An introduction to the archipelago of Chiloe with its old churches, penguin colonies, small hamlets and colourful craft markets, returning to Puerto Montt or Puerto Varas.
Day 1:Puerto Montt/Castro - Chiloe Island
Day 2:Castro - Quemchi - Aucar Island
Day 3:Quinchao - Castro - Puerto Montt
Hotels used in this tour (hotels can be changed on request for most tours)
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Day 1: Puerto Montt/Castro - Chiloe Island
Pickup at the airport of either Puerto Montt or Castro for our transfer to the seaport town of Dalcahue. The town is named after native canoes called “dalcas”. Dalcahue is still a
thriving maritime centre for fishing, transport and aquaculture with boats of all types and colours at anchor along the waterfront. We can have lunch at the local market where fresh empanadas, fresh fish and island meat is offered. We’ll visit the town church – one of 16 UNESCO World Heritage sites on Chiloe before driving through the countryside to the capital of Castro. Here we will see the emblematic “palafito” stilt homes where fishermen and seaweed collectors can park their boats underneath their homes. Castro’s San Francisco church is also a UNESCO site and is a soaring gothic-style cathedral exclusively made of wood. We will check into a comfortable hotel located inside one of the palafitos; offering impressive views over the estuary. Overnight in Castro.
(Included meals: lunch)
Day 2: Castro - Quemchi - Aucar Island
After breakfast we will visit the bustling local market of the city. Seaweed, smoked shellfish, fresh vegetables, and hand made cheeses are all on display. We will then drive an hour to the small fishing hamlet of Quemchi, whose brightly painted boats lay at anchor along the waterfront. Further south of the village we will find the Isla Aucar, “Island of Sailor’s Souls”. Accessible only by a footbridge, the island is a small botanical garden planted by a long standing priest who ran the chapel grounds. Continuing down the coast through the forests and farmlands, we will visit small fishing villages where wooden boat building and a life at sea are sti
ll frequent. UNESCO churches dot this coast, reminders of the area’s missionary past when the Jesuits and Franciscans arrived with the first Spaniards in the XXI century. Optional lunch in local restaurant or family. In the evening we’ll return to Castro. Overnight in Castro.
(Included meals: breakfast, lunch)
Day 3: Quinchao - Castro - Puerto Montt
Today’s excursion will be a short ferry ride away to visit the second largest island of the archipelago, Quinchao. The road goes along a high ridge in the middle of the island, offering panoramic views of the other islands of the archipelago and the glacier topped Andes to the East. The small town of Achao is home to the oldest of all the wooden churches- an intricately decorated and painted building made of the finest wood on the island. After lunch (not included) we will make our way back to Chiloe Grande and drop-off at the local airport or transfer back to Puerto Montt.
(Included meals: breakfast)