Chiloé is a mystical island complete with legends, ancient customs, and a fascinating people who have their very own rhythm of life – you will be enchanted!
The wooden churches of Chiloé are among Chile’s most valuable cultural treasures and were added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2000. The first of the 16 listed churches were built in the 18th century by Jesuit monks with the help of skilled local carpenters. They are made entirely of wood, without a single iron nail!
Travel Type: Culture / Nature
Duration: 4 Days
- Tour Description
- Included Services
Flight to Castro. Your bilingual guide and Chiloé expert will pick you up at the airport. After checking in at your hotel, you will explore the fishing village of Dalcahue, with its lovely wooden church. Dalcahue is the regional centre for many smaller islands and fishing villages along the coast and provides good insight into the traditional way of life on Chiloé. It has photogenic clapboard houses and colourful fishing boats that bring in fresh catches of crab daily.
Afterwards you will take a ferry to the island of Quinchao, with its beautiful viewpoints and wooden churches. First, visit the hamlet of Curaco de Velez and its well-preserved wooden church. Then, continue on to the village of Achao. The church of Achao is the oldest on Chiloé and is often described as the most valuable church of all Chile. Parts of the church date back to the year 1740. After visiting the church, you will have time to see the village before returning to Castro. Overnight in Castro.
Day 2: Castro and the Puñihuil Penguin Colony
Your day begins with a city tour of Castro. You will visit the Plaza de Armas and its cathedral painted in daring lilac and orange. The island’s largest craft market can also be visited near the harbour. Castro is famous for its ‘palafitos’, houses raised on stilts above the water. There are various reasons for their existence, but the most compelling is perhaps the simple fact that early inhabitants sought to evade taxes by building over the water. After all, the ocean has always belonged to everyone!
The tour goes on to Ancud, in the northern part of the island. On your way, you will have the opportunity to eat “Curanto” for lunch, a typical dish with meat, potatoes, collard greens and seafood made in an earth oven. Last but not least, we will take you to Puñihuil Beach. Weather permitting, you can take a small boat to one of the rocky outcrops in the sea where the penguins nest during breeding season. It is one of the few places where Magellan and Humboldt penguins live side by side. Overnight in Ancud.
Day 3: Ancud dnd Caulín
Today you will visit Ancud, the northernmost town and former capital of the island. Here you can get some brief insight into the lifestyle of the island’s inhabitants, known as “Chilotes.” You will also see the colourful shingle houses on stilts, typical for the island, as well as fishing boats, the harbour, and the market. You will also visit fortifications dating back to the War of Independence. Afterwards, your excursion takes you to the Bay of Caulín, where black-necked swans and other bird species can be observed during summer. Transfer to Puerto Varas and overnight.
Day 4: Puerto Varas
Departure or extension programme in Puerto Varas.