12 Dec Chiloe with Tierra
Chiloe with Tierra
Alex Burridge – November 2022
MD South America Travel Centre
On this journey I was visiting a couple of places that I travelled to 12 and 17 years ago. One of these was Chiloe, in part I wanted to experience Tierra Chiloe, I also wanted to share it with my travelling partner. It’s one of those places that few have heard of and many who trust our advice and include it in their itinerary, come back saying it was highlight of their trip.
Seaweed farmers Chiloe Island
EXPLORING FROM TIERRA CHILOE
As we all know places change over time; the wonderful thing about Chiloe is whilst Castro has more traffic the soul of Chiloe has not changed. Even though I’d been here 12 years earlier I made many new discoveries; all the time escorted by Tierra’s excellent local guides.
A boat trip on Tierra’s own boat the Williche (named after Huilliche peoples) is a beautiful way to explore part of Chiloe. For me a day trip to Parque Tepuhueico a 20,000 hectare private conservation some 45km south of Castro was the highlight. The Park has forest, lakes and Pacific Ocean coast; our walk took us through all of these landscapes. We had a beautiful day to discover all of these habitats.
Tierra Chiloe’s boat Williche
South America sea lions near Tierra Chiloe
View on Tepuhueico Park walk
TEPUHUEICO PARK – CHILOE
The park is also home to several threatened species including the huillín (southern river otter), the guiña (a small spotted cat, the smallest cat in South America), the chilote fox, the pudú (the world’s smallest deer) and the monito del monte (another small animal, approx. 10cm long) this time a colocolo opossum (a South American marsupial).
Back to the walk. Anyone of reasonable fitness could enjoy the walk, there are some steeper sections as you rise up through the forest and then the trail flattens out toward the coast. I’m going to let a few pictures tell the story.
And did we see any of the threatened species; they are all quite small and mostly shy creatures; our driver had seen the guiña and had an amazing picture of a very dark form of the cat, but the park kept it’s inhabitants hidden…. That’s until we were having a glass of wine, and some cheese and other tasty snacks in a small parking area when a pudu (the small deer) runs from the forest in full view. Our guide the driver and the park guide, oh and me, quickly tried to take pictures (my camera would have taken too long so IPhone images were my only option).
Tierra Chiloe’s private vehicles for excursions
Tepuhueico Park map
Trail through the park
After each walk or trek Tierra set out snacks, wine and other treats
Pudu, world’s smallest deer
National flower of Chile; Chilean fire bush
Returning to Tierra Chiloe is always a pleasant experience the lodge is set in a stunning position on a peninsula overlooking the sea, the rooms are very comfortable all have views out over a sheltered bay full of oyster farms which also home to many bird species including black-necked swans and Chiloe wigeon. Seaweed is also farmed in the bay – it’s small scale and a good local industry and has been part of Chiloe island culture for a long time. There is so much to do and to learn about here; and I recommend making sure you have some time to simply relax at the property, to take a short walk along the shoreline, a dip in the spa, and of course enjoy the excellent food and wine offered.
I hope it’s not another 12 years before I return to Chiloe.
Lounge and bar area Tierra Chiloe
Excellent Chilean inspired cuisine, Tierra Chiloe
With just 24 rooms Tierra Chiloe books out very quickly. To be sure of allowing us to create the best itinerary, and holiday, for you please don’t delay booking.
Black-necked swans in front of Tierra Chiloe