Chiloé

Chiloé is both an archipelago of islands in southern Chile, and the largest island in the archipelago. It is known for its stunning natural beauty, unique culture, and distinct architectural style, with colorful houses built on stilts, and 16 historical, wooden churches that are recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The wooden churches of Chiloé are a remarkable example of the fusion of European and indigenous Chono culture. They were built in a distinctive architectural style known as “Chilota” or “Mestizo Baroque,” by Jesuit missionaries and Spanish colonists during the 17th and 18th centuries as part of the effort to Christianize the indigenous Chilote population. Some of the notable architectural features of these churches include shingled facades, steeply pitched roofs, intricate woodwork, and a combination of Christian and indigenous symbolism. The most famous of the 16 wooden churches are the Church of San Francisco in Castro, the Church of Santa María de Loreto in Achao, and the Church of Nuestra Señora de Gracia in Rilán.

In addition to the historical churches, Chiloé offers numerous opportunities for outdoor activities, including hiking, kayaking, and boating. Visitors can explore the archipelago’s beautiful landscapes, fjords, beaches, and its vibrant flora and fauna that thrives due to the temperate and rainy climate.


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