Castro © Christian Cordova
Castro is the main town (technically a city) on Chiloé Island. It is actually the third oldest city in Chile, founded in 1576. Castro is a delightful travel destination, famous for its colourful rows of palafitos (stilted houses) lining the estuaries, excellent seafood and traditional handicrafts. With an eclectic blend of Chilote culture and modern development, Castro is a popular summer destination for Chilean and Argentinean tourists and has a laid back holiday feel to it.
One of the town's most interesting features is the San Francisco Church, painted in dazzling pastel colours. The town itself is full of interesting sights however, including craft markets, the regional museum, and the MAM Gallery. There are a range of restaurants and shops, and a few bars to keep the fun going at night. The central town square, Plaza de Armas, is the heart of Castro and here you will find a number of great places to eat and shop, as well as a prime people-watching position.
Cycling around the island is a popular activity and a good way to see the sights. The town also provides access to the nearby islands of the Chiloé archipelago and the Parque Nacional Chiloé, which make for wonderful excursions.