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!

 A map of the island and the only directions we had for the day

A map of the island and the only directions we had for the day

 The wonderul trees of the  Chiloén National Park

The wonderul trees of the Chiloén National Park

 Full head of hair on this tree!

Full head of hair on this tree!

 How could this all exist in one park?

How could this all exist in one park?

 All of the different little towns had a plethora of incredibly colorful boats!

All of the different little towns had a plethora of incredibly colorful boats!

 One of the famous churches in  Chiloé. 

One of the famous churches in Chiloé. 

 Inside the church

Inside the church

 A nice cozy cup of coffee

A nice cozy cup of coffee

 We cooked these and bought them fresh off the beach!

We cooked these and bought them fresh off the beach!

 And the final, delicious product!

And the final, delicious product!

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. 

 SO MANY PENGUINS!

SO MANY PENGUINS!

 Our leeeetle penguin friend Peeeeta!

Our leeeetle penguin friend Peeeeta!

 The sun is blinding!

The sun is blinding!

 The whip

The whip

 Yummy home-cooked meal #2!

Yummy home-cooked meal #2!

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