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Population: 4,589

Telephone code: 65

A charming traditional timber town with well-preserved architecture, intoxicatingly tranquil Chonchi is an ideal place to relax. The town has a solid array of attractions, dining and lodging options. Chonchi is also the traditional home of Chiloé’s unique licor de oro (gold liquor), a brandy-based concoction, which mixes milk, lemon rind and saffron—you have almost certainly never tried anything like it before. It can be had for $4 a bottle at the artisans’ market, next to the town’s fabulously bright yellow and sky-blue church, which itself is worth a visit.


Chonchi is easy to reach, since minibuses make the half-hour trip to and from Castro every 15 minutes during the day. The trip costs $1.15.



Clean and quiet, Hospedaje Skorpio (Irarrázabal 181, Tel: 56-65-671575) has rooms starting at $11, which includes breakfast. Ask for one with a view of the sea. No alcohol is allowed on the premises. Next to the Museo de las Tradiciones Chonchinas, Hotel Huildin (Centenario 102, Tel: 56-65-671388, is also a solid choice, with rooms from $11 in low season (or $14 with breakfast included), to $48 a night for a six-person cabin. All have private bathrooms, and parking is available.



Perched above the water at the end of Chonchi’s new central market, Ballena Azul offers attractive views and reasonably priced lunch menus and pizzas (try one with a seafood topping for $6.50). The restaurant accepts both U.S. dollars and euros. For cheaper, simpler and faster fare, including empanadas and fried chicken, head to Picá El Chanchito (Centenario 211).




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

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

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