The following morning was a completely different story. The sun was shining and the sky was clear and blue. After breakfast I walked toward the bus stop to visit Vincente Rosales Perez National Park in nearby Petrohue. When I got the to bus stop, I ran into two Brazilian guys who were also at my hostel so we all went to the park together. When we arrived after the hour-long bus ride, we grabbed a quick lunch by Lake Todos Los Santos and went to the trail. The first few kilometers of trail was mostly forest walking, but after that it suddenly opened up to stunning views of Osorno Volcano, which is located at the edge of the park. Continuing further up the trail and toward the volcano, there was a magnificent viewpoint of Lake Todos Los Santos and the mountains surrounding it. We headed back down the trail and toward another mirador, with equally impressive views, before taking the trail down a dried alluvial river bed toward the lake. While the views from the first two miradors were impressive, the scene at the lake was outstanding. The blue water was crystal clear and waveless, causing the mountainous landscape surrounding it to reflect off the surface. It was very hard to leave the beauty of that place. However, we were running dangerously close to the time of the last bus back to Puerto Varas, and still had 4 kilometers to get back. We had so little time we had to run most of the final 2 kilometers in order to make it back by the time (we were told) the last bus left. We made it just in time, just to find out the bus didn’t arrive for another half an hour. It was nice to have time to crash after the run through the sandy trails, but it would’ve been nicer to avoid the entire run altogether. In any case, we got on the bus and made it back to Puerto Varas for a stunning sunset from the lakeshore.
The next day, I decided to visit the neighboring town of Frutillar. Frutillar is a little German inspired village located a short distance north of Puerto Varas, still along the lakeshore. The local bus cost $1 each way, so it was a nice place to take a cheap trip. The village is famous for its decidedly German architecture, as well as Teatro del Lago, a stunning theatre situated over Lago Llanquique. I spent some time wandering the streets and around the theatre; however, the town was mostly closed down as it was the off season so I didn’t find it especially interesting to visit. After about an hour and a half I headed back to Puerto Varas, where I had lunch before heading south to Puerto Montt.
Puerto Montt was also a $1 bus ride away, this time to the south and the Pacific Coast. The local bus arrived right to the bus terminal, which was very conveniently located along the shore in the downtown area. The city is much larger and industrial than Puerto Varas, and had a much more touristy atmosphere. There were tons of shopping malls and tourist shops in the downtown core, especially around the main plaza. There wasn’t anything especially appealing about the city, so I didn’t stay too long here either. I made my way back to Puerto Varas for dinner and ended up having a great conversation at my hostel with people from the UK, Germany, Austria, Peru, and Brazil until after 3 AM!
Since I was flying out in the afternoon, I didn’t have time to do anything else on my last day in Puerto Varas. I took the bus to Puerto Montt around noon and from there the bus to the airport for my flight to Punta Arenas – my first stop in Patagonia!