Puerto Varas, also known as "La ciudad de las rosas" or “the city of roses”, is a city and commune located in the southern Chilean province of Llanquihue, in the Los Lagos Region.

The city is famous for its German traditions, its natural environment, and its popularity as a tourist destination. It enjoys a scenic location close to mountains, lakes, forests and national parks. It is located 20 kilometres (12 mi) from the city of Puerto Montt on the shore of Llanquihue Lake, the second largest lake in Chile. The conical Osorno Volcano and the snowcapped peaks of Mt. Calbuco and Mt. Tronador are clearly visible from the lakefront. Puerto Varas is the southernmost of a string of towns on the western shore of Llanquihue Lake that includes Frutillar, Llanquihue and Puerto Octay. It spans an area of 4,064.9 km2 (1,569 sq mi).

The origin of the city of Puerto Varas dates to 1853 and is named after Antonio Varas, the Minister of the Interior at the time. It was founded by German immigrants who settled the shores of Lake Llanquihue as part of a government colonization project during the presidency of Manuel Montt (1851-1861).[1]

The area known as the "Llanquihue Lake Colonization Territory" was created by the government on 27 June 1853, and by the end of 1853, the first 212 German families had immigrated to what would be Puerto Varas.[2]

The first area to be settled was known as La Fabrica, where the road from Puerto Montt and the coast reached Llanquihue Lake. Other landmarks in its early history include the opening of a Catholic church in 1872 and the founding of the Deutscher Verein ("German Club") in 1885. The town received official status in the form of a Título de Villa ("Town Certification") in 1897. The commune of Puerto Varas, as it exists today, was formed in December 1925, when the Ministry of the Interior divided the country into provinces, and communes.[3]

^ (in Spanish) Varas, Su Historia[permanent dead link] PuertoVaras.org, retrieved 18 January 2015. ^ (in Spanish) Historia de Puerto Varas Archived 2010-01-24 at the Wayback Machine PuertoVaras.cl, retrieved 18 January 2015. ^ History Archived 2017-06-29 at the Wayback Machine Infopuertovaras.com, retrieved 18 January 2015.
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