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Isla de los Lobos - Hiking Los Vilos - Chile

Walking through the hilly pastures on the way to the Isla de los Lobos, you may think that it’s sheep making the cries you hear off in the distance, but it’s something far more sinister. It’s the lobos—the wolves. Or rather, it is a colony of approximately 1,500 lobos marinos (sea lions) that have confined themselves to a tiny island off the rocky shoreline 5 kilometers south of Los Vilos.


You can access this island in several ways. Jeeps are available for hire from town, but you can also take a hike along the seaside cliffs where cactuses grow along the shoreline and marine workers bundle cochayuyo—an edible type of seaweed that’s dried and often sautéed. Be warned, however, if you choose to walk, that parts of the path are littered with trash and various marine cast-off, so it’s not a hike that is for everyone. The views, on the other hand, are fantastic—a long stretch of green hills along the coast with the Andes poking through in the distance—and for most of the year you’ll have the countryside completely to yourself.

Los Vilos, Chile


Getting There
Walking directions: from the Plaza de Armas, and take Calle Elicura away from town until it becomes a dirt road.

Travel Tips: Leave early in the day, especially in winter, to avoid being caught in the deserted countryside as darkness falls.

Travel Skills: beginner/easy.

You Need to Bring: Food and water

By Lauren Yero
I am a recent liberal arts graduate who travels as a compulsion. I have lived in several regions of the US as well as briefly abroad in England and...
07 Jul 2009

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