- Location: Off the southern tip of Peru in the Patagonia region.
- Attraction Type: Island
- Significance: Chiloe Island combines breathtaking natural beauty with charming folklore and history. It is a place to visit if you are looking for the Lord of the Rings setting.
- Best time to Visit: Summer. This is because the penguins breed at that time and you will have an experience of a lifetime.
- Visiting Hours: Anytime during the day.
- How to Reach: Take a ferry ride for around 45 minutes from Pargua or Puente. A bridge is planned to be built reducing the travel time.
- Nearest Airport: Puerto Montt airport
Situated in the fragmented tip of the Patagonia region of Chile, Chiloe Island is a beautiful forested island that you will like. Add to the beauty, the mysterious charm of the region’s folklore and you have an island experience that is second to none. In the mists of Chiloe, you are as likely to find the ghost ship of Caleuche or the demon of Trauco as you are prone to be enchanted by the mermaid of Pincoya and frightened by the monster of Invunche. However the beauty of the place along with its cuisine will not require fertile imagination, it will only require your senses for the savor.
Home to indigenous tribes and left relatively out of the Inquisition, Chiloe Island has found for itself a unique culture. It also boasts one of the highest literacy rates in the world, due largely to the Jesuits. Beautiful churches built by the missionaries and redwood shingles are a delight. The sea around the island is home to rare species like the humpback whales, blue whales, etc. There is a marine conservation center set up in order to save these species from extinction. The island offers a unique opportunity for eco-tourism which you should not miss.
Things to Do
Boat trips: If you want to go around the islands of the Chiloe archipelago, boat trips can be arranged. You can cruise at leisure while visiting the Spanish forts, quaint villages, and the lush green forests.
Flora and Fauna: Chiloe island is home to a unique temperate rain forest. The Chiloe national park protects the rainforests and the miles of beaches. As a result of this conservation, there is a wide variety of birds, deer, foxes and other species. Guided tours are available.
Kayaking: If you are the adventurous kind, the waters at the Castro fjord and Chauques islands are the perfect place to be. Without motors and electricity, you will find yourself in harmony with nature.
Appreciate the unique architecture of the Jesuit churches and the redwood shingles on most houses of the region. The Feria Artesanal is the local market that sells woolens, wooden crafts, basketry and other clothing needs of the community. It is worth a visit. Or if you would like to taste the local cuisine, the local sea-food available at Chiloe, which has a unique mixture of Spanish and indigenous tastes, is a gastronomic delight. Chiloe is beautiful and the best way to savor nature is to go hiking. Numerous trails are there for you to explore. It is advisable that you take a guide.
You can stay in many hotels on the island or on the Ancud bay. Some of the better hotels are listed below:
(This hostel faces the Ancud bay and is very near to the pier. Prices in the range of $20 to $40.)
Lord Cochrane 458 – Ancud
Phone: 56 – 65 – 622656
Hotel Unicornio Azul
Av. Pedro Montt 228, Castro, Chiloíé