display | more...

Chiloé is an archipelago in the south of Chile, consisting of La Grand Isla de Chiloé, and several surrounding smaller islands. At its north end, it is three miles away from the mainland of Chile, and can only be reached by ferry or airplane.

Chiloé has a long and fabled history, and has much mythology surrounding it. It is, mythologically, home to the succubus El Trauco, the ghost ship Caleuche, and the siren Pincoya. The potato was invented there, and it is home to a UNESCO recognized group of wooden churches. Chiloé is also very isolated, even for Chile, an isolated country. Apart from the water crossing, it is an hour from Chiloé to the mid-sized town of Puerto Montt, and several hours to Concepcion. Outside of the Carribean, Chiloé is one of the largest non-bridge accessible islands in South America or Latin America.

Apart from its history and mythology, Chiloé is a pleasant, if rainy place to visit. Tourism is one of the main economic activities, together with fishing and farming. Most of the population of Chiloé lives in three main cities: Ancud in the north, Castro (the largest) in the middle, or Quellon in the south. The total population of the archipelago is around 200,000 people. Despite its distant location and fabled past, Chiloé might disappoint some visitors with its overall incorporation into the modern world: Ancud has a shopping mall with a Walmart and a Pizza Hut.