After our failed attempt to visit Chiloé island during the pandemic in 2020 we gave it another try in December 2021. This time we had no problems to reach the island and to move into our El Palafito cabin which is beautifully located at the entrance of the Paildad sound. The terrace of the cabin allows to observe the wildlife along the beach and in the sea. We really enjoyed long beach walks and the continuously changing light. Our excursions brought us to many of the famous Churches of Chiloé, the Chiloé National Park and the Chaiguata sector of the Tantauco Park.
One highlight of our trip clearly was that we spotted our very first Pudú on the way out from the Tantauco Park. A mother with her little one was hiding in the dense scrub next to the road. Fortunately, they were not too afraid and we could observe them for a while before they disappeared into the dense vegetation.
After we had celebrated New Year’s Eve with fresh Choros mussels we left Chiloé island to spend a few more days near Puelo on the mainland. Our Nutrias Patagónicas cabin was right at the Puelo Chico river. We relaxed one day at the Termas del Sol thermal ponds near Puelo. On the next day we wanted to cross the Tagua Tagua lake to explore the upper Puelo river valley, but the few small ferries had not enough capacity for all the cars that were already queueing in the early morning. Instead we went to visit the Hornopirén National Park and drove the northern Carretera Austral (or Ruta 7) until its southern end in Hualaihue. On the way back home to Santiago we visited for the first time the Chaicas sector of the Alerce Andino National Park with nice views along the Lenca river and an impressive some 2500-year old Patagonian Cypress called the Alerce Milenario.