History of Puerto Montt

The history of what today is known as Puerto Montt began to be written during the second half of the nineteenth century. By 1852, the ancient dwellers of the area began to mingle with the first German immigrants who came along from the heart of the Reloncaví tempted by the diverse resources offered by this site.

February 12, 1853 is the foundation date of Puerto Montt, whose name is a tribute to the then ruler Manuel Montt Torres. The city is strategically located in present Chile, due to the fact that it lies on the border that separates the Lake District from Chilean Patagonia.

The European colonization process lasted until the beginning of the new century. Later on, Puerto Montt experienced an urbanization process that became strengthened after 1912, when the railway joined this area with Santiago, the capital of the country, lying 1,012 kilometers away, which provided a more fluent move of passengers and goods. Ever since, Puerto Montt has become an unavoidable reference point, as it is now a central trade spot between the Patagonian area and the rest of the country.

The continuous economic and demographic growth of the city was only threatened by the earthquake that hit the area in 1960 and destroyed houses, buildings, the railway station and part of the port. The efforts made at a local, national and international level caused Puerto Montt to slowly recover from the consequences of that quake and, little by little, it adopted its usual pace again.

The year 1979 was extremely important in the history of Puerto Montt, because it was then that the city was named capital of the X Region of the Lakes. This event boomed its economic and political development.

At present, Puerto Montt continues to be a thriving city that combines diverse economic activities such as fishing, seaweed cultivation, agriculture and cattle raising, naval construction and tourism.