Located in the southern zone of Chile, the Chiloé Archipelago is a group of more than 30 islands full of natural beauties, a rich mythology and unique cultural traditions in the world. The best known is the Big Island, being the gateway from the Chacao Channel and home to the largest cities in the area: Ancud, Castro and Quellón.
However, beyond the Big Island there are treasures scattered by the sea that you must explore. Take a nautical chart and make a different trip with the 10 islands of the Chiloé Archipelago that you should know:
1.- Lemuy: From Castro you can take a ferry to access the island of Lemuy, whose main attraction is the land language that has to one side and serves as a natural viewpoint to other islands, giving the feeling as if you floated in the sea. It has activities such as boat rides and walks, as well as a long suspension bridge in the middle of its Valdivian jungle.
2.- Caucahué: Carahué, which means “place of large gulls”, is a small clod of land that surprises with lush forests that converge on beaches with intense blue waters, generating a pleasant sensation of relaxation. Here you can enjoy sightings of wild birds and direct contact with an almost virgin nature.
3.- Butachauque: Known for its beautiful sunsets, the flat coast of Butachauque allows you to have a panoramic view of the water and fields of the place. Being one of the smaller islands, it has a family atmosphere that receives tourists with food and typical legends. It is even said that through the water channels that surround it, some of the classic myths of Chiloé were born, such as the ghost ship Caleuche and the sorcerers that turn into birds like the “tue tue”.
4.- Mechuque: One of the towns of this island of the Chiloé Archipelago has a picturesque red bridge of oriental style that allows the inhabitants to cross the channel of sea water that divides it. Most of the houses of Mechuque are built on the traditional palafitos of the archipelago, which gives an added value to the rustic line of the landscape.
5.- Quenac: Its name originates in the culture of the Chonos and means “unprotected place of the winds”. Full of mysticism, in Quenac stories of magical events are spread, like that of the Dallín Lagoon, which they claim is formed by the cries of a young virgin of the place.
6.- Tranqui: Paradise of outdoor adventure, the island of Tranqui has a wide range of camping and extreme sports such as climbing and canyoning around forests of native trees and large beaches of gray sand.
7.- Quinchao: At 25 km. north of Castro, on the coast of Dalcahue, a ferry departs that in less than 5 minutes takes tourists and locals to the island of Quinchao. There you can visit a picturesque village dating back to 1660: Curaco de Veléz. Appreciate the unique architecture of its houses made of larch and cypress tiles, and visit the Church of Our Lady of Grace of Quinchao, a World Heritage Site.
8.- Aucar: Called “The Island of the Navigating Souls” by the writer Chilote Francisco Coloane, Aucar connects and disconnects from the mainland depending on the level of the tide. To get there, you have to cross an extensive and beautiful wooden bridge, while the one in charge of welcoming you is a large botanical garden that contains all the flowers and trees native to Chiloé.
9.- San Pedro: Due to its small population, this island allows a total disconnection of the world (ideal for a couple getaway). In the waters bordering San Pedro you can see blue whales and penguins, or navigate peacefully through a romantic lagoon that is inside.
10.-Metalqui: The shore of this small rocky islet has become home to a colony of sea lions that share the beach with different species of birds, becoming the delight of visitors.
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