From Puerto Varas, we took a bus (which drove onto a ferry) to the island of Chiloe. Chiloe is the second largest island (technically it’s an archipelago) off of South America. It is well known in Chile for its fishing villages, brightly painted houses, and strong indigenous folklore and culture. It’s by far one of the most unique place we have ever been. We stayed in the northern city of Ancud in the 13 Lunas Hostel, an incredibly Victorian-esque house with tall ceilings, tons of windows, hammocks, a puppy, and a deck overlooking the ocean (perfect for viewing the 10:30pm sunset). We met many interesting people there, young and old. But seriously, some were pretty wacky.
On our first day, we rented a car and drove the northern part of the island, stopping at a national park, several small fishing towns, and viewpoints overlooking the green rolling hills of the island and the ocean beyond. It was by far one of our favorite days of the whole trip. We picked up various fresh market items along the way to finish our day with the best meal we’ve ever cooked: fresh steamed mussels!
The next day, we went off to see some pinguinos (penguins)! We hopped in the hostel’s Land Rover (Lauren’s dream car) with a motley crew from the hostel and drove to a nearby beach where we boarded boats to check the penguin colonies. They were everything you could ever hope for in a penguin, cute, silly, tuxedo-wearing, clumsy little bird things. On the way back, we made lots of stops to take in beautiful views of the island. We ran into some cows on the road, found a cool cave on a beach, and ate the Chiloean version of rhubarb raw (it was yucky). We finished off the day reading and drinking maté in the sun-soaked top floor of the hostel, and cooked a delicious steamed clam spaghetti for dinner. It was an incredible way to capture the essence of Chiloe.