Scenic Cruising Reloncavi Sound
Puerto Montt, in Chile’s Northern Patagonia Los Lagos region is set on the shores of a large bay identified as Reloncavi Sound. To the east looms Mt. Yate, a snowcapped, glaciated stratovolcano, and beyond that the cordillera of the Andes. The sound is punctuated by islands, the three largest being Tengio, Maillén and Huar. Two much larger islands, Puluqiui and Queulín, sprawl across the mouth of the sound, separating it from the Gulf of Ancud. The point where the Reloncavi Estuary empties into the sound is effectively where the Chilean Central Valley meets the Pacific Ocean. Salmon farms dimple the coves of the sound, and pods of orcas are sometimes seen. Near the sound on shore, Chile’s Alerce Andino National Park protects a vestigial forest of ancient alerce trees, similar to the huge sequoias found in North America.