Classic Destinations

The best places of Chiloé

Friday, July 31, 2009  
Iglesia Dalcahue Dalcahue (Photo: Sernatur)

- Not to be missed in Chiloé
- Chiloé

Ancud: Located on the northeastern tip of the Grand Island of Chiloé, 90 km south of the city of Puerto Montt. It is one of the most beautiful and best equipped cities on the island and has an approximate population of 39,000 inhabitants.

The architectural style uses wood shingles combined with modern buildings surrounded by narrow streets, coastal promenades, and squares for the sale of handicraft and traditional products. The Market, the Ancud Regional Museum - also known as the Museuoazul (Blue Museum) - the Cathedral, the San Francisco Church, and the San Antonio Fort are of particular interest.

Castro: Amid the hills facing the Lemuy Channel is the main urban center on the island of Chiloé. The rural landscape connected to the sea has had a strong influence on the personality of the people of Chiloe, which is manifested very February during the great Local Customs Festival that the city holds, where the gastronomy mixing the sea and the land that is typical of the archipelago is put on display. Founded in 1567 by Martín Ruiz de Gamboa, Castro enchants you with its beautiful and traditional corners.

The city’s Palafitos stand out: big houses standing on long stilts buried in the seabed with the most distinctive characteristic being their shingled structures. You can see the structure during low tide, and when it rises it looks like the houses are floating. Another place of interest is the Modern Art Museum, whose design has earned it architecture prizes for combining Chiloé tradition with new construction lines. It is located in the Castro Municipal Park. Lastly, you must visit the San Francisco Church, which has been a National Monument since 1976, a World Heritage Site since 2000 and is located on one side of the Plaza de Armas. Its height, two domes and colors come to one’s attention.

Quellón: This is the last major city of Chiloé, located 251 km from Puerto Montt. It has significant industrial and fishing activity, with a sweeping view of the surrounding islands, among which Caillín stands out. It is worth getting to know the village of Auchac, the port area, the Llauquil handicraft fair, the Inchin Cuivi Ant Museum, which means “our past” in the Huilliche language, with varied displays of Chiloé’s technological inventiveness, the Municipal Museum, the village of Yaldad and Chaiguao Beach.

Dalcahue: Located 20 km northeast of Castro and opposite the island of Quinchao, special attractions include the Church, the coastal promenade and the handicraft and gastronomy market that receives the main mini-producers from the surrounding villages every weekend. It is also recommended that you visit the Dalcahue Cultural Center and its library, in addition to the Ethnographic Historic Museum.