Life in Chile, in the top 7 for Puerto Varas

image of Puerto Varas, Chile

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The final report of the Anillos project, 2015, has granted to Life in Chile, in the top 7 for Puerto Varas. The study delivers the Quality Index of Urban Life (ICVU), of the Catholic University and the Chilean Chamber of Construction, both institutions of high repute.

Life in Chile, in the top 7 for Puerto Varas

Puerto Varas city

The ICVU evaluates the quality of life of a given population in Chile, considering factors influencing urban space, i.e. for civil society and private and public sectors in the place.

The aforementioned study evaluated the quality of life of 85% of the population, located in 93 communes. Among the factors considered were: socio-cultural conditions, working conditions, environmental health, housing and environment, business environment, connectivity and mobility.

Obtaining a place in the top 7 for Puerto Varas, which improved its position in this prestigious ranking from the tenth position obtained in 2014, confirms local expectations, which recognize, value and appreciate the quality of life in southern Chile.

Among important technical considerations, no direct correlation with respect to local government budget and location ranking was observed: “At least preliminarily, there is no direct positive correlation observed between the variables, i.e., a larger budget does not necessarily mean better quality of urban life. For this to happen, other factors, such as planning and municipal management, must converge” stated Arturo Orellana, director of the Anillos Project.

Therefore, the 7 for Puerto Varas for quality of life in Chile, is a great achievement. Among the 93 municipalities assessed, there is a different explanation, not just the matter of budget.

Why Puerto Varas?

Landscape and location of Puerto Varas

The city of Puerto Varas is incredibly beautiful. It is located at Lake Llanquihue, and it is a riverside city. The view of the volcanoes, which can be seen from the city across the lake, captivates both visitors and locals.

The city, founded in 1853, owes its name to Antonio Varas, a minister of the time, the driver of German migration – 212 families – to the area. After the arrival of the Germans, who were located around the lake, they founded the city. Hence it has a European tone, the city today retaining many of its original buildings. It has a little more than 32,000 inhabitants, and it is a small town that enjoys all the good that a city can offer.

It is largely an area of agriculture and livestock. It has a very suitable temperate climate with sufficient rainfall for pastures of good quality. However, around the lake, houses and hotels with direct access to small docks have been built, as life revolves around the lake and its attractions. The offer of accommodation is varied, from a 5-star hotel to simple family cabins.

How to get there

Puerto Varas is located in the Tenth Region of Los Lagos, 20 kilometres north of Puerto Montt. From the airport of Santiago there are several daily flights to nearby Tepual Airport.

Attractions for locals and tourists

Hiking, mountain biking, trekking, swimming, sailing, rowing, water skiing, mountain excursions and fishing.

What to do

The city has several restaurants offering international, German and local food. A major attraction is the Casino, which, throughout the year has live shows.

Other places to visit are: the Station Cultural Center, Cerro Philippi, and the Craft Fair, and there is also the Heritage Tour. In addition, there are galleries, as well as museums, open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday.

You will be surprised that such a small place offers so much. In part, this explains the place in the life quality index that Puerto Varas holds.

Life in Chile, in the top 7 for Puerto Varas!


The Antonio Felmer Historical Museum is located just 9 kilometres from the city in New Braunau. It is in a house built by German settlers. The museum’s curators have acquired unique pieces – saving them from the antiquarians – things the settlers had brought from Germany.

It is important to mention that those settlers were generally very educated people in their time – they came with their cuisine, architecture, music and art. They transported their family goods and work tools from Germany. The museum is charming and very illustrative of how the character of the locals was formed through their ancestors.

Todos Los Santos Lake

The lake was discovered by the Jesuits on All Saints’ Day, hence its name. Visitors have the feeling that the lake floats on the heights of the Andes. It is located 61 kilometres from Puerto Varas. The surrounding nature is paradise and the lake water is a beautiful emerald tone.



Petrohué Cascades


Petrohué Cascades

Located in the Vicente Perez Rosales National Park, running from Todos Los Santos Lake downstream, the waterfalls have various forms, since they are based on the whimsical shapes of basaltic lava which flowed from the Osorno Volcano eruption thousands of years ago.

Osorno Volcano Ski Center
There are other lovely places which are indescribably beautiful for skiing. The ski center has two ski lifts, rising 250 meters, and is normally open from May to November.



After visiting Puerto Varas and its surroundings, surely you will want to live there. These articles have provided you with everything you need to know to relocate your residence and enjoy the extraordinary quality of life there.

Want to know more about Chile, then read some of our other Chilean Posts. Want to know what real estate costs in the area? 


English Editor: Audrey van Ryn

Writer & Translator: Mª Verónica Brain


Contact the Gateway to South America team to learn about the best investment opportunities in the region. The company is a benchmark for foreign investors wishing to invest in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay, providing expert advice on property acquisition and investment tours.

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