Puerto Montt Chile: The Cueca Dance

25 12 2011

Puerto Montt, Chile is a city at the top of Chile’s vast fjord system. From Puerto Montt you can take ferries plying a thousand miles of interconnected fjords to Punta Arenas and beyond. Like parts of Alaska, the many islands are only sparsely inhabited. There is a huge salmon farming industry here, and it’s impact on wild fish is criticized. Puerto Montt sits on the sea, with a lovely waterfront, city square, and it’s cloaked in volcanoes all around. It’s no wonder the buses have volcanoes painted on their sides.

We arrive about noon, and Christof and I take a good long walk to the end of town, where there’s a good seafood market.

It is Sunday, so the town is busy with people on their day off. Young couples groping were everywhere. Nobody is shy about showing physical affection in Chile or Argentina!

Along the way we walk through another open air market. It’s not very interesting to me, because what’s for sale looks mostly like souvenirs I have seen everywhere else in the world. But there are some interesting micro restaurants.

We reach the seafood market. It’s pretty busy, and you can get most everything – squid, clams, oysters, mussels, except that the salmon are all farmed!

There were some really interesting looking family micro restaurants and I wanted to return later to check some of them out. On our return, Christof and I pause for refreshment at one of the coffee and dessert micro restaurants. They did a nice job!


We planned to meet others back at our hotel for dinner, and when we got back we met up with Elwin, Angelique and Eray. We had some time to kill, and as we walked along toward the waterfront we heard some really lively music! We found it in the town square. At one corner of the square there is a gazebo and a band was practicing. People were gathering.

There were some people in costumes, and some in more formal ‘going out’ attire, and I had no idea what was about to happen. As I stood looking at the band, I realized I needed to move off to the side because some of these people were moving out onto the center of the plaza moving to the music.

And here is what we witnessed, it was free, just locals enjoying the national dance! It was such a treat! It is called the Cueca! After a bit, others, including teenagers, were doing it! Well, without further adieu, enjoy!

Here is another couple…

And one last for good measure!

I am so fortunate we just walked into this spectacle. It lasted about 45 minutes and then they disbanded…fun to watch! So what is this dance? It’s actually a representation of a rooster courting a chicken!




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