Chiloé – Ancud
Chiloé is a string of 40 islands, the largest of which is Isla Grande de Chiloé. Of its 150 wooden churches scattered across the islands, 16 have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Ancud is the entryway to explore the island, located 90km south of Puerto Montt. It’s a pretty seaside town with a bustling fishing port. In town you can find many attractions: the Plaza de Armas with the Museo Regional de Ancud just off the plaza, with an interesting collection of the early history of Chiloé and a replica of a small sailing ship La Goleta Ancud.
The Mercado Municipal (town market) is a great place to sample the exquisite Chilote seafood and buy local handcrafts. 800m from the plaza is the Fort San Antonio (built in 1770) with great ocean views, which was Spain’s last stronghold in Chile after the War of Independence. Another old fort looking out onto the sea is Fuerte Ahuí.
28km away from Ancud Magellan and Humboldt penguins coexist at the renowned Pinguineras de Puñihuil penguin colony. These penguin colonies are on three small islands and you can go round in guided boat trips from September to March.
Chepu (38km south-west) has beautiful landscapes of beaches, rivers and wetlands. From the river’s estuary you can trek along the long beach where after a 2hr-walk (aprox.) you’ll reach the penguin colony at Ahuenco. From Ancud you can easily go on to explore Chiloé National Park.