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Chilean Lake District (south): Discover the traditions of Chiloe island

Discover the traditions of Chiloe island

Steeped in rural traditions and unique island folklore,the island of Chiloé is one of the richest examples of Patagonian culture and a fascinating complement to the region’s more famous natural attractions.

You travel to the island by road and local ferry. Head inland through rugged mountainous terrain to the port of Dalcahue where there's a handicraft fair selling souvenirs and the thick woollen clothing you’ll see all over the island.

An unmissable stop is Chiloé’s capital, Castro, which has a long history and a photogenic waterfront lined with brightly painted palafito homes hovering over the lake on wooden stilts. Visit the town’s market and distinctive shale churches with their surprisingly Nordic aspect.

You can visit Chiloé on a day trip from Puerto Varas or Puerto Montt, but longer trips can be arranged with the option of staying at a family home. This extended option offers you the opportunity to taste a traditional curanto stew. It's feast of shellfish, meat, potatoes and vegetables all cooked on top of red-hot stones buried in the earth. As well as absorbing the mix of flavours, you will share in the famed hospitality of Chiloé and be part of the timeless ritual of the meal's preparation.

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