Founded in 1854 by colonizer Vicente Pérez Rosales as a lake navigation center and commercial port to Puerto Montt. Bernardo Philippi gave an impulse to settling activities with the discovery of the lake.
By decree law of 30th December 1927, the government created the commune of Puerto Varas.
The touristic impulse started in 1934 when the hotel Puerto Varas, today casino, was inaugurated, and then with the opening of the road to Ensenada alonf the southern shore of the lake.
Today it is a beach resort with a population increased by people who work in Puerto Montt, distant only 17 km.