Puerto Varas is a friendly little town in southern Chile, just north of Puerto Montt. Within easy reach of all the facilities of its larger neighbor (just an hour by bus) and much more attractive to boot, Puerto Varas makes a good base for exploring the area. It’s also a good stopping point for those fresh off the northbound ferry (or heading for the southbound ride), which docks in Puerto Montt.
Puerto Vargas hostels have long been a vacation stop for locals, and the city is now gaining renown among independent backpackers, both for its outdoor adventure offerings and its graceful charm. The harbor offers magnificent views of the nearby volcanoes, most notably Osorno’s snow-capped peak. The pleasing architecture makes the town resemble a little slice of Bavaria in the midst of Chile.
Minibuses to/from Puerto Montt and other nearby destinations stop in the center of town close to most Puerto Varas hostels. Longer-distance buses to other destinations in Chile or over the border to Bariloche, Argentina, leave from their respective company offices around town. Air travel is possible from Puerto Montt’s airport and is reachable by taxi from Puerto Varas.
There is no central Puerto Varas hostel district, but the town is small enough that you can walk to most of them from anywhere. If you don’t mind a steep uphill walk, Puerto Varas hostels a little further from the center of town offer better views of the surrounding areas.