Frutillar & Castro (Chiloe)

Castro Travel Blog

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We decided that enough was enough in Puerto Varas and headed off up the coast of the lake through the town of Llanquihue (same as the lake) to Frutillar, where there is a museum for the German colonisation that happened in the 1850-1870 period.


The drive was again off-road but takes you past some beautiful old houses that must have been seriously impressive when they were built. They are old Victorian style houses looking onto the lake. Now rather run down though unfortunately.


There is not much to Frutillar. Looks like it should be quite fun in summer through as the entire town seems to be made up of hotels, the German museum and a brewery. Interesting combination. The German Colonisation museum does provide some interesting insight into the life of early settlers and what they had to go through to get there (they lost 2 of the original exploration party in the jungle while walking from Puerto Montt to Puerto Varas -  18km) and life once settled on their allotted farms. Kat bought a German book written by one of the settlers who was born in Chile in 1920 and about her family.


Next stop was Puerto Montt. By now the first of our bad weather on the trip had arrived, so there was no real point in getting out of the car and walking around. We went down to the extremely touristy area of Angelmo which is the local fish market and craft market. Had a lunch there that I would rather forget. Lets say I won’t be having calamari again on the trip.


We had thought of spending the night in Puerto Montt but decided to head on to the island of Chiloe. Not in our original plans, but plans are there to be changed, so on we went to meet up with a ferry to go across to the island.


At least all of the roads were tarred today which made the going smoother, but it was bucketing down with rain just to even things out. We got into Castro, which is the second biggest town in Chiloe, at about 5 and found a place after a little searching – called Hotel Unicornio Azul (blue unicorn), which is logically a luminous pink. Nice little spot overlooking the waterways. Castro is known (in Chile anyway) for it colourful houses which are built on stilts over the water, and Chiloe is renowned for its churches which are mostly still made of wood.


Interesting addition to the food we have had so far – salmon, fried in batter. Can’t say I have seen that anywhere else, but it was pretty good.

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photo by: polvandenwirre