Previously difficult to access and lacking infrastructure, Chepu, the northern sector of Parque Nacional Chiloé, 38km southwest from Ancud, remains Chiloé's sanctuary of pristine beauty. Arriving here gives you a sense of discovery. You'll find stunning coastline, gorgeous rivers and 128 bird species. While totally untapped by mass tourism thus far, the recent paving of 5km of the road from Ruta 5 suggests it might not stay this way forever.
Chepu's masterpiece is a breathtaking spot overlooking the confluence of three rivers and 140 sq km of sunken forest (a phenomena created by by the 1960 Valdivia earthquake, which sunk the ground some 2m, allowing salt water to enter the area and kill the trees) – best seen at dawn on a serene kayak trip originally dreamed up Fernando Claude and Amory Uslar, two delightful, forward-thinking Santiago escapees who pioneered ecotourism in the area. Bring supplies – Chepu is rural!