I was in the arse end of nowhere on the arse end of an island with an arse end of a rental car. Arse. Only one thing to do ROAD TRIP!
Here’s the best way to backpack Chiloé Island. I called 13 Lunas in Ancud my home here after stepping off the coach from Puerto Montt, and it is a home. A home from home. It has huge lounges, a massive kitchen and apple orchard garden where I TRX’d and scoffed the apples in between sets.
I found the people working here, mainly backpackers, very relaxed and sociable. Being in the middle of no where I reckon it takes a certain type of person to backpack down here. They’re normally friendly, much more intelligent than myself and generally a pleasure to chill out with.
I rallied three other travellers to my cause and we spent three days road tripping this funky little island, I was driving and I was in control of the tunes. Alright!
My quick 3 day road trip guide:
Punihuil, to see the little penguins via a boat ride. They were quality fellas and the beach itself is rather nice, reminded me a little of Brighton strangely enough. It was a beautiful coastal drive with small little cafés to stop at along the way. Give me a golden retriever and I’d have lived out here.
We then headed down and round the coast passing Chepu eco lodge and onto Quemchi. Quemchi was a tiny little town close to the main attraction we were looking for called Isla Aucar. It was a church on an island, a green church like a goblin lived in it. If it is was night here Blair Witch project would eat their heart out. It was great for unusual pics and the coast line was lined with many a fresh ceviche bowl served by little locals.
We blasted down to Dalcahue. Ceviche here was off the hook! There was Salmon, white fish and mixed on offer for close to £2 a bowl. I had to nail about 4 to try them all. From here we then caught the ferry over to Isla Quinchao and to the view point for some cheeky photos in golden hour. After an emergency espresso, I’d been on the booze the night before, it was the long drive home. The roads were easy to travel, simply long and straight making them monotonous.
It was R.kelly on the beats and knuckling down for a 2hr 30min straight road ride south to the capital Castro. It was a busy place and there were some cool photo ops along the way, like the houses in water built on stilts, the things you snap travelling ey! We found a wicked café looking over the water in the main town centre to relax for a while. It was kinda cool parking up and strolling around seeing the difference in culture but I didn’t think anything much of the place. Although I did stock up on some wheatgrass tablets, which was a big win and unexpected.
- Hire a car and drive the entire island day by day
- Stay in 13 Lunas hostel opposite the bus station called Trece Lunas
- Enjoy the apple garden in the hostel, I found it perfect for little workouts
- Drive to Pinguineras for the bay views, quaint town and penguin boat ride
- Head to Quemchi, visit the town and drive round to the church on the island called Isla Aucar
- Check out Dalcahue and the island next to it Curaco
- Head into the main city Castro for more shops and to see the stilted houses
- Use the main road that runs from north to south as your root and branch off to visit places
- Arrive here via ferry from Puerto Montt
- Go further down than Castro unless you want to camp or want to head south via the bottom of the island
- Visit here if you are pushed for time there are better places such as Pucon north and Patagonia south
- Stay more than 3/4 days
I thought this island was weird but wonderful in its own way. The little villages and mental church buildings everywhere give it a charm. I was heading south to Patagonia from here and decided to stock up on food and utensils as the place was cheap in comparison to Puerto Natales.
Tips for healthy eats
How to get meat for that protein hit
- Pre-cooked chickens from the supermarket were my staple on evenings.
- Breakfast was a huge omelette and oats after a workout and shake.
- For the road trip, nuts, fruits, tuna along with grabbing a couple of snacks of ceviche in the small fishing villages.
Where to exercise
If you stay in13 Lunas the garden is perfect but I did enjoy running along the coast of the island where there’s seats for dips and the odd place to do pull-ups. I felt like rocky running around this town, it even rained one night. I mean just grab the camera and roll a slow mo.