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Chonchi - Cucao

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Discover Chonchi and Cucao, "The End of Christendom"

After seeing the sights of Castro -its spectacular wooden church, palafito houses, restaurants, museums and mythology- head south 20 km to Chonchi and from there to Cucao.

Located on the island's eastern coast, Chonchi is a small fishing town with a charming market and a restaurant on the bay. It was invaded by pirates centuries ago and operated as shipping port for exporting Chiloé cypress wood. Spanish colonists called this region "the end of Christendom" because it was from here that the Jesuit missionaries set out to evangelize the communities of nearby islets and regions to the south of Chiloé Island. These missionaries built the Church of San Carlos de Borroneo in Chonchi, one of 16 Chiloé churches that are collectively considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The locally run Living Museum of Chonchi Traditions houses exhibits that allow visitors to experience the Chiloé lifestyle up close.
After visiting Chonchi, you can head west along the shores of Lake Huillinco to the bay of Cucao. This was the place visited by Darwin in 1834 when he came to Chiloé aboard the Beagle. Cucao will surprise you with its endless beach, a peaceful and solitary spot that has the island's lush green foliage as a backdrop. This is a great place for exploring, enjoying a picnic, or just spending the day contemplating this beautiful corner of Chiloé.

From Cucao you can enter Chiloé National Park, which boasts eight hiking trails through leafy pristine forests that are home to over one hundred species of birds as well as the Chilean pudú deer and foxes.


Featured Destinations

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Getting There

By Bus
Leave Castro daily for Chonchi, where you can catch a bus to Cucao and to Chiloé National Park. These run every hour in the summer time.




Chiloé National Park Licor de Oro
If you're planning on exploring the park, don't forget to bring waterproof shoes and a rain jacket or poncho as it rains a lot here, even in the summer. Cucao is the last place to buy provisions, though they tend to be more expensive there than in Chonchi or Castro. The park building has information on flora and fauna as well as a small museum. Chonchi's "golden liquor," which is made from milk and alcohol, is one hundred percent local. In fact, it is only made in this one town. It is served as an aperitif in local restaurants and can be bought in markets all over Chiloé.


Shared taxis and buses leave Castro daily for Chonchi, where you can catch a bus to Cucao and to Chiloé National Park. These run every hour in the summer time.


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