Puerto Varas is a city in Southern Chile, in the Los Lagos (Lakes) Region, Llanquihue Province.
There is very frequent minibus ($800 CLP as of Dec. 2015) service from Puerto Montt, as well as regular bus service from other cities. Tur-bus, Cruz del Sur, and Pullman offer overnight service from Santiago for a very reasonable price. Semi-cama seats lean back halfway, salon cama even more. Snack and breakfast included for a small fee.
The nearest airport is El Tepual (IATA:PMC) in Puerto Montt, about 30 km. from Puerto Varas, which has regular flights to Santiago, Punta Arenas, Balmaceda and other airports sereved by LAN Airlines and Sky Airline.
From the airport you can take a taxi for $20,000 CLP (cost as per Dec. 2015) directly into Puerto Varas or you can take a bus (Andrés Tour) from the airport to the main bus terminal in Puerto Montt for $2,500 CLP (cost as per Dec. 2015). The desk to book a Taxi or the bus to Puerto Montt is located in the baggage claim area. A more economic route to Puerto Varas from the airport (compared to the taxi) would be to take the Andean Tour bus from the airport to Puerto Montt and from the bus terminal take a Micro-bus to Puerto Varas for an additional $800 CLP (cost as per Dec. 2015).
There is a railroad station in Puerto Varas with daily trains running north to Victoria and 13 other cities in between, as well as Puerto Montt to the south. There is also an additional daily train between Osorno and Puerto Montt.
You can take the Lake Crossing from Bariloche, Argentina. This is generally done via a tour agency.
The city is pretty compact and walkable. Buses also leaves from Del Salvador to take passengers down to the southern part of the town. Buses to Frutillar depart from Gramado and San Bernardo. Buses to Enseneda depart from Walker Martinez and San Bernardo. Buses to Puerto Montt depart from Del Salvador near Santa Isabel supermarket. The first two can also be acessed at Del Salvador. The Colectivos and Minibuses regularly depart also from there (400-500 CLP around Town)
- Sagrado Corazón de Jesus/Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, Verbo Divino 499 (on a hill). Designated as a national historical site, this church was built by the German colonizers in 1915. It's the third catholic Church that Puerto Varas has had. The building was constructed of oak frames and corrugated iron sidings. The church was modelled after the Marienkirche in the German Black Forest.
There are many options of day trips and adventures available from Puerto Varas. The Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park, including the Petrohué falls and Lake Todos los Santos, is about 70 km. from Puerto Varas. Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes are nearby. Mt. Osorno has a road to the base of a chairlift which is open all year round, for skiing in winter and sightseeing in summer. There are also good nearby destinations for trekking, flyfishing, rafting, kayaking and other adventures nearby.
- Casino, (on Del Salvador, across the street from the Plaza, near the waterfront).
- Fusion, Puerto Varas Cultural Show, Imperial 561, ☎ (56 9) 86202747, . Wednesday & Friday 20:00hrs. Cultural Show & Dinner. www.pvculturalshow.cl A trip back in time, will take you to discover a history of effort, courage and dedication, drawn by German settlers who came to live in southern Chile in the mid-nineteenth century. They left an inerasable mark so far in this corner of the world. Fusion shows the genesis of what is now the local culture, a mixture of German traditions and nature of Chiloe's people, combining dance, music, cuisine and history.
- The North Face, San Juan 431, Puerto Varas, ☎ 65-273988, . Outdoors apparel, Hiking equipments
- Salomon, San Juan. Outdoors apparels, skiing, etc..
- United Colours of Benetton, Del Salvador.
- Feria Artesanal, Del Salvador. Several shops selling local wool and wood carving products as well others, located next to the casino.
- Vicki Johnson Chocolates, Santa Rosa 318, Puerto Varas, ☎ 65-232240, . Chocolate and gift shop owned by a Californian. Homemade local gourmet products, i.e. honey, liquers, chutneys, jams and preserves.
- Santa Isabel, Del Salvador 451, . Mon-Sat 0830-2200, Sun 0900-2100. Supermarket
- Express de Lider, Avda Gramado 565, . Supermarket
RESTAURANTS (town centre):
- Danes, Del Salvador 441, Puerto Varas, ☎ 65-232371. A nice restaurant, good place for tea time meal (kuchen and tea), as well as pastries and sandwiches.
- Carmen, on San Francisco. Good family place, very good lunch menus (menu del dia).
- Cassis, San Juan 431 (at the plaza), ☎ 65-441529, . Summer 0830-0300, winter 0830-2200. Cafe serving chocolates, desserts, ice creams and coffee.
- Chamaca Inn, Del Salvador s/n (on Del Salvador a few blocks from the plaza), ☎ 65-232876. Good place for typical Lakes District foods.
- Caffe el Barista, Walker Martinez 211, Puerto Varas, ☎ 65-233130, . "The Best Coffee in Town", they serve breakfasts, sandwiches, pastries and daily menu (about $5,000), and has wine, beer and bar services especially at night time.
- El Forastero, Del Salvador 535, Puerto Varas. local economical Chilean cuisine
- La Marca, Santa Rosa 539, Puerto Varas, ☎ 65-232026, . Mon-Sat 1300-1500, 1930-2300. steakhouse restaurant, rustic interior.
- Pim's, Santa Rosa 2, Puerto Varas, ☎ 65-233998, . Irish Restaurant and Bar, hamburgers, pizzas, sandwiches, desserts.
- Restaurant Tattoria Di Carusso, San Bernardo 318, Puerto Varas, ☎ 65-233478, . Italian restaurant
- Sandwicheria Paradise, San Francisco 669, Puerto Varas, ☎ 65-348327. sandwcih shop
A good start to find a place to sleep is the Senatur office. Senatur provides information on housing prices.
