In this post we provide information on how to get from Coyhaique to Chiloe, towns to visit in Chiloe, and how to get to Puerto Montt from Castro. All costs also included.
“Will there be any fireworks by the pier tonight?”
“Fireworks? No, no celebration”
We spent 3 days total on the island of Chiloe. We weren’t sure whether we wanted to visit the island or to head directly to the Lake District but after talking to different travelers, including one who mentioned she ate the best ceviche in her life, Chiloe seemed to be worth a visit.
The journey to Chiloé is as enjoyable as visiting the island itself.
Chiloe is muy tranquilo. There is not much to do but you can eat delicious ceviche in Castro! We figured it would be nice to spend the New Year’s here.
How to get from Puerto Rio Tranquilo to Chiloe
The journey was longer than expected but it allowed us to see splendid landscapes.
There’s a lot of traveling to do from Puerto Rio Tranquilo to Chiloe.
The route was as follows – see below for more information:
- Bus from Puerto Rio Tranquilo to Coyhaique (overnight in Coyhaique)
- Bus from Coyhaique to Puerto Cisnes (overnight in Puerto Cisnes)
- Boat from Puerto Cisnes to Quellon (overnight in Quellon)
- Bus from Quellon to Castro
You can book a ferry ride from Coyhaique to Quellon, Chiloé with Naviera Austral. It is much cheaper to travel to Quellon than to Castro. The ferry to Castro only operates on certain days and it fills up quickly so either book ahead or allow yourself extra days in Coyhaique, if needed.
Another option is to buy the boat ticket from Puerto Cisnes to Quellon, Chiloé, the price is 10,450 CHP (USD $15).
Bus from Coyhaique to Puerto Cisnes
Puerto Cisnes is about three hours from Coyhaique. Daily buses from Coyhaique run at 16h (4pm) and 17h (5pm). We stayed overnight in Puerto Cisnes and caught the boat to Quellon the next day at 11 am. The bus ride costs 6,000 CHP per person, USD $9. There’s also a great grocery store next to the bus station with delicious warm bread and a deli section.
The ferry is a three level boat with a deck. Seating area is on the second floor with a small cafe selling food, drinks and snacks (though a bit overpriced). The boat is very comfortable and clean. We made one stop on a colorful island before getting to Quellon close to midnight.
How to Get Around Chiloe
Once in Quellon, you can catch a local bus to Castro – the bus station is walking distance from the pier. Price per person is 1,700 CHP (USD $2.50)
Once in Castro, you can visit the town by foot. There are restaurants, bar, supermarkets but everything was pretty empty, most likely due to New Year’s.
Where to Stay in Coyhaique, Chiloe – Hotels in Castro
We stayed one night in Coyhaique before boarding the bus to Puerto Cisnes the next day. We stayed at Hostal Maria Ester in Coyhaique, walking distance from the bus terminal.
We had a delicious parilla (barbecue) meal at Carnes Queulat (27,000CHP with wine – USD $40) and even had leftovers for the next day. After this amazing meal, we got locked out of our hotel and one of us had to climb to our room window (on the 1st floor) and then we got yelled at by our room neighbor…but that’s another story.
Where to Stay in Puerto Cisnes, Chiloe – Hotels in Puerto Cisnes
The next night was spent in Puerto Cisnes at Restaurant y Residencial Panchita, clean, family b&b along the water. Walking distance from the boarding area. A private room with shared bath cost 16,000 CHP (USD $24) and breakfast included.
Where to Stay in Quellon – Hotels in Puerto Cisnes
We spent one night in Quellon before heading to Castro the next morning. We found refuge at Hotel y Hosteria Quellon, though their entrance sign says “Hotel Melimoyu”. The hotel is located right across the pier. Not too far of a walk when you get off the boat at midnight. Price per night for a private room with private bath: 15,000 (USD $22) with breakfast included.
Where to Stay in Castro, Chiloe – Hotels in Castro
In Castro, we opted to stay at Hostal Maria Borquez (17,500CHP for a private room with shared bath), a ten minute walk from the palafitos. Hostels on stilts are more expensive than the ones in the town center.
Things To Do in Castro, Chiloe – Activities in Castro, Chiloe
The town is small and can be discovered entirely by foot. People like to stay in hotels on stilts, called palafitos. They are a bit more expensive than other hostels and are a bit further out of town but offer a nice view of the river.
You can also do a scenic tour on a boat around the lake.
There is also delicious ceviche at the market by the pier. It is fresh, tasty and inexpensive. Best time to come is in the morning time when fishermen get back. We went around noon and there was not much left though we were able to indulge in delicious mussels and sea urchin ceviche.
From Castro to Puerto Montt
Next stop was the Lake District! But before that, we had to go to Puerto Montt in order to rent a car. There are buses almost every hour from Castro to Puerto Montt and the journey takes a few hours. Price is 6,000 CHP per person (USD $9)
What else did you do in Castro or Chiloe? Share your adventures with us! We love to hear from you!