The Colonial Agent Vicente Perez Rosales founded the town on 12 February 1853; together with a group of German colonists he had imported to populate the area. Puerto Montt is one of the oldest towns in the south of Chile, and before its foundation, the region was inhabited by hundreds of Chilotes, who populated the area thanks to their work in the larch forests, creating one of the first settlements, which they called Melipulli (4 hills or terraces).
The city developed on the basis of two cultural identities: on the one hand, the descendants of the Chilotes (Spanish or Indian) which were and had always been the majority of the population, and on the other hand, the Germans, who received aid from the State. The city was built with the creativity and effort of Chileans and Germans, which can still be seen in the houses and buildings of the town; two different cultures working together to develop this territory, the entry gate to Chilean Patagonia, to Lake Llanquihue and to the cities of Puerto Varas and Frutillar.
The commune of Puerto Montt currently has a population of 240,000 inhabitants and an area of 1,673 square kilometres; it houses approximately 27% of the population of the Los Lagos region. Located opposite Reloncaví Sound, it has a bay that is protected by Isla Tenglo to the west. Its strategic location makes it the principal connection point with the Chiloé Archipelago and the regions of Aysén and Magallanes, and Chilean Patagonia thanks to the El Tepual international airport, which is also the second most important airbase in the country.
Puerto Montt marks the beginning of the Austral Highway, which has an extension of 1,247 kilometres towards Patagonia, ending in Villa O’Higgins, near Campo de Hielo Sur.
Ever since 1984, the city evinced an accelerated growth rate, in terms of population and economic growth, owing to the development of salmon farming activities, which have been so important in Chile that our country has become the second salmon exporting country in the world, after Norway.
Puerto Montt is the capital of Chile’s Region X and one of the best known cities in the country because of its beautiful natural surroundings. Its most important natural attractions are forests and lakes, estuaries and islands, and of course, its volcanoes. Its Reloncaví estuary surrounds different points of this coastal city, which can be reached by the Pan American Highway.
One of the city’s main tourist attractions is the Mercado de Angelmó (Angelmó Market), famous for its fish and shellfish, and for its handicrafts, all of which are sold from attractive stalls on its main streets and in the market itself.
Puerto Montt is the Operations base of Skopios Cruises, and contains its Seaport, Shipyard-Dockyard and Administration Offices.