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PUERTO MONTT

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Nostalgic streets, European-looking houses built by German colonists that arrived here in the 19th century, coquettish seafront avenues and markets offering all kinds of fish and shellfish are the main features of this unique southern city, a mandatory stopover for exciting adventures in Patagonia.

In the city

- Plaza de Armas, this historical area tells the story of Puerto Montt's creation. Here, in 1853, Vicente Perez Rosales, standing beside the parish priest of Ancud, Miguel Sevilla, read the foundation decree of the city.
A year before, the first street grid, including the plaza, named Buenaventura Martinez, as a tribute to the co-founder of the city, had been laid out.
The plaza, throughout its hundred-odd year history, has undergone remodeling four times; However, its aspect isn't the only thing about it that has changed - it is now called Manuel Irarrazabal. The center of this significant urban public space is adorned with a pool, in the middle of which there is a monument to Bernardo O'Higgins Riquelme, Chile's liberator.
One of its special features is having been the first public plaza in the country to sport a beautiful flower garden.

- Cathedral Church, its design evokes reminiscences of the colossal Parthenon of Athens, this feature giving it a special charm of its own among Chile's temples. It was built entirely of larch wood in 1856, making it the oldest building in Puerto Montt.

In its interior Vicente Perez Rosales placed the founding decree of the city. Also the foundation stone of Puerto Montt is incorporated into one of its pillars, giving this place of worship a special historical value.
Beside the Cathedral lies the chapel of San Francisco de Sales, an attractive building with murals and strong gothic influence in its architecture.
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    - Monument to the German settlement, on November 22, 1852 the first 200 German settlers arrived in Puerto Montt city. With their determination and work ethic they played a major part in developing this area of the country, giving it a unique personality including European airs and customs.
    On the 125th anniversary of the arrival of these men and women who spurred progress in the south of Chile, a monument was raised in their honor on the seafront avenue, depicting a family of settlers and a native inhabitant.

    - Diego Rivera Art Salon, this is Puerto Montt's most important artistic and cultural center. It is known as "Palacio del Arte" (Palace of Art), and one of its main events is the international theater festival in winter. Besides, its galleries display the works of local artists, enhancing the new trend in plastic arts in the Region de Los Lagos (Lake Region).
    The building was set up between 1960 and 1963, thanks to a cooperation agreement between Chile and Mexico, signed in the wake of a devastating earthquake that shook southern Chile.

    - Angelmo, in the late 19th century, the cove of Angelmo, located only 2 km from the Puerto Montt Plaza de Armas, became popular. From then on, and throughout the 20th century this place offered a "rosary" of tourist attractions that no traveler wanted to miss.
    Some of the beads on this rosary can be discovered from the Puerto de Barcos, where one takes ferries to different destinations, such as the island of Chiloe, the thermal baths of Puyuhuapi, Aysen, Laguna San Rafael and Puerto Natales.
    Besides, in the Puerto de Islas launches, schooners and sailboats anchor to offer tours of the nearby coast. Another adventure option is sailing to the estuary of Reloncavi. After 6 hours of seaborne adventure one gets to the farming and fishing village of Cochamo. This, needless to say, is an unforgettable experience.
    Another nautical option is visiting the island of Tenglo, separated from the mainland by a narrow channel (no more than 150 m wide). To visit this island, one must take a boat from Angelmo.
    During the excursion, one enjoys the pretty landscape. Once on the island one can climb to a summit surmounted by a cross, from which one obtains a wonderful view of Puerto Montt and of the Osorno, Calbuco and Puntiagudo volcanoes.
    As well as the possibility of sea excursions, you will find in Angelmo a vigorous and picturesque trading activity. Here the local inhabitants hold Chile's greatest fish and shellfish market. This is a veritable "seafood temple".
    Within the market there are fishmongers, shellfish vendors and traditional eating houses where local dishes and specialties are offered, such as curantos, caldillos, pailas marinas (for further information on these items see "gastronomy"). One can also savor very tasty local bread.
    A very interesting place is the Handicrafts Fair on Avenida Costanera, the seafront road skirting the bay in Puerto Montt. On this road one can admire sculptures such as the Mirador and Sentados Frente al Mar, as well as visit a cute little railway museum, department stores and varied entertainments.



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