Isla Grande De Chiloé Travel Guide
Isla Grande de Chiloe © Joanna C
Chiloé is South America's largest island, 112 miles (180km) long and 31 miles (50km) wide. It is a wild and beautiful place but one of Chile's poorest areas with most of the populace scratching a living out of farming or fishing. It has rich folkloric traditions and a wealth of mythology that has contributed to Chilean literature, involving trolls, sea monsters and ghost ships. Another mark of the Chilote culture is the distinctive craftwork that is produced, especially those made from wool.
Featuring a characteristic type of architecture, the forested countryside is scattered with more than 150 wooden churches from two centuries ago, the estuaries are lined with quaint palafitos (stilted houses) and the small towns feature wooden shingled buildings. Most of the Chilotes live within sight of the sea and picturesque scenes of colourful wooden boats are commonly visible through the rain and mist. Seafood is a common part of daily life and the freshest daily catch is always available at local restaurants and markets.
Renowned for its damp weather, Chiloé balances wild natural beauty with the warmth of its people and their culture. As it is still largely an unknown destination, the adventurous traveller can discover an untouched part of Chile that is special in a different way, especially in the main town Castro, or in the wonderful national park on the pacific coast, Parque Nacional Chiloé.
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