- Hostal Casa Azul, Manzanal 66, Puerto Varas (corner of Manzanal and Rosario), ☎ 65-232904, . Rustic hostel with wooden walls and details, Japanese Garden, big breakfast buffets. Individual excursions also offered. Wifi available. dorms $8000, shared privates 9000-11000, single room shared bath 13000-15000, rooms 18000-33000.
- Casa Ko, Camino a Ensenada km 37., ☎ 77036477, . A cosy traditional house offering an amazing view on volcanoes Osorno, Calbuco and Puntiagudo as well as Llanquihue Lake. Home-made dinner with organic vegetables from the garden. French run. As indicated in address, this place is located 37 km from Puerto Varas. (-41.224343,-72.547491)
- Hostel Margouya Patagonia, Purisima 681, Puerto Varas, ☎ 65 2237 695, . checkin: 12:00 pm; checkout: 11:00 am. A small cosy hostel located above shops close to the main plaza and the lake. Dorm beds $9,000, single rooms $20,000, triple room 33000$ and couple rooms $23,000. Great owners, nice common room where travel friends can get together and talk, share meals and drink. Free Wifi $9,000-$33,000.
- Chimanga Hostel, San Pedro 410, Puerto Varas (on San Pedro between Walker Martinez and del Salvador), ☎ 65-755659, . A very pleasant hostel with hot water, free WiFi, and deluxe breakfast. Private rooms are also available. German, English and Spanish spoken. 10000 for a dorm, 8000 in winter.
- Compass del Sur, Klenner 467, Puerto Varas (Near train station), ☎ 65-232044, . A Chilean hostel with Scandinavian flair. Colonial house with large private rooms and dorms, garden patio, smallish camping space, free parking, great kitchen. Tours also offered. Swedish, English, German and Spanish spoken. Free WiFi and 2 computers. dm 10'000CLP, d 16'000CLP,14'000CLP (private/shared bathroom), camping 8'000CLP. All prices per person, including breakfast.
- Ellen Haus, San Pedro 325, Puerto Varas, ☎ 65-233577, . Has Internet. Good Breakfast Included. German, English and Spanish spoken. Also offers tours to nearby places.
- Fox Hill Bed and Breakfast, Camino a Ensenada km 37 (Puerto Varas, Chile), ☎ (56)8 461 3005, . Newly built American B&B. Magnificent view of volcanoes Osorno and Cabuco, low prices. Region Los Lagos, Chile
- Haus Erika, Calle Maipo 290, Puerto Varas (10 minutes walking out of the center), ☎ 65-233760, . More expensive but better. It offers more comfort for its price. Hostel and cabanas on site. $18,000 - $38,000 (hostel), $35,000 to $75,000 (cabanas).
- Hospedaje Carla Minte, . Great Bed and Breakfast. Familiar and helpful staff. Good price/quality and only two minutes from center.
- Hospedaje Don Raul. Great when you are alone and in the house, but the rooms outside are a bit less. (but a low prices)
- Hostal Opapa Juan, Arturo Prat 107, ☎ 56 65 232234, . Comfortable Bed with private bathroom, and delicious breakfast.
- Cabañas Bordemundo, Camino Ensenada 3km, Puerto Varas, Los Lagos, Chile., ☎ 62919443, . checkin: 1pm; checkout: 11:30am. Bed & Breakfast Cabins with beach access on Llanquihue Lake, overlooking Volcano Osorno. Cabins $35,000 low season $60,000 high season. (-41.3150789,-72.93544277777778)
- Licarayen Hotel, San Jose 114, Puerto Varas, ☎ 65-232305, . 23 room hotel built in 1970s, lakefront location with views of the volcano
- Colonos del Sur - Gran Hotel, Del Salvador 024, Puerto Varas, ☎ 65-235555, . Luxury hotel on lakefront location, close to the casino. Some rooms with views of the volcano. $140,500 - $292,500.
- Andean Designs Studio, 1A2, Calle Coastanera Viento Norte, Loteo Molino Viejo, . Andean Designs Studio is a perfect retreat for pottery art lovers, set in a 5000 sq. meters beautiful property, next to Lago Llanquihue and overlooks the magnificent Volcano Osorno. The studio provides homestay accommodation in 3 lake view rooms – 1 double with private bathroom and 2 singles with shared bathroom via various packages with or without pottery lessons! 40 to 75 USD per person. (-41.291241,-72.981491)
Close to this city are the waterfalls of Petrohue, take the bus from the intersection of Walker Martinez and San Bernardo to Ensenada, some buses continue via Parque Nacional Vicente Perez Rosales to Patrohué on the Lago Todo los Santos (to Saltos/Lago Santos 2.000 CLP). At Petrohué, you could go on a ferry to Peulla.
There is a trekking trail from Petrohué up along the side of the volcano Osorno, and this is called Paso de Desolacion. This is 13 km long one way, roundtrip 26 km. (Be sure to stop at the Conaf office at the beginning of the trail to register your hike.) One can get off from the same bus at the Saltos de Petrohué (waterfalls) or walk back from Petrohué for about 6km. (In January there are annoying but harmless insects in the park.) In Petrohué, there are cabanas for rent, and also campgrounds. There is a big hotel called Petrohue Lodge.
Another place to visit is the small city Frutillar; it has a museum of the first colonists (Museo Colonial Alemán) in that area. The city has two parts: Frutillar and Fruitillar Bajo. The part close to the lake (Frutillar Bajo) is for most visitors. Buses leave from the intersection of Gramado and San Bernardo (CLP900 - 01/2013 ).
Puerto Varas is a great base for Volcano Climbing, there are numerous volcanoes in the vicinity including Osorno & Calbuco, a guide to climbing them can be found here 
To the south is Puerto Montt and the start of Carretera Austral.