Puerto Varas

I arrived in Puerto Varas after a very comfortable 12hr bus ride from Santiago. The town is small enough to walk everywhere and is perched on the edge of a beautiful lake with 3 large volcanoes for a backdrop. Some places just make you feel at home and this was one of them. This was certainly helped by the wonderful hostel I stayed in. Wood burning stoves in every room, colourful rooms and furniture, very friendly staff and incredibly comfortable beds has helped to make it one of my favourite hostels in South America so far. Within 10mins of arrival I had a coffee in my hand and was sat around a big kitchen table chatting with an Australian, a Canadian and 3 Brits who I subsequently spent most if the next 3 days with!
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The weather here in Puerto Varas was significantly different to Santiago. Whilst the sun tended to come out in the afternoon, the mornings were overcast and the temperature was a bit colder meaning I needed to dig out my coat and walking boots again.
Most of my time was spent hiking around the lake. Once the weather cleared up the views of the volcanoes were stunning. There were various different hikes around the lake to do and up to the volcanoes so I spent much of my time outside admiring the view!
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The town itself has an interesting history, with a German heritage. In the 1850s the Chilean government, knowing southern Chile was under populated, offered Germans the chance of gaining citizenship here and being gifted land if they came and lived here. As a result many of the buildings here, steet names and some restaurants are German. The result is a very picturesque town!
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After 3 lovely days in Puerto Varas I took the bus to the nearby port town of Puerto Montt where I took a ferry to head further south to Patagonia and the long awaited glaciers!

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