According to wholevehicles, Chiloe Island (and the entire archipelago of the same name), the second largest in Chile after Tierra del Fuego, is located in the southwestern part of the continent and has a harsh climate and rich history. For a long time before the arrival of the Spanish colonialists, Indian tribes lived here, and their culture was noticeably different from the continental one, despite the fact that Chiloe is only 2 km from the mainland. Europeans, trying to introduce Christianity in this territory, faced more difficulties than in other places. As a result, those times left a memory of themselves in the form of special wooden churches, where Christian and pagan motifs intertwined.
The unique Jesuit churches on Chiloe are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
How to get there
There is a ferry from Puerto Montt to Ancuda, a city in the north of the island, its former capital. The authorities plan to build a bridge connecting the continent and the archipelago.
Weather in Chiloe
The local climate is cool, there is high humidity. Ocean waters are cold: their temperature ranges from +9 to +11 °C. The mountains divide the island along the eastern and western parts and significantly affect the climate. The air in the western part of the island warms up to +7.5 °C in winter and +12.8 °C in summer, more than 2900 mm of precipitation falls annually. The eastern part is more conducive to relaxation, the climate here is much milder, and there is less rain. In summer, the temperature stays at around +14 °C.
Attractions and attractions Chiloe
The heart of the island is the amazing Church of St. Mary, one of the many wooden temples once built here in abundance by Jesuit missionaries – only about 150 “capillas” (12 of which are inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List).
The first capital of the island – Castro in the center of Chiloe, was founded by the Spaniards when they captured this territory in the 16th century. In 18. Ankud became the religious center and capital and held this title until the earthquake of 1960, when the city was severely destroyed. Both cities captivate with the indescribable charm of local color. Pile houses “palafitos”, covered with shingles and tiles, are buried in a milky fog.
3 things to do in Chiloe Island:
- In the colorful local market, pick up knitted items, wicker baskets and woolen fabrics with traditional national ornaments.
- Taste curanto – smoked meat, which is skillfully prepared by local chefs.
- Admire the evergreen Valdivian rainforests in the national park in the western part of the island.
The natural wealth of the archipelago is scattered throughout the Chiloe National Park, which protects rare tracts of relic coniferous and evergreen forests. The park also owns the islet Metalk and. Two conditional zones of the reserve: Chepu, belonging to the commune of Ancud, and Anay, located around the communes of Dalcahue, Castro and Chonchi – for the most part lie in the foothills of the Cordillera Puchen. On the territory of the park you can meet South American possums, South American deer, leopards, wild boars, hummingbirds. Nearby is a private reserve – Pumalin Park.
The El Colorado ski center, together with the Valle Nevado resort, forms the largest ski area in South America. There are slopes from the easiest to the most difficult, as well as twelve canyons where artificial snow is created if necessary. El Colorado consists of two towns – Farellones and Colorado. Farellones are older, bigger, more traditional and less expensive. Budget accommodation can also be found in Santiago (39 km, bus service).
The ski season is from mid-June to mid-October.
El Colorado trails
Most of the trails are for beginners. The resort has good opportunities for off-piste skiing. For snowboarders there is a snowboard park (three big airs, boardercross, snowboard slalom). As well as night skiing on Fridays and Saturdays.
In El Colorado, there is a ski school with 40 professionals who teach not only skiing, but also snowboarding and motorcycle riding.