Frutillar & Puerto Montt

Frutillar and Puerto Montt in southern Chile feel like visiting a German town in the Bavarian Alps. Come discover this delightful port, enormous lake, snow-capped volcano and their Germanic history.

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1 Osorno Volcano and Lake Llanquihue in Frutillar, Chile

These people standing on a long wooden pier (Muelle Frutillar) are enjoying a gorgeous scene. In the foreground is Lake Llanquihue. At 330 square miles, this glacier-formed lake is Chile’s second biggest. The snowcapped mountain in the background is Volcán Osorno. This still active volcano has an elevation over 8,700 feet. It is part of the Southern Andes range.

Avenida Philippi & Jorge Montt, Frutillar, X Región, Chile

2 Teatro del Lago Next to Pier in Frutillar, Chile

A short distance from the pier along the beach is the magnificent Teatro del Lago. Since this 107 thousand square foot performing arts center opened in 2010, it has been delighting audiences with musicals, concerts, ballets and plays. The Lake Theater’s main Nestle Thunderer room has three levels, brilliant acoustics and holds almost 1,200 people. The facility also has an amphitheater, additional halls plus the Café Cappuccini with its wonderful views of Lake Llanquihue.

Avenida Philippi & Jorge Montt, Frutillar, X Región, Chile

3 Troll Outside Pastry Shop in Frutillar, Chile

The lower section of town (Frutillar Bajo) caters to the tourists’ taste buds. There is no shortage of cafes, teahouses, restaurants and pastry shops. Many serve genuine German food. For a real treat, you must try kuchen. This is a local cake topped with fresh fruit. Or consider some strudel with your afternoon coffee. After tasting these delicacies, you will be as content and full as this troll.

Av. Eyzaguirre 3205, 6, Puente Alto, Frutillar, Región Metropolitana, Chile

4 Hotel Kaffee Bauernhaus in Frutillar, Chile

A walk along the lakeside promenade in Frutillar feels more like a stroll through a Bavarian town in the Alps versus a Chilean commune in the Andes. The German building style is charming and their flower gardens are inviting. The best way to illustrate this observation is by admiring the ornate wooden façade of the Hotel Kaffee Bauernhaus.

Avda. Philippi & Balmaceda, Frutillar, X Región, Chile

5 Araucaria Araucana Tree in Frutillar, Chile

The araucaria araucana tree is indigenous to Central and Southern Chile and grows in the Andean foothills. Called the pewen by the locals and the monkey puzzle tree by others, this evergreen is the country’s national tree. Although it is protected from harvesting, the seed-filled cones are often collected as food. The leaves are tough with sharp edges. This hardy member of the conifer genus can grow up to 150 feet and live beyond a thousand years.

Avda. Philippi & Balmaceda, Frutillar, X Región, Chile

6 Rooms For Rent in German House in Frutillar, Chile

You will not find any big resorts in Frutillar and the few hotels tend to be boutiques and run similar to a B&B. An inexpensive alternative is to consider renting a cabin or a room inside a private home. They tend to be low on cost and high on charm and hospitality. Look for signs that read hospedaje (lodging) or cabaña (cabin).

Avda. Philippi & Balmaceda, Frutillar, X Región, Chile

7 Immaculate Conception Church in Frutillar, Chile

This salmon-colored church in Frutillar is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary which is celebrated on December 8. The Roman Catholic church is part of the Puerto Montt Diocese. If you plan to attend mass, be aware it is celebrated in Spanish.

Avda. Philippi & Balmaceda, Frutillar, X Región, Chile

8 Nave of Immaculate Conception Church in Frutillar, Chile

Except for its spire, the outside of the Parish Church of the Immaculate Conception is humble in design. But inside it is a delightful surprise. The pale blue rib vault is a beautiful canopy accenting the statue of the Virgin Mary behind the altar.

Avda. Philippi & Balmaceda, Frutillar, X Región, Chile

9 Blemen Dorf Crafts Store in Frutillar, Chile

When the German pioneers arrived in the new settlement of Frutillar in the second half of the 19th century, they built their farms along the bay of Lake Llanquihue. Some of the buildings you will see today resemble those early structures. The artesanía (crafts) store called Blemen Dorf is a good example.

