Chiloé, Chile – A Photo Essay

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.

Enjoy!


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

Serenity


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


54 Comments... Read them below or add one of your own

  • April 8 2011

    Simply beautiful pictures.

    • Peter
      April 8 2011

      Thanks!

  • Definitely will be adding this to our Chile itinerary list. Considering we have done almost no research on Chile yet, the total item on this list is… 1. Might have to bug you guys again for some advices on Chile soon :)

    • Peter
      April 8 2011

      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 (www.baconismagic.ca) is in Northern Chile at the moment and can give more advice on that region.

  • Sharon
    April 8 2011

    LOVE the pics! You have quite an artistic eye with the camera!

    • Peter
      April 8 2011

      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!

  • Beautiful photos! I really like the second one – it has such a vintage feel to it.
    Christy @ Technosyncratic recently posted..Photo of the Week- Southwestern Mountain Range

    • Peter
      April 8 2011

      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.

  • These pictures are beautiful! The sand picture especially looked good. I think I just want to sit on it and breath.
    Debbie – European Travelista recently posted..Gothic Architecture of Europe

    • Peter
      April 9 2011

      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.

  • April 9 2011

    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!
    Andrea recently posted..Patagonia’s Gauchos- The Cowboy Way Photo Essay

    • Peter
      April 9 2011

      Thanks Andrea. Another time, you’ll make it back I’m sure. It really is a special place.

  • April 10 2011

    Gorgeous shots! I’m inspired to go on a hike now.. Especially love the one of the horse “guarding” the path.
    Christine recently posted..My First Arabic Spa Experience

    • Dalene
      April 10 2011

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

  • April 10 2011

    You gotta get a stumble button on these posts so I can more easily share them with the world.
    The NVR Guys recently posted..Travelogue – avoiding “Memory” in Prague

    • Dalene
      April 10 2011

      Oops – thanks for pointing that out. Upgraded to 3.1 and lost them for awhile…

  • Sherry
    April 10 2011

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

    • Dalene
      April 10 2011

      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).

  • April 10 2011

    Wow that’s really beautiful! Is the island more expensive than the mainland?
    Jasmine recently posted..World- Meet Chapinero

    • Dalene
      April 10 2011

      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!

  • April 10 2011

    That island looks like it has everything. Great photos!

    (P.S. I’m a Newfie so I hope you understood what I just typed above…:) )
    Raymond recently posted..Travel Photo of the Week — Hijacking Hotspot

  • April 10 2011

    What a charming little town. And the colorful houses on stilts!
    Tran recently posted..Typecasts On the Road

    • Dalene
      April 10 2011

      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.

  • April 10 2011

    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.
    Sophie recently posted..Things to do in Skopje

    • Dalene
      April 10 2011

      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.

  • April 10 2011

    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.
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted..The Cloisters- Medieval Manhattan

    • Dalene
      April 11 2011

      Yes, he wasn’t the only one milling around, but he did happen to be standing right in our path!

  • April 11 2011

    Your photos always encourage me to pick up my own camera. Gorgeous!

    • Dalene
      April 11 2011

      Thanks Candice! You would really love it there, a little like your home! :)

  • April 11 2011

    Your photos are gorgeous! This looks like a great destination.
    Lisa recently posted..Lϋbeck- a leisure destination in Northern Germany

    • Dalene
      April 11 2011

      It really is. Took us by surprise how much we loved it, but that is usually the case, right?

  • April 11 2011

    Fantastic pictures. Spent time looking at the first though. How do people get out of those houses??
    Natalie recently posted..When a Blog Becomes an Online Diary

    • Peter
      April 11 2011

      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.

  • April 11 2011

    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!
    Emily recently posted..Biking in Honolulu- Oahu

    • Peter
      April 11 2011

      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!

  • April 11 2011

    Nice collection Peter! I really like those bright yellow flowers that stick out in a few of the photos!
    Migrationology recently posted..The 10 Most Delicious Malaysian Foods- Have You Tried Them

    • Peter
      April 11 2011

      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.

  • April 13 2011

    Looks like a pretty special place. Would love to go! :)
    Nicole recently posted..Too many plates in the air

    • Peter
      April 13 2011

      Thanks Nicole, it was very special to us and we would love to go back ;)

  • April 13 2011

    I was recently in Chile but knew nothing about these islands. They look fabulous – and great photos.
    Leigh recently posted..Contest- Win 5000 Towards an Austin-Lehman Travel Adventure

    • Peter
      April 13 2011

      Thanks Leigh. It is certainly well worth the visit if/when you get back.

  • April 14 2011

    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.
    Jeremy B recently posted..National Parks Week – Thank you John Muir

    • April 14 2011

      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!

  • April 15 2011

    Enjoyed the shots :)

    • Peter
      April 15 2011

      Thanks so much, glad you enjoyed ;)

  • April 21 2011

    adding that to the list of places to visit. awesome photos! That untouched beach alone is worth the price of admission

    • April 21 2011

      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. :)

  • April 23 2011

    I sailed by Chiloe once while cruising in South America. Your photos are a beautiful reason for me to return.
    Donna Hull recently posted..Visit a National Park and Call Me When You Get Back

    • Peter
      April 24 2011

      Thanks Donna! Every time I go back and look at these photos it makes me want to return as well.

  • May 21 2011

    Great photos, guys! The color is so good too! I particularly like the sheep photo :)
    Dina recently posted..The Old City of Marrakech- Life Behind the Walls

    • Pete
      May 21 2011

      Cheers Dina, that’s one of my faves too ;)

  • March 18 2014

    I’m travelling to Chile soon! Cant wait to photograph this beautiful country. Love the lighting in your images!

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