• Photo: Shutterstock ID 169335266; Project/Title: Silversea; Downloader: Fodor's Travel
  • Photo: Idan Ben Haim / Shutterstock
  • Photo: Idan Ben Haim / Shutterstock

Puerto Montt

For most of its history, windy Puerto Montt was the end of the line for just about everyone traveling in the Lake District. Now the Carretera Austral carries on southward, but for all intents and purposes Puerto Montt remains the region's last significant outpost, a provincial city that is a hub for the nation's salmon farming industry as well as local fishing, farming, and forestry. .

Today the city center is full of malls, condos, and office towers (it's the fastest-growing city in Chile) but away from downtown, Puerto Montt consists mainly of low clapboard houses perched above its bay, the Seno de Reloncaví. If it's a sunny day, head east to Playa Pelluco or one of the city's other beaches. If you're more interested in exploring the countryside, drive along the shore for a good view of the surrounding hills.

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