Chiloé, Chile – A Photo Essay

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Our favorite spot in Chile did not include the striking mountains of Patagonia or the prime surfing beaches of the north.  Although we enjoyed our time in both of these regions, we quickly fell in love with the island of Chiloé, and will eagerly show you why.  Last week we teased you with a photo of a deserted oyster bar we visited there;  this week we introduce you to the rest of our adventure!

Chiloé is the largest island off the coast of Chile and is only accessible by ferry.  On the main island we stayed in Castro and rented a car to explore some of the surrounding islands.  We were startled by the variety in scenery and charmed by the easy going and friendly nature of the inhabitants.  At once it reminded us of Atlantic Canada, and the people came complete with their own dialect that was near impossible to understand (the Spanish version of Newfie!)

Word is getting out about this little gem. Yahoo has listed the island as one of the top ten islands to visit before you die. We are glad that we got to it before it’s swarming with tourists.



The Palofitos (houses on stilts) stretch along the shorelines of Castro, the capital of Chiloé.

Palofitas in Castro, Chile


The 60 churches on the island are all UNESCO Heritage Sites and were built using only nature’s resources (wood) in the 16th and 17th century by the native Indians and Jesuits.

Castro Church - Castro, Chiloe - UNESCO Heritage Site


A lone fisherman stands in his boat during low tide waiting for his daily catch

The lone fisherman - Castro, Chiloe


A fisherman memorial statue in the middle of the church courtyard

Fisherman statue


A local house with their sheep lazily wandering outside.

Simple life


The hike to see the Pacific lined with yellow leaved trees.

Path to the Sea


A lone wild horse possibly guarding the path? He let us pass.

Need a lift?


The cliffs in the distance and the crashing waves made for a spectacular sight as we crossed through a marsh, making our own path to the beach.

The view of the Pacific


Untouched sand and brush led us to the beach



The water created a mirror on shore and highlighted all the oyster shells.  Not another soul around.

Oyster beach


A piece of wood stands alone, admiring the view.

Standing alone


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    1. Haha, glad to kick off the Chile list! If there is one reco we will make about Chile, it is here. We loved it. Bug us all you want, we can mostly give you advice from Arica and then Santiago southward. Ayngelina ( is in Northern Chile at the moment and can give more advice on that region.

    1. Thanks Sharon! We feel like we are learning and know we have a long way to go. In fact, we are both looking at taking an online course to help us improve our skillz!

    1. Thank you! All the churches in Chiloé had this feel to them, and really cool how they were built with wood and NO NAILS. Really interesting how they have remained in tact over all these years. We had no idea that they were a UNESCO heritage site, and it was a nice surprise for us.

    1. Thanks Debbie. The hike to the ocean was spectacular and we did not want to leave. We spent a good deal of time just wandering around, getting our feet wet and just enjoying the surroundings.

  1. Gorgeous photos! We really wanted to go to Chiloe but didn’t have time – I remember you telling us it was your favourite discovery. Glad I got to see what it looks like!

  2. Wow, amazing photographs! Now I really want to go there once I get to Chile. Hope to find some great oysters, too.

    1. Thanks Sherry! It really is worth the trip, pretty untouristy and just an awesome laid back feel to it. We actually also stayed in one of the palafitos (third house from the right on the first photo is a hostel).

    1. Slightly. Chile overall is quite expensive (compared to other spots in SA). Example – we could usually find a reasonable double room for about $40 anywhere (except Patagonia, much more pricey), and on Chiloe we paid $50 to stay in one of the palafitos. That being said, we also bought 2kgs of mussels for less than $2 – a very cheap dinner we made back at the hostel!

    1. Haha – we are *slightly* versed in Newfie (Pete’s grandpa is from there). On Chiloe, we called their speech “Spanewf” or “Newfish”…it really sounded like Spanish Newfie. There is no other way to describe it! 🙂

  3. Gorgeous shots! I’m inspired to go on a hike now.. Especially love the one of the horse “guarding” the path.

    1. Thanks Christine! I want to hike too…still recovering from an Achilles tendon tear though! Hopefully soon…

    1. Yes, they were cool! We were lucky enough to stay in one of them, a little creepy how they moved a lot, but still an awesome place.

  4. Looks like a very interesting, slightly isolated island; your photos convey that well. I once saw a documentary on Chiloe where people took their houses with them when they moved, even if that meant dragging the house across the water! Been drawn to that island ever since.

    1. You should really go Sophie. One of the incredible things about it is that the people WANT it to be remote – the government offered to build a bridge to the main land but they rejected it, fearing that it would change the feel of the island if they were more connected.

  5. Absolutely lovely! I can see from your photos why it’s your favorite spot in Chile. A gem, indeed! The wild horse on the path certainly would have taken me by surprise.

    1. Thank you Natalie. The other side of the houses face a road that winds through you just can’t see it 😉 Actually the brownish colored palofito between the red and yellow one was the hostel we stayed at while we were there.

    1. Thanks! yes those flowers really popped out especially against the blue sky. It was really cool walking down this path and then coming across those wild horses.

  6. These photos are beautiful. I have to admit – somewhat sheepishly – that I haven’t made it to Chiloe yet even after 4 years in Chile. Someday!

    1. Thanks Emily. It was certainly a lucky find for us. I am certain when you do eventually make it there, you will love it. Cheers!

  7. Love the countryside photos of Chile! I have a little bit of history with the place but have never visited. Loved that you showed the quiet, more serene side of the country.

    1. Thanks so much Jeremy! We aren’t big city lovin’ people, so the serene country side is our favorite place to be – Chiloe was like a little piece of heaven for us!

    1. Thanks! That beach was pretty special. And I’m guessing that it is where the band “Blue Oyster Cult” got their name from…although I could be wrong. 🙂

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