Puerto Montt Airport Mini Guide
What Can you Tell me About Puerto Montt?
Well, if you like salmon, you’ll love Puerto Montt as it has the world’s largest salmon farming industry flying fresh fish around the world and shipping frozen fish to all the continents. The fish are farmed in the waters of the stunning Pacific fjords which make for another of Puerto Montt’s attractions. The city’s backdrop is the Andes Mountains, snow-capped all year round and the destination for many back-packers who visit the city. The city also has a great beach which, whilst the water is often too cold for swimming, gives an unparalleled view of the sunset over the Pacific.
How do I Get to Puerto Montt?
Despite its popularity as a tourist destination, the only international flights to Puerto Montt come from Argentina
) and add to a handful of domestic flights to El Tepual, which is located just outside the city on a rare piece of flat land. International travellers would have to fly to Santiago
before continuing their journey. Plans are in place to expand the airport, quadrupling its capacity and encouraging flights from further afield. ETM buses operate regularly from the airport into the city offering either a dedicated transfer which must be booked in advance or a general bus route stopping at different points through the city. Several taxi companies also ply the route.
What is the Airport Like?
The airport has a brand new terminal, built last year, which went some way to improving check-in times, baggage reclaim and heating the airport which used to be unbearably cold in winter. The new terminal operates with five gates, each with an air bridge, and a new international gate which still awaits its first flight.
What Should I do When I Arrive at El Tepual?
Unless you’ve arrived from Argentina, you’ll have a swift transit from the plane to the baggage reclaim and with the improved facilities for baggage transfer, it won’t be too long before you have your cases, especially as the airport can’t handle planes with more than 250 passengers. The terminal is bright and spacious and the arrivals hall covers a big area. You won’t find a bank or currency exchange at the airport although with the potential for an increased number of international flights, plans are in place to add one. For now though, you’ll need to use the ATM for cash. Several car hire companies have desks at the airport and if you’ve pre-booked your car through Rhino, simply find the company named on your reservation document. For public transport, just head out of the terminal doors to find the bus stop and taxi rank.
What can I Expect When I Leave El Tepual?
If you love chocolate, then you’ll be in your element. There are four shops at the airport after you check in and two of them sell chocolate as their main product. The chocolate is delicious, made from top quality Ecuadorian beans processed in Chile. A third shop sells salmon products for you to take home which are vacuum packed and packed in insulating material to preserve the freshness.The fourth shop is a gift shop called Britt Shop but don’t worry, it’s not as tacky as it sounds! If you want something to eat whilst you’re there, you’ll find Ibis, an open plan cafeteria style restaurant before security and a small café after security.
Puerto Montt is a large and growing city whose wealth comes from the salmon fisheries in the fjord nearby. Everywhere in the city you’ll see signs of this industry and can buy pre-packed salmon to take home with you. Out of the city, a hire car can take you up into the foothills of the Andes which, whilst dominating the city skyline, look even more impressive from the foothills.
You should also try to visit a Mapuche community. They were the original inhabitants of the land and today earn a living by making traditional craft products for tourists.