A wonderful national park on the west side of Chiloe Island, with interesting and unique flora. One trail leads to the beach where you can view the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean. Another takes you through an area entirely overgrown by evergreen forests and moss-covered ground - El Tepaul.
The culture of Chiloe is unique because it was rather isolated from Spanish colonial history and its dependence on the sea for survival.
Nearly all the houses on the island are made from wood. The famous thing about Chiloe are the many wooden churches. The walls of the houses have what I called 'fish-scales' designs as pieces of wood were laid side by side across the wall and then, another section on top would overlap the bottom section a little... like 'fish-scales'. The traditional industry on this island is, naturally, fishing.
One comes to Chiloe to hibernate in the friendly, tranquil atmosphere.
Stay in Castro, which has the best atmosphere of all the towns here and is not too far from all the other sights.
Despite being destroyed by fires and Earthquakes numerous times throughout its history, Castro is still going strong, and today is the capital of Chiloe, and, judging from what we saw, its most visited town. It's a good base for exploring the island as there is a good choice of accommodation & restaurants, and many of the islands highlights, such as the national park, the small town of Chonchi and the numerous islands on the east coast are in easy reach.
In town there is a historic cathedral which survived the 1960 Earthquake. It has an ornate interior and lies on the attractive main square. Also very noticeable in castro are the fascinating palafitos (houses on stilts) which dominate the waterfront around town.
Chiloe's largest town contains a number of worthwhile attractions, making it a good place to visit for a couple of days. Ancud is the first place that most visitors see in Chiloe, as it's located just to the south of the ferry terminal, from where the Puerto Montt boat arrives.
The town has an interesting historical museum, where you can learn all about its history and its people. There are some fascinating pictures of Ancud before the tsunami which destroyed much of the town. Also interesting is the story of the Goleta Ancud, a ship famous throughout the country owing to its role in helping to settle the Magellenic region.
Other attractions in town are the Fuerte San Antonio, the last fortress held by the Spanish in the War of Independence. A few kilometres west of ancud you can visit a penguin colony where you can see both Magallenic and Humboldt penguins.
We stayed for one day in Ancud, and this was enough to see the town's main attractions. We would have liked to see the penguin colony as well but the weather was too bad so we decided to move on.
Castro is a very charming city as it's climbing on the gentle hills and spreading along the beautiful coastline. Being in a way separated from the rest of Chile, Chiloe has maintained its local flavour. Walking in the streets is very pleasant. There are houses of Spanish architecture matching harmoniously with the typical "palafitos" (houses on stilts). Food is good and there are many tours taking you all around Castro and to other islands. The beautiful church of Castro is the dominating feature in the central square. There are a lot of stalls in the open markets selling local products very cheaply.
In Local Festivals their love for local food is expressed with huge quantities of "Curanto" accompanied by their original chilean music.
It's connected to the land and Puerto Montt in the North by ferry boats from Ancud. There are boats going to Chaiten (nine hours) on the other side from Castro and others from Quellon to Chaiten or Puerto Chacabuko.
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The wonderful Park of Chiloe is a must-see place. Especially Cucoa beach is a natural gift. Millions of shells are scattered on the sand. The perfect decoration ! There are a lot of possible walks around as there are forests and rivers to complete the picture !!!
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Quinchao is also an archipelago that consists of 10 islands with Achao, the capital, as the civil center of the communities. There are hills and levees so there is a lot of high points with panoramic views. Very old churches are proudly standing up with their unique style.
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An island of green fields with cows and sheep grazing ! A serene picture that works as a time-forgetting cure..
Dinner included lamb on the spit in a warm wooden restaurant accompanied by other typical Chilean tit bits. Delicious !!
Houses are all made of wood each one having its own shape and colours.
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Aquí incluyo algunos detalles de la iglesia de Ancud : el púlpito , los suelos , el artesonado , las tejuelas de la fachada
Here I am including some details of the Ancud Church : the pulpit , the floor , the ceilings , the facade tiles
Achao significa : Playa arenosa
La Iglesia deSanta María de Loreto en Achao es la más antigua de las iglesias chilotas que permanecen en pie y es la única que fue construida por los Jesuitas que realizaban las Misiones Circulares .
Las columnas son salomónicas y se aplican motivos vegetales, propios del barroco. En el retablo la pintura imita un cortinaje.
