Located in the southern part of Chile and about 1000 km from Santiago, Osorno rests at the convergence of Rios Rahue and Damas. The city itself was originally founded in 1553 and refounded in 1796 by Ambrosio O’Higgins and Juan MacKenna O’Reilly. The city with interesting architecture and entertainment became an immigration centre for Germans and its traces can still be seen. It is an important transport hub and caters to the surrounding agricultural belt, but it is more of an access point for commuters between Puerto Montt and Santiago and the Hulliche areas of Osorno coast. Osorno is known as for its cheese and diary production in the region.
Getting around within Osorno is simple, because most tourist places are within walking distances. Taxis (Colectivos) are also available, should you wish to make use of them. Rental cars and jeeps are available to travel around the city. The tourists headed to Argentina could use the main bus terminal located near Angulo. The best time to visit Osorno is summer (December to March) when the parks and beaches are gorgeous and enjoyable.
Top Sight Seeing Places
A modern concrete and glass cathedral stands on the large Plaza de Armas with numerous towering arches. The Osorno Cathedral is a must see. West of the Cathedral, overlooking the river is the Fuerte Maria Luisa, originally built in 1793. Several 19th century wooden mansions built by German immigrants throng the east of the main plaza. A few blocks from the plaza is the neo-colonial building with the History Museum (Museo Histórico Municipal), depicting the Mapuche culture, German colonization and the city’s shaky colonial origin. An interactive science museum (Museo Interactivo de Osorno) entertains the curious minds and is housed in a former train station, south of the plaza.
Termas de Puyehue is famous for its therapeutic powers. It is believed that anyone battling addiction or life challenges can extricate themselves from them, by bathing here. The Termas de Puye is a baronial resort set on 36 sq km area and is about 75 km from Osorno downtown. It boasts grandeur, colossal stone archways, heated lobby, thermal pools, spa and restaurants.
Lago Puyehue, Anticura and the Parque Nacional Puyehue are east wards and alongside the Argentine border that offer some time with nature. Osorno offers numerous recreational outlets, lakes and mountains, all of which located to the east and southeast party of Osorno. Auto Museo Moncopulli is a popular motor museum in Chile and includes a Studebaker collection, dating back to 1852.
When visiting Osorno, it is also worth stopping at the Mirador de Rahue, the Feria Libre de Rahue and the Iglesia Catedral San Mateo Apóstol. Take a walk to Calle Mackenna, to see the 19th century homes, which are considered as National Monuments.
Outside the city
Towards the North and West of Osorno is a village offering stunning sceneries and a place for fishing – Rio Bueno, located 30 km north off Osorno. The Spanish colonial fort from 1777 is situated at considerable height above the rivers. Nearby is also Trumao, a port offering ferry services to explore nature. Beaches at Maicolpue, located 60 km west of Osorno are great places to visit, especially during the summer. Some of the roads in these areas are rugged.
Osorno offers entertainment during winter months as well. Though short winters, Antillanca is the ultimate place for ski-lovers and snowboard enthusiasts who like to enjoy unparalleled snow-capped mountain vistas. To get the best skiing experience, your visit between May and September. The ski centre is located nearly 100 km from Osorno inside the Puyehue National Park on the Casablanca Volcano slopes, besides the Lenga forest.