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Introducing Castro

Using some poetic license here, if there is one place to call Chiloé cosmopolitan, it's Castro, where all the idiosyncrasies and attractions of Chiloé are nicely packaged in the Big City. At times loud and boisterous like some working class towns in Mexico, the capital of the archipelago somehow retains its local Chilote character side by side with a dash of modern development (a new megamall raised all sorts of eyebrows) and comfortable tourism infrastructure. Just 85km south of Ancud, it is located in the dead center of the island, making it the main transportation hub and a perfect base for exploring attractions further afield, and sits on a bluff above its sheltered estuary lined with distinctive palafito houses.

The earthquake in 1960 destroyed the port, the railway, the town hall as well as some palafitos, but Castro rebounded and turned itself into an easily digestible destination that's easily navigable on foot. Perhaps the greatest single attraction is simply walking down the streets and around the central plaza, soaking up all of Castro's curious energy.