The Navimag ferry and arrival in Puerto Varas

Puerto Varas Travel Blog

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For the last four nights I have been aboard the Navimag ferry between Puerto Natales in Chilean Patagonia and Puerto Montt, in the lake district of Chile. The first night was spent in port, we left at about 7am on Friday morning.

The first day was overcast and cold and didn't give great views of the fjords and channels that we were passing through. I was still tired from the trekking and after surviving the morning, I went for a nap after lunch and got up at 5pm. We reached a glacier at about 7pm (still daylight, the sun doesn't set until 10 or later at this latitude), getting reasonably close for a vessel as big as this ferry.

The second day started with an early visit to Puerto Eden on Wellington Island, departing on boats at 7am.
Lago Llanquihué, with the Osorno volcano in the background
The weather was very good, with some mist in the air. The island is inhabited by natives of the region, Mapuche, and the town counts with less than 200 people with no roads or transport other than boat. In the middle of the afternoon we passed into open sea and so we had to deal with the ferry rolling from side to side, making me feel rather dizzy, but I survived without taking any seasickness tablets.

The third day, the last full day, was fairly uneventful with the ferry passing down a very wide channel with coastline very distant but some impressive mountains peaking above the clouds. We all spent most of the day sunbathing as it was another hot one. The staff organised bingo and a disco for us in the evening as a fairwell party.

Today we got up early for breakfast and prepared to disembark. We had actually arrived in port at about 2 or 3am, way ahead of schedule.
Puerto Montt doesn't have too many sights and we were advised to go see Puerto Varas instead. This we did, arriving around 10am at the Casa Azul hostel, which is run by some germans. The hostel is very tidy, with a garden to relax in, and they do muesli for breakfast which will make a welcome change from bread and jam.

The town is set on one of the biggest lakes in South America, with the volcano Osorno looming in the background. It was with this volcano in view that we rafted down the Petrohue river in the afternoon, in bright sunshine and about 25 degrees of warmth. We even swam in the river and down the final set of rapids outside the boat. Then back to base camp for some snacks and Pisco Sour all round.
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Lago Llanquihué, with the Osorno …
Lago Llanquihué, with the Osorno…
Osorno volcano at sunset
Osorno volcano at sunset
Puerto Varas
photo by: ulysses