Chilling Out In Chiloé, Chile
I’ve been to Chile a few times now, but nothing ever surpasses that amazing feeling of flying in across the Andes mountain range. It’s stunning and you just know that what you are going to experience in Chile will be special.
I’d never even heard of Chiloé Island prior to this trip. No bucket list to tick, no expectations, just the excitement of heading somewhere new. And Chiloé didn’t disappoint. As tourism is yet to really kick off here our arrival into what is basically a very large shed for an airport, set the tone for the rest of the trip.
Chiloé and its people seem to live in a time gone by. They embrace the ‘new’ grass to plate phenomena, not because it’s now trendy, but because that’s the way they’ve always lived. Farming and seafood are the main sources of income and you see this everywhere you go. There’s sheep and cows on every farm, which cover the island, reminding me a little of Ireland. Green and wet!!! It was cold when we were there but luckily we also had sun, and lots of it! The smell of seafood never leaves, and the local markets are so interesting to wander through. Everyone has a smile and are more than happy to try their English out on us explaining their wares.
We were staying in the stunning Ochio Territorial Hotel. Built by hand by its owner, a labour of love for around 5 years. He and his family also live nearby on a farm, and he offers sunset cruises with wine and nibbles on the nights he’s around the area. Again, freezing but so beautiful.
Among other things, we experienced waterfalls, national park and beach hikes, stories of witches and their very strong history on the island, lunch at a local farm and probably the most outstanding was a BBQ cooked for us on our last night by the staff at our hotel. All done traditionally and with everyone pitching in to help. The food was out of this world with my favourites being at the lunches cooked for us by old Chilean woman who didn’t say much but smiled and smiled and smiled. I could eat and drink in this part of the world forever. There’s not one particular thing that stood out to me about Chiloé, it was just an overall feeling of being ‘away’. Completely separate from the modern world, high rises and technology. It’s a simple way of life focused on nature and great food. What more could you want?!