February 5, 2017

Chile | Chiloe Island

After a few days in Pucon, we continued south to the island of Chiloe. It took about 8 hours, plus a stop in Puerto Montt and a short ferry ride to reach the largest city of Castro.  The island is famous for its numerous wooden churches, and the palafitos.  The palafitos are buildings constructed on piers over the water, and our hostel was one of them.  Palafito Hostel was excellent with a huge kitchen and living room, plus a balcony over the water.  Our first full day we joined an all day tour to see more of the churches and smaller towns.  It included another short ferry to the island of Quinchao where we were lucky enough to participate in a local religious festival.  We ate lunch with the locals and explored the Quinchao church as it was decorated for this day.  Arriving back at our wonderful hostel, we cooked dinner and enjoyed the sunset from the balcony.

During our stay, we also took the public bus to Chiloe National Park and spent several hours walking the trails there.  One trail went into a thick forest, and the other led to the Pacific Ocean.  We shared the beach with grazing cows.  The ocean was too far out to reach and it looked pretty wild out there.  We caught the bus back to Castro and after dinner I went and hung out with some fishermen who were casting lines right outside of our hostel.  The tide swing here is incredible and very fast.  It seemed to take only minutes for it to rise a dozen feet.

We stayed in Castro for four nights, enjoying perfect weather and very friendly locals.  It was a very relaxing place with many places to see.  You could spend weeks here exploring the smaller islands that surround Chiloe.

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