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Quellón, Where the Alaska Highway Ends

Quellón is Chiloé's southernmost city and the end of the Pan-American Highway (Ruta 5, paved all the way to Quellón) that departs Alaska and crosses the Americas. The economy of this city 258 km from Puerto Montt is based on salmon farming, as is apparent from the menus of the local restaurants. Quellón is also home to a couple of good hotels and tour operators who are always ready to help you explore its fascinating surroundings.

Start your visit at the Museo Inchin Cuivi An ("our past" in the Huilliche tongue), which will provide you with an overview of native culture, artifacts, watercraft and history. Note that it is only open during the summer months.

If you visit between November and March, start by hiring a guide to take you to the Golfo del Corcovado in search of the area's legendary blue whale.

Other boat tours will take you to the many nearby islets and seaside villages, where time seems to stand still and you can experience the tradition-steeped Chilota way of life. Isla Laitec is home to a beautiful, well-preserved church and remnants of ancient dwellings built by the Chono people.

Interested in taking a walk in one of the region's many spectacular forests? Visit Parque Tantauco, west of Quellón, one of the 25 most biologically diverse places on the planet and the ideal destination for hiking, fly fishing and wildlife observation.

And as the rain begins to fall over the ancient forest by the sea, you will understand why it is so hard to leave Chiloé...


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Best in Summer Safety Getting to Tantauco
December to March is the ideal time to visit Chiloé because the pleasant weather makes getting around easier on land and sea. Road travel and boating are difficult during the rainy winter months. In Quellón, like in many Chilean cities, is important to be careful when walking at night (specially along the shore). You can drive the 14 km to Tantauco's northern access point or take a boat from Quellón to Caleta Inio, the southernmost tip of Parque Tantauco. Be sure to reserve your seat in advance.


Lodging Options Honorable Mention Ferries
If you're interested in experiencing the Chilota way of life, forgo the hotel and rent a room from a local family. Lonely Planet named Chiloé one of the ten most interesting vacation destinations in the world in 2009. Ferries in Chiloé decrease their frequency after 00.00 hrs., but they work all night long.



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