Tierra Chiloé – 4 nights
The island of Chiloé, an archipelago covered in woodlands and edged in by the Pacific Ocean in northern Patagonia, is an underestimated but fascinating stop on any adventure in Chile. At Tierra Chiloé, our experienced guides and friendly staff are on hand to ensure you get the most out of your trip. The sample itinerary below will give you an idea of what your Chiloé adventure could be like. Keep in mind, it is purely for inspiration, as every experience at Tierra Chiloé is personalized for each guest.
Day 1 – Historic sites of Castro
The beating heart of Chiloé lies in the island’s principal city of Castro. Its unique stilt houses, traditional churches and authentic craft markets make it the perfect start to your Chiloé adventure. This 16th century former stronghold of Chilean governance is shrouded in history and cultural influences.
We begin with a visit to the colorful Mercado Yumbel, a vibrant market full of local produce, freshly caught fish and rustic woven wares. From Yumbel, walk down to admire the town’s iconic stilt houses. The streets of the bay will lead you to Castro’s central church of San Francisco, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and nod towards the town’s 500-year old roots. No exploration would be complete without visiting the shipyards and carpentry school, an integral part of the island’s economy and cultural heritage.
After lunch at the hotel, spend the afternoon either unwinding in the Uma Spa or discover the lodge grounds, orchards and gardens and the seashore before planning tomorrow’s activities with our guides.
Day 2 – Mechuque Boat Exploration
The smaller, surrounding islands and islets of Chiloé are a treasure trove of wildlife, cultural heritage and scenery simply waiting to be discovered. Mechuque, in the Chauque Isles, is one of the loveliest. Boarding our boat – the Williche – a windswept 45-minute voyage will take you to the Chauques archipelago, a maze of interconnecting waterways and landmasses, with the town of Mechuque as our first stop.
In the afternoon kayak through the serene canals of Chauques or walk up to the Mechuque viewpoint, before returning to Tierra Chiloé.
Day 3 – Muelle de las Almas, the ‘Pier of Souls’
The journey to the starting point of this hike takes you along the scenic shores of Huillinco Lake until you arrive at the beach of Cucao. There is a short drive south along the coast before the walk starts. At the beginning, the going is easy, through low-hanging trees stunted by the wind. You’ll continue through hilly terrain in the open, accompanied by native seabirds. You eventually arrive at the cliffs, where the coastal trail overlooks the ocean.
The “Muelle de las Almas” or Pier of Souls is perched above the sea, leading nowhere. Crafted by a local artist and sculptor, Chumono, the pier plays homage to the legend of the boatman Tempilcahue who takes the souls of the dead to their final resting place in the afterlife.
We have a picnic lunch here and climb a nearby cliff to view the the resident sea lion colony below. Following the hike back to the van, we return to the hotel by the same lakeside road.
Day 4 – Duahatao-Chepu
This enchanting trek begins at the beautiful Bay of Duhatao. From here, you will walk the twisting coastal cliffs as they merge into lush forest, taking time to appreciate privileged vantage points before heading deep into the woods.
Birdlife abounds among ancient trees, where Hummingbirds dash between foliage amid the call of Chucao, Rayaditos and other native songbirds.
The hiking will be steady, with any strenuous effort or uphill climbs being rewarded with invigorating views of the surrounding woodland, and out to the Chepu River in the distance. The trail descends gradually to the islet of Aulen, where you will have a relaxing stroll along the beach towards our awaiting vessel, which will take you for an exhilarating and well-earned boat ride upstream. Towards the end of this voyage, we will be rewarded with views of the Sunken Forest (“Bosque Hundido”), from the boat itself.
Day 5 – Time at Leisure and Transfer to the Airport
Before taking your transfer back to the airport, why not spend your last moments at Tierra Chiloé making the most of Uma Spa, enjoying a self-guided walk or taking the time for last photo opportunities around the peninsula.