A brief excursion to the mythical island of Chiloe, Chile’s second-largest island after Tierra del Fuego. This island is steeped in myths and legends. Its little wooden churches have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
DAY 1: PUERTO MONTT AIRPORT – CASTRO (171 KM / 106 MI)
Pick up your rental car at the Puerto Montt airport and get ready to explore the wonders of Chiloé Island. Start your adventure by heading south and crossing the Chacao Channel by ferry.
In Chiloe, you can visit the town of Dalcahue, famous for its gastronomy and the local church. Afterwards, continue to Castro, the capital of the island, famous for its stilt houses built above the water’s edge. The town is also home to the massive San Francisco Church, completely built from native wood. Chiloe’s wooden churches have been declared a UNESCO world heritage. Overnight in Castro. (B)
DAY 2: CASTRO – TANTAUCO PARK (110 KM / 68 MI)
After breakfast, head south on the main highway to the magnificent Tantauco Park. This place is home to great natural diversity. At the entrance of the park, known as Yaldad, take your time to explore the visitors’ centre and to hike the nearby trails.
Afterwards, continue your drive to an area known as Chaiguata, where you can choose among a variety of activities, including trekking. There are two easy trails that take you over hanging bridges and across walkways to amazing lookout points. This is the perfect opportunity to relax and enjoy connecting with nature. At the end of the day, a simple, delicious dinner will be served right there in the park.
Overnight in Tantauco Park. (B, D)
DAY 3: TANTAUCO PARK
After breakfast, continue your adventure by following the well-marked trails in this part of the park through the enchanted evergreen forests, and if lucky, you may even spot the famous huillín, a native river otter. You will be crossing a hanging bridge, which is an ideal place for shooting spectacular photographs. Eventually, you will reach the end of the trail, but the return trip will be equally interesting, as you can take a slightly different route, passing through impressive wetlands before reaching the main road. In the evening, enjoy a well-deserved dinner in the vicinity. Overnight in Tantauco Park. (B, BL, D)
DAY 4: TANTAUCO PARK – ANCUD (180 KM / 112 MI)
After breakfast, it is time to say goodbye to this magical old-growth forest and start heading north to the city of Ancud. You can stop in Castro, for lunch if you will, (not included) before heading up along the western coast to Ancud. Along the way, you can stop at the natural monument of Puñihuil, where Humboldt and Magellan penguins breed together and take a boat trip for a closer look at the penguins, while many seabirds will accompany you overhead. Overnight in Ancud (B)
DAY 5: ANCUD – PUERTO MONTT OR PUERTO VARAS (96 KM / 60 MI OR 112 KM / 70MI)
Depending on your departure time, you can explore the city and its highlights such as the local church or handcraft market. Afterward hit the road again and take a coastal road to Caulín a wonderful wetland home to a variety of avifauna. There you can also find several restaurants and enjoy lunch by the sea (not included). Subsequently, continue northbound to the Puerto Montt airport or Puerto Varas to drop off your vehicle and continue with your travels. (B)
Self-Drive: Exploring Mysterious Chiloé
Rates in 2021/2022
Self-drive itineraries are highly flexible and can be adjusted to your preferences. The rates below are sample rates for this itinerary with the specific car types and hotels mentioned in the table. However, Hotels are subject to availability as well as your choice. The final rate of this itinerary will reflect the specific options you have chosen in the course of developing your itinerary.
Rates on request.
- 4 nights lodging with breakfast
- Meals according itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, BL= Box Lunch, D=Dinner)
- 5 days rental car (Mitta category G) including unlimited free mileage, local tax (IVA), full CDW coverage with deductible (for details see rental contract)
- Service airport charge
- Roadmap and descriptions.
- Tantauco park entrance fee (access to the hiking trails)
- Navigation to penguin colony in Puñihuil (depending on weather conditions)
- Optional: half day kayak use to discover the Chaiguata Lake
Chile car rental companies charge an additional airport service fee when the vehicle will be picked up from the airport. This service charge is not included in the published rates. This extra fee has to be paid upon returning the car.
Accommodation in Domos Chaiguata does not include towel and shampoo.
cat. G – Toyota RAV4 or similar
Please note that car rental companies only reserve a specific category of cars, not a specific type of car within that category.
Please mention at the time of booking if you need a vehicle with automatic transmission.
Rental cars do not come with a GPS system by default. They can be added on at an additional cost, but the cover is not complete in remote areas.
Foreign nationals must have an international driver’s license in order to be able to drive in Chile.
Palafito 1326 is a small boutique hotel in Castro, the capital of Chiloé. It is nestled next to the Gamboa River and boasts 12 modern rooms with natural elements and includes Wi-Fi, a private bathroom, and a balcony. In addition, the accommodation features internet in the common areas, a big terrace and a rooftop where guests can enjoy a 360° degree panoramic view of the surrounding city and nature. This is the perfect place to explore Chiloé and learn more about its culture, history, and cuisine.
Domos Chaiguata (Domo),
Faros del Sur (Standard Room)
Hotel Faros del Sur offers its guests a privileged location in the heart of Ancud (Chiloé), only a few minutes away from stores, handcraft markets and touristic highlights. This accommodation stands out for being built completely in native wood and because of its beautiful rustic decorations. It boasts 14 guestrooms fully equipped with heating, cable TV and private bathroom among other services. The hotel also offers free Wi-Fi in common areas, impressive views of the Pacific and the gardens of the property.