trip to this incredible part of Chile.
Getting to and from Puerto Montt
As a large hub, Puerto Montt is pretty easy to get to. Tepual Airport offers flights to and from Santiago, Punta Arenas, and other cities in the region. Most flights arriving to Chile internationally will go through Santiago.
Puerto Montt is more commonly reached by bus. The bus system in Chile is great with frequent trips from many large and small cities in Chile and Argentina on comfortable buses. We took a bus from Bariloche to Puerto Montt before heading by bus to Santiago. There are quite a few reputable companies, most of which pass through the main Terminal de Buses in the city. Some reputable companies include Pullman, Cruz del Sur, and Turbus. Combis to Puerto Varas and smaller neighboring towns also frequently leave from this terminal.
Another less common, but incredible way to pass through Puerto Montt is by ship. There are various cruise companies, such as Holland, that cruise the stunning Chilean coastline. We also met people down in Chile who were driving all through the country in a rental car. We would love to do this one day!
Getting Around Puerto Montt
Near the heart of Puerto Montt, there are plenty of combis to take you around town. Most will say what major stops they hit on their route in the front window. There are also taxis, though we preferred to use Uber here. Our Airbnb was a ways out of the center of town, so we were really glad to have an Uber to take at night or after grocery runs.
Walking is a great way to see the city. The heart of town is very walkable as there are many markets, shops, hotels/hostels, and restaurants near each other.
Where to Stay in Puerto Montt
Throughout most of Chile and Argentina, we found Airbnbs to be a great value for your money as they were often cheaper than a basic hotel room. There are quite a few Airbnb options in and around the city. However, if you’d prefer a hotel or hostel, here are a few options from Booking.com.
Islanet Hostel & Bar: Basic double rooms and dorms with a shared bathroom and included breakfast
Departamento Gimar Choroy: Private 2-bedroom apartment with equipped kitchenette
Hotel Don Luis: Double rooms with private bathrooms and included breakfast
Abba Presidente Suites: Basic to superior rooms with private bathrooms, kitchenettes, & included breakfast
Oveja Negra Cabañas: Private apartment or house with equipped kitchen
Cabañas Alto Volcanes: Private Bungalo with equipped kitchenette
Where to Eat in Puerto Montt
Puerto Montt is known for its seafood. Being a large port city, fresh catches are brought in daily. There are many restaurants serving seafood, but we definitely recommend that you check out Angelmó Fish Market! Here, you’ll find a few restaurants and stalls that serve salmon, ceviche, seafood soups, crab, and more. Many restaurants will have a staff member outside presenting the menu. If you are staying somewhere with a kitchen or grill, you can also pick up some seafood from the market to take and cook at your accommodation. Other good seafood restaurants to check out include Chile Picante, Cevichotes, and Velamar.
There are many cute cafes for breakfast, desserts, brunch, and coffee. Check out Café Alma, Café La Magia de Alicia, or El Bosque Cocina & Bar. La Barquilleria and Reposteria Lucie are great places for some decadent desserts.
Puerto Montt also has quite a few Italian restaurants. For pizza, check out La Negra or Tomi’s Pizzeria. Azzurro and Regina Margherita are other good Italian options. If you are a fan of Asian cuisine, visit Shimaji or Wampus for sushi, ramen, and noodle dishes or Restaurante Latitudes for a mix of sushi, Chilean seafood dishes, and various European dishes. Mammaterra offers a variety of quick bites, including salads, burgers, and healthy drinks and they have tasty vegetarian options.
There are several large grocery stores in Puerto Montt. Hiper Lider carries basic household items, clothing, electronics, beer and wine, and many groceries. It reminded us a bit of Wal-Mart. There are also express/mini markets around the city that have some groceries and basic household items.
There are many incredible things to do in and around around Puerto Montt. Some activities are a ways outside the city, so many people opt to take a tour. Many tour companies offer volcano treks, trips to Chiloé, tours to Puerto Varas & Petrohué, and excursions into the nearby parks.
Some tours can be booked far in advance since some companies have put their information online. There are also many tour agencies in Puerto Montt if you’d rather visit and book in person. As always, look around and do your research to ensure that you go with a reputable company that caters to your requirements, such as pickup, equipment, or any other needs for the tour.
If you aren’t wanting to take a tour, many places can be reached by public transport or car rental. There are rental agencies in Puerto Montt if you want the flexibility of having your own car. Car rental was even more expensive for us as individuals under 25 years of age, so we opted for public transport when getting around Puerto Montt and Puerto Varas. While this generally requires a little more time and effort, it is much cheaper.
While some hotels, restaurants, shops, and other establishments in Puerto Montt take card, other places take only cash, so it is important to have some Chilean pesos on you when out and about. For markets and smaller restaurants, it is best to have smaller denominations.
There are several ATMs around the city, some of which are located just inside or right outside of a bank. In Chile, note that ATMs do sometimes run out of money.