Our second port of call in Chile saw the Star Princess cruise ship docking at Puerto Montt. We had a full day’s excursion booked that saw us immediately board a coach and head off for the first stop, the Petrohué Waterfalls. We would learn from our guide that the hué at the end of several places in the name was pronounced “weh”.
Our arrival at this part of Chile had been to low, grey cloud and poor visibility and with our day’s planned activities to include a trip up a volcano we were initially disappointed. However, as our guide pointed out, it was early in the day and the sun had not yet had time to burn off the cloud that had come down from the mountains and the mist that had come up off the sea and lakes in the area. He was proven right as just minutes before our arrival at the waterfalls the conditions seemed to completely change and blue sky lit the area.
The waterfalls are not your “thundering down the edge of a cliff”-type of natural feature but are, instead, described as “chute-type” which makes them far lower-lying. Nevertheless, they and the river were very pretty, with striking blue colours. With some sheer cliff edges around the area of the river and its falls we were in deep shade for a lot of the time at this viewpoint which allowed some of the cool mist to still be present just above the water. It also made light metering for photographs a bit tricky.
Probably more impressive than the waterfalls were the views of the relatively nearby volcano, Osorno, which was to be our next stop. Against the clear blue sky the volcano looked incredibly impressive.
We’d been told by our guide when we left the coach that because of the limited time at the tourist stop we should walk directly to the waterfalls and view of the volcano, then we’d have a better idea for how long it would take us to get back and so we could visit the souvenir shop and take in the landscape without being too rushed. As it was we had plenty of time looking at the Petrohué Waterfalls and Osorno Volcano so could saunter back at some leisure; we didn’t find anything at the souvenir shop here with much of it appearing mass-produced which doesn’t really appeal to us.