A December 1994 trip
to Temuco by Robert Raymond Ingledew
Quote: Southern Chile has really fantastic places to visit, and I have been at most of them: Pucón, Villarica, Valdivia, Puerto Montt, Frutillar, Río Puelo, Coihayque, Punta Arenas... I still have to discover Puerto Natales and Torres del Paine, maybe... who knows... I would really enjoy it.
The first time I saw the island of Chiloé was flying from Puerto Montt to Coihayque. I was really impressed by its beauty. The farms seem marked with a square, everything is so green and so colorful...Years later I had the chance of visiting the island. First you cross (on the bus) on a ferry to Ancud. I did not stop there, but saw beautiful sceneries on the shore travelling towards Castro: Colorful fishing boats, very original wooden homes standing on wood pillars in the sea (they call them palafitos), a scenery that was completely different to anything I had seen before. Once I arrived at Castro I stayed at the Hostería de Castro, with a beautiful panoramic view of the sea and all the green areas that surround it. The island of Chiloe has no mountains, but it is a rolling area and everything is so charming...I also stayed at Quellón, where you have to take a ferry if you intend to continue further south to then drive along the Austral highway that continues to Coihayque, Puerto Natales (near Torres del Paine) and Punta Arenas. Quellón is a very active port, and on Sundays you see hundreds of people walking along the port area. It is really enjoyable.CHONCHI is a place where I have never been, but a friend of mine in Castro told me it is an exceptional place for fishing salmon. I have seen photos of the village, and the coastal avenue is beautiful.Cruz del Sur buses connect all these cities and villages with Puerto Montt and also with Santiago de Chile. It is one of the best bus companies in Chile after Varmont and TurBus. Travel time all the way from Santiago de Chile to Quellón takes at the very most six hours, so if you do not wish to stay at Quellón o at Castro (in my opinión Castro is a better option because it has nice affordable hotels). You can always return to Puerto Montt. Buses run about every 2 or 3 hours.WHERE TO STAY: I have not stayed ever at Ancud, but in Castro definitively the Hostería de Castro (3 stars) is the best option. There is also a very nice budget option (Casita Española) that is very cheap and that features a fifty percent discount over the week-ends). But, if you have enough time, you will enjoy thoroughly a stay in the island of Chiloé.Here is a beautiful photo database of the island of Chiloe WITH FIFTEEN THOUSAND PHOTOS. Just click on the type of photo you wish to see. The wide photo on the bottom is of CHONCHI a place I recommend although I have never been there. By the photos I know that it is really beautiful: www.chiloeweb.com/datos/Fotos/Foto_Home.asp
Have a nice time in southern Chile.
Robert Raymond Ingledew
Villa Carlos Paz (Cordoba), Argentina