07 April 2016 - Puerto Montt

After my wonderful experience in Ushuaia, I decided to try another shore excursion, despite the price. How many times will I get this chance?

Puerto Montt Excursion

I went on an excursion today to see lakes, falls and volcanoes. We met at 815 in the theatre and were ushered to our own tender boat right on time. Ashore, instead of a single 30 passenger bus as I had been told, there were 9 full size tour busses. I was on bus 8. We all went to the same places in the same order, but were not really in a convoy. But, there were a lot of other people at every place we went. This was a little disappointing, but still, I was in Chile. Holy cow!

First was an informative drive through the city of Puerto Montt, an area including about 200,000 people.

The guide talked a lot driving through Puerto Montt. We went about 10 miles north to another village, Puerto Varas. The difference was that Puerto Montt is a port on the salt water ocean fjord, and Puerto Varas is a port on the fresh water lake, Lago Llanquihue. This is the second largest fresh water lake in South America. I also learned that “hue” means water.

Then we turned east and drove along with the lake on the left, and the hills, mountains, and volcanoes on the right. When we got to the east end of the lake, and a fork in the road, we turned east and headed for Parque Nacional Vicente P
érez Rosales and the “falls.” The first get-out was at the park, where the “falls” were really rapids cutting through the volcanic bedrock. I got a cup of coffee here, and walked around taking tourist photos.








At the park there were also small tourist trap souvenir booths. We had been given a time to get back on our bus. One among many buses parked there. On the first leg of this trip, I sat about 2.3 of the way back with a woman who had boarded the bus before me. But when we got back on after the first get-out, the 2 front seats were empty and the reserved for handicapped signs were gone. I asked the guide if I could sit there, so I had a terrific view as we trundled down the roads.

I took this photo from inside the bus going down the road. The dirt you see is a mudslide of volcanic ash. There were men shoveling this off the highway by hand.

From here we backtracked to the intersection, and then headed north and up the slope of the volcano, Volcán Osorno. The bus stopped part way up at a get out so we could get a close look at a crater. The guide had told us that the reason this particular volcano was so symmetric in shape is that it has over 40 craters spaced around the perimeter. The first photo is right at the crater, but I shook the GPS when I took it. It’s only here so I remember the place. You really can’t tell what is it if you weren’t there.


At the get out part way up the volcano


Across the road from the get out spot, this facility is being constructed. The guide said this company has obtained a license to guide people who want to rappel down into a crater that lies just beyond this. It is a place where they can rent gear and descend into the crater, then come back up. It was not open yet.

Then we resumed our way up the switchbacks to farther up Volcán Osorno.



Volcán Osorno




After taking a few snapshots near where the buses parked, I saw a trail to walk up the volcano. I set out to get as high as anyone else had been, and a little more.

I turned around here, with this scene above me.

Last night’s snowfall, according to the guide





Near the end of my walk up the volcano slope, looking down into the valley of Lago Llanquihue


The chair lift is also used for sightseeing. Much like the Teleferico I took in Quito.



In the bus, heading down the road. It’s a gravel road here, but really smooth.

We drove back the same way along the lake, this time north of the bus. We stopped for lunch at Cabanas del Lago. It was a very nice meal. We got to try local wine, and especially the local cocktail called Pisco Sour. It was good!

Across from the hotel / restaurant, this siren calls the weary seamen. Or something... whatever. She totally ignored me.



This photo attempts to show the volcano in the distance. This is the volcano I was just walking on an hour ago. The top is obscured by the clouds.

After lunch, the bus dropped us off in the downtown of Puerto Varas where we could shop for an hour. Unfortunately, the timing was poor, since almost all the businesses were shut for siesta until lon after we had to return to the ship.

A couple of entertainers serenading the tourists shopping in this little mercado.


I was thinking of robbing the bank, like Butch and Sundance, but, that was up in Bolivia, and, the bank was shut for siesta also.





After the tour, we of course returned via tender to our ship. Les had also gone ashore and conducted his own self-directed tour. I took some more photos from our balcony before, during and after getting underway again.



A small fishing vessel crosses our wake. They all waved to us. Of course, I get that all the time...

This volcano,Volcán Puntiagudo, is much larger and farther away than the volcano I hiked on, Volcán Osorno

This is the volcano that I walked on, Volcán Osorno

Both volcanoes in the frame, Volcán Puntiagudo, Volcán Osorno on the right

From wikipedia, “Osorno Volcano is a 2,652-metre (8,701 ft) tall conical stratovolcano lying between Osorno Province and Llanquihue Province, in Los Lagos Region of Chile. It stands on the southeastern shore of Llanquihue Lake, and also towers over Todos los Santos Lake. Osorno is known worldwide as a symbol of the local landscape, and is noted for its similar appearance to Mount Fuji.
Osorno is one of the most active volcanoes of the southern Chilean
Andes, with 11 historical eruptions recorded between 1575 and 1869. The basalt and andesite lava flows generated during these eruptions reached both Llanquihue and Todos los Santos Lakes. The upper slopes of the volcano are almost entirely covered in glaciers despite its very modest altitude and latitude, sustained by the substantial snowfall in the very moist maritime climate of the region.
Osorno sits on top of a 250,000-year-old eroded stratovolcano,
La Picada, with a 6-km-wide caldera.
"Volcán Puntiagudo" (Spanish for "Sharp-pointed volcano") is a stratovolcano with a prominent 2,493 m high sharp-pointed summit that results from glacial dissection and gets its name from this feature. According to locals, the Puntiagudo volcano lost some of its sharp point in the earthquake of 1960 (9.5 Richter). So the volcano was more pointed than it is today.

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Puntiagudo (left) and Osorno volcanoes viewed from Antillanca : photo by Felipe Barriga Richards - Own work

I had another bath after returning to the ship, and another massage. Tomorrow would be at sea.