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Ancud

Population: 27, 292 (2002 census)

Elevation: 374 feet (114 meters)

Telephone code: 65

Ancud is the first major population center (if you’re arriving in Chiloé from the Puerto Montt area, as most travelers do), and it generally fails to inspire visitors the way that Castro and the rest of the island do.

In fact, with much of its traditional Chilote architecture having been destroyed in a devastating 1960 earthquake—the strongest ever recorded in history and whose effects on Ancud are copiously documented by a photo exhibit in the highly recommended Museo Regional de Ancud—the island’s second-largest city lacks the “I’m not on the Chilean mainland anymore” charm that makes Chiloé a preferred destination for visitors. There are no palafitos hovering above the coastline, nor is there an impossibly charming 17th-century church (Ancud’s church was built in—gasp—1906). Many tourists are content to get their fill of Ancud from the window of a bus to Castro, or another more idyllic setting elsewhere on the island (of which there are many). If you have time to go further or you simply want to see all of Chiloé, you’ll find that Ancud does have redeeming qualities and attractions. The city is a convenient enough base from which at least the basics of Chiloé and its culture (and food) can be enjoyed. For those keen on exploring the local flora and fauna, Ancud is the main gateway to the Pinguinera Puñihuil, a breeding site for both Humboldt and Magellanic penguins, as well as to the northern access point of Chiloé’s national park. Fortunately for travelers, there is no shortage of accommodations in the city, especially toward the budget end of the spectrum—hotels between downtown Ancud and the Fuerte San Antonio have pleasing views of Ancud’s eye-catching coastline. This being Chiloé, culinary life orbits around seafood, and a mean curanto, as well as uncountable other seafood creations, can be had in hefty portions (and reasonable prices) at the cocinerías in the town market and elsewhere.

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Other places nearby Ancud: Quemchi, Castro, TenaĂşn, QuellĂłn, Dalcahue and Chonchi.







By Kevin Funk
Originally from the U.S., and now living in wondrously unique ValparaĂ­so, Chile, I've traveled extensively in Latin...
21 Aug 2009

Top Ancud Accommodation

Hostal Lluhay

With a welcome sign that has “B&B” translated into some 60 languages, Hostal LLuhay is nothing if not ambitious. The 20 well-appointed rooms, ranging from singles to mini-apartments (all with ...
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Hostal San José

Clean, homey, and with a view of Ancud from its hilltop location, Hostal San José is a solid budget option. A 10- or 15-minute walk from downtown in one direction, with the bus terminal in the ...
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Hotel Polo Sur

Polo Sur, a series of large, two-story, fully-equipped cabins, is a smart choice for families or other groups looking for apartment-style accommodations in town. The cabins are spacious and brightly ...
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Ancud, Chile
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