V-155 470, Frutillar, X Región, Chile

10 Farmhouse at German Colonial Museum in Frutillar, Chile

In the middle of the 19th century, German immigrants to Chile were encouraged to settle around the shores of Lake Llanquihue. This historic timeframe has been suspended at the German Colonial Museum. Among the five buildings at this outdoor park is this farmhouse on a hill. It was built in 1889. Inside of Casa Patronal is period furniture decorating the bedrooms and other living space plus original utensils in the kitchen. You get a real sense of what colonial life was like among these early German pioneers.

V-155 410, Frutillar, X Región, Chile

11 Millhouse at German Colonial Museum in Frutillar, Chile

The turning wooden blades on this waterwheel once powered a grinding stone for milling flour and processing other crops grown by German immigrants. The El Molino (millhouse) is part of Museo Colonial Alemán, an outdoor museum established in 1984 by Universidad Austral and the Municipality of Frutillar. You can also tour the barn where the grain was stored and see the equipment used in the late 1800s for farming.

V-155 410, Frutillar, X Región, Chile

12 Garden at German Colonial Museum in Frutillar, Chile

In the mid-1850s, Chilean President Manuel Montt assigned Vicente Pérez Rosales as the Minister of Immigration with the task of colonizing Germans. As a result, Rosales became the founder of Frutillar. The German families spent decades converting the land and forests around Lake Llanquihue into farms and gardens. The German Colonial Museum recreates these agricultural efforts on the 7.4 acres that once belonged to the Richter family. The attraction is one of Frutillar’s highlights.

V-155 410, Frutillar, X Región, Chile

13 Team of Huasos in Corral with Steer in Frutillar, Chile

These huasos (Chilean cowboys) were practicing their skills for a rodeo. The collera (team of two riders) earn points for stopping a steer after it rushes out of the gate and runs around the corral (medialuna). This national sport is extremely popular in Chile.

Carlos Richter, Frutillar, X Región, Chile

14 Angelmó Bay and Tenglo Island in Puerto Montt, Chile

Puerto Montt is a fishing village and port in Central Chile. Its namesake is Manuel Montt, a mid-19th century Chilean president. He developed this area by welcoming German immigrants to settle in the Los Lagos Region. The commune has a population of about 175,000 people. These old wooden fishing boats tethered to the pier become beached during low tide. The lush vegetation in the background is Tenglo Island.

Angelmó 870 Puerto Montt, X Región, Chile

15 Machas Clams Displayed at Fish Market in Puerto Montt, Chile

Saltwater clams can be found on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of South America. Many people consider the best are these Chilean machas clams displayed at an outdoor fish market in Puerto Montt. The almejas are a wonderful main ingredient for Chilean cuisine. They are harvested by “hookah” divers who use breathing lines to reach the clam beds. Southern Chile also has a freshwater species of clams found in rivers called diplodon chilensis.

Mercado Típico Caleta de Angelmó Acceso A Angelmó, Puerto Montt, X Región, Chile

16 Salmon Fillets Displayed at Fish Market in Puerto Montt, Chile

Until recently, the aquaculture of Chile was the world’s second largest producer of salmon like these exquisite fillets. Most of these fish farms are in Chile’s Los Largos Region which is where this fish market is located in Puerto Montt. However, the industry was struck with an outbreak of a viral disease called infectious salmon anemia virus, resulting in a 75% drop in production.

Mercado Típico Caleta de Angelmó Acceso A Angelmó, Puerto Montt, X Región, Chile

17 Sea Lion Near Fish Market in Puerto Montt, Chile

The range of the South American sea lion extends from northern Peru to Cape Horn so it is common to see colonies along the Chilean coastline. Called otaria flavescens by scientists and lobo marino by locals, this enormous aquatic mammal can grow up to nine feet and over 700 pounds. This Patagonian sea lion was searching for handouts at the fish market at Angelmó Bay in Puerto Montt, Chile. This area also provides the fresh catch of the day to humans like this cocineria (kitchen restaurant) on stilts (called palafitos).

Mercado Típico Caleta de Angelmó Acceso A Angelmó, Puerto Montt, X Región, Chile