Chiloe, a wild beauty
After our trek from Pampa Linda to Ralun, we needed a little bit of rest. We first stayed a couple of days in Puerto Varas for organizational and some strongly needed laundry purposes, and from there, we continued our trip together with Valerie and headed toward Chiloe Island.
Chiloe is the largest Chilenean Island, located just South West of Puerto Montt. It was a short 3 hours bus and ferry ride to get to the centrally located capital of Chiloe, Castro. The route on the Island itself was very beautiful, as our bus passed by lush green landscape, going up and down hills all the time. Chiloe is mainly known for two things: its bad weather and its wooden churches. While we did see many beautiful wooden churches, we were amazingly lucky with the weather! Indeed, in the 4 days we spent there, we had only one short shower. Aninhabitant even told us that the weather was only this good only a few days per year!
Castro, a former fishing town, is famous for ist colourful wooden houses on stilts. Our accommodation was actually located in the area where these houses can be seen. Though the sight was nice, Castro made a slight depressed impression in our minds. Maybe it was because it was Sunday and everything was closed. Many buildings were badly maintained and it gave the feeling of a once prosperous city which was nowadays abandoned by its people. However, the wooden church on the main square was one of the most beautiful we saw on the Island.
In any case, we didn’t feel like spending a lot of time there, and after only one night, we continued on toward Chonchi, a smaller village a little bit further to the South.
On the contrary of Castro, we really liked Chonchi. The village has the advantage to be located very close to the Chiloe National Park and the beautiful western coast of Chiloe Island. We had originally planned to rent bikes in Chonchi in order to discover our surroundings. Well, guess what? There is no place to rent bikes in Chonchi!
We spend several days here, in a very nice small apartment. From there, we undertook a day tour to the Pacific cost with the intention of visiting the “El Muelle de las Almas“. Although we never reached it, we really enjoyed our day there at the Pacific ocean and its large cobblestone beach. It is a very beautiful place with strong winds, vast beaches and impressive cliffs and we all got a sun burn as we fell asleep on the beach 😀
After spending a few days in Chonchi, we decided to head to Quellon, a town located in the Southern part of Chiloe Island. We had thought about taking a bus to Quellon, but as we were waiting at the bus stop a car stopped and Valerie asked the driver if he would take us to Quellon. Not only did our nice driver take us there, but he also invited us for lunch! Once again, we were positively surprised by the friendliness of the Chilean people 🙂
Quellon itself is not particularly beautiful, but the city offers very beautiful views on the Andes across the see. It is also the starting place of several boat routes leading to different cities along the Carretera Austral until Tierra del Fuego. For our part, we had planned to take a ferry to Puerto Chacabuco and then take buses until Villa O’Higgings. But we will talk about this adventure in our next article 😉
Except Castro, we really like Chiloe and its melancholic atmosphere. The Island exudes a beautiful untamed wildness atmosphere. If you want to see all our picture of Chiloe Island, click here.
How to get there
There are buses from all big cities around such as Osorno, Puerto Montt or Puerto Varas. We paid 7.500CP/Person to go from Puerto Varas to Castro. On the Island itself, there are many collectivo going from one city to the other.
Where to stay
In Castro, we stayed at the La Maja Hostel for 16.000CP/double room – it was not bad, but not wonderful either. In Chonchi, we had a really nice apartment on two floors called Loft del Sur. We paid 23.500CP/night.