Day 9 |
Mar 08, 2012

Puerto Montt, Chile

By Juan Carlos Restrepo, Geologist

Co-ordinates: S 41º28.959’, W 072º57.257’
Weather: Sunny
Air Temperature: 16ºC

The one-time German colony of Puerto Montt is the gateway to Chile’s Lake Region – a spectacular area with picturesque lakes that number in the hundreds and dozens of active volcanoes. Today was my first time in this beautiful region and I am very impressed with its beauty.

At 7 am the Silver Explorer dropped anchor in front of Puerto Montt and just before 8 am we were starting the disembarkation of our guests going on the “Esmeralda Lake, Petrohue Falls and Osorno Volcano Tour”.

We started the excursion heading towards Llanquihue Lake, South America’s third-largest natural lake, dominated by the impressive snow-capped Osorno volcano. We drove along the southern shores of the lake through Ensenada, located at Vicente Perez Rosales National Park. A bit later, we got to Lake Todos los Santos, also known as the Emerald Lake because of its clear light green water. We boarded a catamaran and went navigating around the lake for about an hour. The views of the Osorno Volcano were breathtaking and the lake with its small islands was a sight to behold.

Back ashore we got in the buses and after a short drive we arrived at Petrohue falls. This magnificent rapids -formed by the descent of the Petrohue river through the volcanic rock deposited there thousands of years ago- create a very special landscape, which together with a blue sky and clear views of the Osorno volcano, made for a most impressive sight.

After visiting these wonderful falls, we drove on to the majestic Osorno volcano, which reaches 2,652 meters above the sea level. We reached at an area called La Burbuja (The Bubble), located at approximately 1,200 meters above sea level. This place is the starting point for those who come to ski on the hillsides of the volcano, and for those who dare climb it. Today we had time to walk around looking for the best vistas that allowed us a magnificent view over the whole Petrohue Valley. Some of us took a chair lift that took us up to 1,450 meters above sea level. The ride up was as magnificent as the views from a viewpoint that was easily reached on foot. It was truly amazing and for many the highlight of this cruise. On their way back down from the mountain, some decided to enjoy a coffee at the local cafeteria before getting back in the coaches.

Afterwards, we descended towards the Ensenada area for a delicious lunch in a quaint venue overlooking the lake and the volcano. With a full stomach and big grins we boarded the buses to come back to the Silver Explorer.

Once back on board we got together again for a Recap & Briefing where Conrad explained our plans for tomorrow in Niebla and Valdivia.

This was a great day; I cannot wait to come back to Chile’s lakes region.