ExperiencePlus! - Bicycle Tours since 1972

Travel Stories

Chiloé Island: A Cultural Oasis in Patagonia

by ExperiencePlus! - Monday, October 3, 2011 banner_patagonia

Winter is just around the corner for all of us who live in North America, which means that summer is just around the corner in Patagonia’s Lakes District in Argentina and Chile. Join us this December, January, or February to explore the adjoining countries and pedal over the (low) Andes and through the majestic Lakes District of northern Patagonia. You’ll wind your way through the region’s distinct volcanoes and on our extension visit one of our favorite destinations –  Chiloé Island. Chiloé is slowly earning recognition as a unique cultural oasis at the tip of Chile, and on the Plus! Chiloé bike tour you’ll spend three days exploring this special island by, bike, boat, and even a walk in the woods.

Immersed in this island’s culture, you’ll have the opportunity to stay in a stilt hotel, have a special curanto (clam bake) lunch on a farm, and feast on empanadas and a traditional meal prepared by the indigenous community. Chiloé is home to rare Magellan and Humbolt penguins colonies that nest together; we’ll take a boat ride and visit the colony.  Back in town you’ll be intrigued by the distinctive wooden churches that have been recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Chiloé was in fact the last part of Chile to remain a Spanish colony as it was inhabited by Jesuits during the new world colonization, but was isolated from the revolutions on the mainland that destroyed many of the native cultures , leaving it with a rich combination of native mythology and Catholic traditions.  Join us to bicycle Patagonia this winter and be sure to stay a few extra days and explore this special island!  We have confirmed departures in December and January.

To see some photos, check out the  Bicycling Patagonia’s Lakes District Plus! the Island of Chiloé photo gallery and if you need further inspiration here’s a recap of the highlights!

Bicycling Patagonia’s Lakes District Highlights:

  • Cross the Andes twice: Once by boat across the lakes to Bariloche and then by bike around the lakes and over the Andean Continental Divide (one of the lower passes in northern Patagonia!)
  • Soak in thermal pools at Termas de Puyehue
  • Raft the Petrohue River, Chile
  • Waterfalls and Lake Llanquihue
  • Osorno and Calbuco Volcanoes
  • Puerto Varas a small town on the edge of Lake Puyehue

Plus! Chiloé Island Highlights:

  • Fabulous cycling on Chiloé Island
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Walk in one of Chile’s first national parks, Chiloé National Park
  • Boat ride to see rare Magellan and Humboldt penguins
  • Fresh Seafood
  • Curanto lunch on the island – typical Chilote “clam bake”
  • Lunch in a Chilote indigenous community with empanadas prepared by locals, traditional lamb roast