Las piezas del suelo encajan unas con otras, no tiene clavos y los pilares son troncos enteros recubiertos de tablas
Achao means : Sandy beach
Santa Maria de de Loreto Church in Achao is the oldest in Chiloe that remains of those built by the Jesuits that did The Circular Missions
The columns are "Solomonic " and vegetable motifs are used , typical in the baroque style . In the " altar " the painting looks like curtains
The pieces on the floor mismatch each other , they do not have nails and pillars are logs covered with planks
Curaco de Velez quiere decir " agua sobre piedras".
En febrero de 1971 un incendio destruyó la antigua iglesia que era Monumento Nacional . En su lugar se levantó esta nueva construcción
Curaco de Velez means "water over the stones"
On February 1971 a big fire destroyed the old Church that was a National Monument . In the same place a new building was done
Dedicada a la Virgen Nuestra Señora. De los Dolores , esta revestida por el exterior con tejuela de alerce , que con el paso del tiempo se les ha quedado un tinte platinado.
Se destaca por su pórtico , con nueve arcos , seis en punta , dos remontados y el central de medio punto
Dedicated to the Virgin Nuestra Señora de los Dolores , it is covered covered with (tejuelas )tiles of alerce (native wood), which have got a silver color as time has passed by.
It outstands because of its porch , that consists of nine arches , six of them lancet , two segmental and one round arch.
El mercado no iba a ser menos y también está hecho todo de madera
Tiene mucho colorido y puedes ver frutas , verduras , pescados , flores y a nosotros nos llamó mucho la atención los cochayuyos ( un alga ) y los choros (mejillones )que los venden secos y en tiras , que parece un collar o bien trenzados
The market is not different , it is made also in wood
It is colorful and you may see fruits , vegetables , fish , flowers and for us it was very special to see the "cochayuyos"( a see weed ) and the choros ( mussels ) that they sell dry in a string like a necklace or plaited
Originalmente el conjunto estaba formado por la iglesia y la esplanada , cuando la iglesia estaba aislada y ésta se convirtió en la plaza que actualmente tienen
Posteriormente se les añadió un cementerio y la "Casemita" o casa ermita destinada al misionero de paso
Las iglesias tienen en el frente un atrio cubierto y encima están el coro y la torre ,
en el interior está dividida en tres naves , la central con cielo abovedado y las laterales con techos planos
Los pilares son troncos enteros que están cubiertos de tablas
El fuego es el mayor enemigo de estas iglesias
Initially the complex had the church and an esplanade , when the church was isolated , and it became the the "plaza" that actually they have .
latter on they added the cemetery and the "Casemita" , house-chapel , for the missioner on his way
The churches have a covered atrium in the front and in the top of it is the chorus and the tower , inside it is is divided in three bays , the central has a vaulted sky and the two laterals have flat ceilings
Las iglesias de Chiloe están declaradas Patrimonio de la Humanidad y pertenecen a la Escuela Chilota de Arquitectura Religiosa . Originalmente se hacían sólo de madera y se utilizaban cuñase y pasadores en vez de clavos pues el hierro era muy escaso , se cuenta que una de las primeras iglesias que se construyó utilizando clavos la incendiaron para poder quedarse con ellos
Los Jesuitas estuvieron 160 años en Chiloe , hasta que fueron expulsados y los sustituyeron los Franciscanos . Organizaron la Misión Circulante que consistía que al empezar la primavera , el 17 de septiembre , salían dos misioneros en barca de remos a recorrer todas las iglesias de la isla , hasta el comienzo del invierno . Con un programa preestablecido para tres días en cada una , daban sermones , decían Misa , bautizaban , casaban y confesaban a la gente
The Chiloe Churches are considered Human Heritage and they are of the Religious Architecture of the Chilota School . Originally they were built only with wood and they used wedges and pins instead of iron nails because the iron it was very limited , they say that one of the first churches built with nails it was burnt in order to get them
The Jesuits were more than 160 years in Chiloe , up to their expulsion , that they were substituted by the Franciscans .They organized the "Circulating Mission " that at the beginning of the spring , 17th of September , two missioners started a row boat round trip around the island , visiting all the churches up to the start of the winter
With a reestablished program for three days , on each church , day said Sermons , The Mass , and Christening , Marrying and Confessing to the people