24 Jan An Extraordinary Day in Chiloe
An Extraordinary Day in Chiloe
Jenn Boyd – South America Travel Centre
I was welcomed to Chiloe Island by a spectacular sunrise whilst feasting on a hearty breakfast at my accommodation, the luxurious Tierra Chiloe Hotel. I knew this was going to be my kind of place.
When I was planning my trip to Chile I hadn’t originally included Chiloe. But after discussing my plans with friends and colleagues, who told me great things about Chiloe, I thought I would take a look for myself, luckily I had a few days after my time exploring Patagonia. I’m very glad I listened to them.
Located off the coast of Chile’s Lakes District, Chiloe Island is the largest of the 40 smaller islands that make up the Chiloe Archipelago. This beautiful island remains a deeply traditional place where time appears to have stood still. With undulating emerald green hills covered in yellow flowers, fishing villages with brightly painted houses and beautiful wooden churches made entirely of native timber, Chiloe is the perfect place to both both relax and immerse yourself in its history and understand the traditions of this fascinating part of Chile.
Following breakfast I embarked on a charming wooden boat “Williche”, owned by the property, and set off to explore Chiloe Island. I sailed through crystal clear waters towards Mechuque Island passing salmon farms and rows of buoys with mussels sewn onto rope and left to drift in the water until they are harvested in 12 to 18 months.
After the warm and comfortable boat ride around the island it was time to disembark and explore by foot. I chose to follow a walking track that first hugged the coastline, then up over a hill to a paved road where a cow and calf grazed contentedly in a neighbouring paddock.
As I continued along the winding road I noticed an elderly lady in the distance tending her small farm. I waved to her as I passed and to my surprise and delight she invited me to over to meet her and show me her home. As I admired her crops of garlic and potato, and her large snorting pig, the wind began to howl and the temperature dropped, so she ushered me into her small home out of the turning weather.
Inside, her sister greeted me with a grin and immediately put a pot of tea on the wood burning stove, she then continued spinning wool onto a loom ready to weave into woollen ponchos that are sold at the local market. My charming host Margarita offered me homemade sweets and biscuits to accompany my tea. When the wind had eased I bid farewell to my new found friends and continued my walk towards the main village.
Chiloe town is full of wonderfully coloured houses decorated with wooden shingles (tiles of many shapes and patterns). I had just enough time to sit on the pier and admire the picturesque water reflections before “Williche” pulled in to ferry me back to Tierra Chiloe just in time for a delicious dinner and glass of Chilean wine by a roaring log fire.
To book your holiday at Chiloe Island contact us on 1300 784 794 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.