Route Recap: Puerto Montt to Osorno, Chile [Week 1]
Each week, we are going to publish the nitty gritty details of our ride. While mostly useful for other cycle tourists, we hope you'll find these entertaining and informative for making your way through the regions we visit. For week 1, we rode from Puerto Montt through Osorno in Chile.
Day 1: Puerto Montt to Puerto Octay
Distance: 75.6 Miles
Elevation Gain: 3,868 ft
Maximum Elevation: 813 ft
Overall, this was a stunning ride along the lake and in full view of the volcano for the day. I’d highly recommend this to anyone else cycling in the region, as it was both challenging and scenic.
The beginning out of Puerto Montt was not the best and the biggest knock on the route. It’s a big port city and so it’s difficult to escape big trucks and loads of traffic. Once near Puerto Varas, however, things changed as a bike lane emerged for the entire ride on the southern and eastern edge of the lake. No doubt with the hiking offered by the volcano and other outdoor activities on the lake, it is touristy, so it’s worth noting things are busy here in the high season. This does help for cyclists in having a lot of small shops and restaurants to stop at during the heat of the day, something you’ll definitely want to help power up the rolling ups and downs.
North of the lake, we decided to stay on the main road rather than ride the loose gravel closer to the shore. While this was smoother riding, it was a boring once we lost the lake, and there was nowhere to stop for supplies whatsoever for about 20 miles.
We camped on the lakeside of town at a small campground. It was more expensive than we expected, 30,000 pesos, but we had little choice with the sun fading behind us.
Day 2: Puerto Octay to Osorno
Distance: 32.72 Miles
Elevation Gain: 911 ft
Maximum Elevation: 596 ft
We broke camp on the banks of the lake and climbed up out of Puerto Octay. It may not look hard on paper, but the early morning up definitely quickened our breath to start the day. The road was moderately busy for the first 20 miles or so. The road was mainly through forests and farmland. We made good time biking hard to try reaching Osorno by lunch.
As the city got closer and closer, traffic picked up. The trucks in particular are scary here. The shoulder can barely fit the wheels of a bike, and they did not like moving over at all for us. If you take this road, I recommend a rear mirror of some sort to help warn you of oncoming vehicles. Ride safe!!
In Osorno, we made for a Lider (which is Walmart here) to stock up on food for the day and were robbed. I wrote more about this here, but this ended our day and forced us to stay in town for the police report, insurance claim, and replacement of gear. Bummer.
While in Osorno, we stayed at the Misari Work Hotel and were Pedro’s very first guests. After a really crappy day, he restored our faith in humanity and was an absolutely amazing host to us. Thank you, Pedro!!!
For the full rundown of where we are now, where we plan to go, and more interesting stories of our travels in South America, don't miss out on this page!