Castro, Chile

Castro is a rather pleasant place to wander around by foot for half a day exploring, particularly on a sunny day. On Chiloe Island, it is Chile’s third oldest city, dating from 1576, and home to 40,000 people.

It made a colourful impression from the start with the striking green seaweed by the boat ramp contrasting with the still early morning water.

It was also my first sighting of the Palafitos, wooden buildings on stilts, that Castro is famous for. There were a few by the boat ramp and two other main areas to the east and south-west, all evocative and practical, with the stilts fully on display at low tide. There used to be many more, but most were destroyed in an earthquake in 1960.

There were other examples of striking architecture in the cladding of these wooden homes, and the colour of this hotel!

The south-east corner was a great spot to look out over the passage leading to the Palafitos, with people out collecting shell fish I presume.

Iglesia San Francisco is another striking yellow church (also found one in Puerto Montt), an example of a number of wooden churches on the island, the rest accessible by tour / taxi or model in the Castro visitor centre.

This region of Chile is home to one of my favourite trees, the wonderfully named Monkey Puzzle Tree.

Plazuela del Tren was a small plaza with a few old steam engines / trains, with the under construction giant shopping mall at the top of the hill something of a future city landmark.

My final stop for the morning was a lookout over the city, with the view below toward the east showing the area in the distance where Palafitos can be found, and in the foreground the extensive Cementerio Parroquial, which was worth an explore. Note on the left edge the sizeable circus tent erected right outside the cemetery!

Departing Castro by water was also pretty scenic…

Author: jontycrane

4 thoughts on “Castro, Chile

  1. The cemetery looks like a small city from afar! Monkey puzzle tree is wonderful. What interesting tufts of fruit? Magnificent wooden church! A beautiful tour, thank you 😊

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