From Chile's Mainland paradises to its insular magic and heaven: A trip to Chiloe
My personal experience on the Big Island of Chiloe
Riding the ferry that links Chile's mainland with the Great Island of Chiloe
is just an amazing experience. However, if it's raining when you do so, the journey becomes a religious experience. Raindrops altering the crystalline peacefulness of the Pacific Ocean emerald waters, prepare the scenario for a
brilliant spectacle of sea wolves swimming by the edge of the ship, along them, an underwater forest of yellowish seaweeds that simulate an endless mermaid hair, provide the finishing touches of a mind blowing picturesque experience.
Ancud bay is our port of arrival. The landscape there resembles to nothing I've ever seen in South America , and I have travelled a lot.
It's just a "bit like England" within the "New World". Yes, one thing in
common to Chiloe, is English weather of Chiloe. Its much like being at home,
I lived in the UK and getting there made me feel a bit home sick ...... So I
feeling very much at home for the whole time I was staying on the Island,
full of fields and cows grazing, land worked for the hay, small pkots with
very green hedges......
So one can say that Chiloe is famous, however, for a few more things that
you don't have in England, the food, the people, the wooden churches, small
villages plenty pf villages across the island.
Ancud is a gorgeous bay where the social spot par excellence is the Port,
the place where local people work, gather for a drink or to chat and enjoy a
wonderful view, and specially the best place to eat some
of the local treats. As the evening began to cape the blue-gray sky the
rainy day had left us with, we sat at a table -that would soon become our
regular table- to enjoy a treat of local fish and a wonderful Chilean White
As the evening went on, the sky mutated into a deep bluish black lightened
by millions of bright stars and a full moon casting its light over the port
area turned those deep waters silver. We headed back to our hotel, the day
was exhausting and we wanted to enjoy the early morning light for our day
The next morning, under a fine rain we woke up and got ready to go and visit
the Island's lighthouse. Christened Faro Corona -Crown Lighthouse-, this
construction is some 2 hours car drive from the center of the city. The ride
is just as amazing as the lighthouse itself. It's amazing how gorgeous the
scenario is in this island. I just can't seem to get over its surprising
After a couple of days of total relaxation and nature bonding in Ancud, we
leave this heavenly town for another gorgeous location: Castro.
Castro is not only a small very interesting city but also the Island's
capital. Along the Bay front there are famous local constructions are made
atop "palafitos" (pillars), which is a very interesting way to live and work
together with the constant tide movement, which if not addressed properly
would make life very complicated with constant floods.
Walking throughout Castro makes me recall upon my days -back in the 60s- in
Guyana where I used to live at the time it has a Welsh feel to it, may be
because of the intense green hills and constant rain which might make them
share a similar magic.
Without a doubt I find Castro to be a wonderful lost in time spot. I'm
enjoying already its treats.
There's an amazing way in which Castro has managed to blend the old and the
new, its traditions and spectacular insular architecture with the edgy
proposal of the Museum of Modern Art located in Castro's municipal park add
an extra flavor to this gorgeous town of multicolor houses atop wooden
pillars, wonderful Jesuit churches and spectacular cuisine.
Talking of which, our night out in town was a total success: we enjoyed a
superbly well prepared Pisco Sour, the national drink of Chile, with our
treats of Seafood: Abalones with Mayonnaise (Locos con Mayo) which is one of
Chile's national dishes, and it's done with exceptional quality and
expertise and fried Congrio- Conger Eel fish, also a local delicatessen.
During our stay in Castro we enjoyed daily great treats of the Chilean and
Insular cuisine, specially their traditional seafood dishes which we adored.
The days to follow will find us in Gorgeous Chonchi. Like all our previous
stops, this location has that fisherman-peasant insular feel to the town,
atop with an extra flair added because of the intense mapuche culture
Our visit to the national Park of and the Pacific coast was very special,
the icing of the cake was the outstanding sunset we got to enjoy at the
peer: The ocean was gorgeously decorated with many Salmon Fishing boats of
the local fishermen as the sun hid we chose to enjoy a portside dinner in
our favorite table, with our favorite drink: Pisco sour and try one of the
local specialties: sea soup, which is a rich fish and seafood dish.
Following the southern stretch of the Pan American route #5 Chonchi is a
truly must. Nice and quiet, Chonchi is the main gate to the great lake area
which we happily explored and discovered to be outstanding.
Queilen was our briefest stop, we only spent a day of
Sightseeing the beaches and bay and peacefulness walking along its beaches
for hours and hours,
visiting it's cute and small and rather not interesting lighthouse but
enjoying some time alone with the silence of Nature's beauties.
Quellon, via Chonchi, was our last stop before returning to Chilean
mainland. an immense Salmon fishing port though a tiny town, very
picturesque and nice. An important port that also servers as an entrance or
exit to the Island and a door to the extreme south Patagonia of
Chile......... I will as time permits carry on giving suggestions and ideas
to some of the places I visited or have heard about as time permits me. As
my conclusion for this Big Island of Chiloe, is a place to get back to and
enjoy before the said progress of prosperity arrives...... Cheers to you all
and I hope I have been of some help, Bob Frassinetti. Buenos Aires,