Introduction

Running back from the pounding Pacific coastline, and over extensive stands of native evergreen forest, the 430-sq-km Parque Nacional Chiloé is located only 30km west of Chonchi and 54km west of Castro. The park teems with Chilote wildlife, ranging from 110 different types of bird, to foxes and the reclusive pudú (the world's smallest deer), which inhabits the shadowy forests of the contorted tepú tree. Within the park and situated along the eastern perimeter are a number of Huiliche indigenous communities, some of which are involved with the management of campsites within the park.

Visitors are at the mercy of Pacific storms, so expect lots of rain. The mean annual rainfall at Cucao, the park's main epicenter near the southern Chanquín sector, is 2200mm, and anyone planning more than an hour-long walk should have water-resistant footwear, woolen socks and a decent rain jacket. Insect repellent is not a bad idea either.