I am writing this entry from my hostel in Ancud, Chiloe, where I’ve settled in about 1 hour ago. As you might have know from my Upcoming Travels article, I have taken 2 days off work to have an extensive bank holiday break and discover a part of Chile I have been longing to see for a while: the islands of Chiloe. Armed only with my travel guide and my backpack, I started my first ever solo adventure this morning, at 6 AM, in Santiago.
To head to the airport, I took metro Line 1 to Los Heroes and then climbed on the Centropuerto bus – in my opinion the best way to get to Santiago airport!
My flight landed in Puerto Montt at 10:40 and by 11:00 – I was out and ready to go!
I was to have a bit of an adventure today as, in preparation for my trip to Bolivia next month, I have been trying for about 2 months to get my hands on a yellow fever jab, apparently a very rare breed in Chile. After phoning up clinics in Santiago for about FOREVER; I thought yesterday that I’d take a chance on the clinics around Puerto Montt. After a few unsuccessful calls, I managed to get an appointment at a little clinic in Puerto Varas which somehow had it in stock and booked me in for the next day. This is how Puerto Varas was last-minutedly added as a stop to my itinerary!
To get there, I first took a bus to Puerto Montt terminal and straight away jumped on one of the many blue town buses that go to Puerto Varas and the surroundings. By 12, we had reached destination, and since I was only scheduled in for 3:30PM, I had the opportunity to visit the city.
Starving, I took a look in my guide and headed to La Gringa cafe, to enjoy a pulled pork sandwich with homemade fries. The atmosphere was lovely, and so was the food as well as the service. I ended packing half of my sandwich and a chocolate muffin for later. I then followed the Paseo Patrimonial thanks to a map that had been given to me at the airport. This itinerary takes you around the sights in town, which a nice lake-side walk, the city cathedral and many German-style historical houses (Puerto Varas and Patagonia in general received many German immigrants and keeps a proud German heritage up to today).
These are a few photos from my little tour:
Sadly, I wasn’t very lucky with the weather as it was drizzling more often that not, not making up for the best photos. But I enjoyed Puerto Varas and as I visited during a winter week, it felt old and sleepy, preparing me for what I expect Chiloe to be like too!
After my vaccine, I hopped on a bus back to Puerto Montt terminal and then was lucky to have a bus for Ancud, Chiloe, ready to leave and take me onboard straight away. After a 2 hours ride (including a ferry), I was dropped off in the city of Ancud, North of the island, and walked 10 minutes in the quiet and already dark streets, to reach my hostel: el Submarino Amarillo. It is Beatles inspired, of course, and quite cozy. I soon realized that there wasn’t anyone else here tonight, so had a chat with the owner in which he explained what to do and he even helped plan the rest of my stay! He said I couldn’t go see the pinguins tomorrow though, since they’re probably not there… But I’ll ask in town as well just to be sure.
For dinner, I warmed up the rest of my lunch sandwich, and took a wander to a bakery to sample some of the famous Chiloe treats for dessert. Since then, I’ve been nestled up by the burner in the common area, writing this, listening to the occasional rain drops on the window and discussing Chilotan myths with the hosts, inspiring a potential article…
Cost break down for the day:
- Centropuerto Bus to the airport: CLP 1800
- Airport bus from Puerto Montt airport to P. Montt Bus station: CLP 2500
- Return local bus Puerto Montt – Puerto Varas: CLP 1800
- Lunch + Muffin at La Gringa Cafe: CLP 7800
- Bus Puerto Montt – Ancud: CLP 4000
- Night at the Submarino Amarillo Hostel: CLP 9000
- Pastry: CLP 450
Total: CLP 27350 – £32 – $42 (28/06/2018 conversion rates)
Impressions so far:
- People have been really nice to me all day – it started with the tourism office lady at the airport, she was so happy to hand me maps and info it got me even more excited to start my visit. Then, at the bus terminal, I asked a popcorn vendor where I could find a bus and even though it was actually behind me, she answered with the biggest smile and seemed really happy to help. The people at the clinic also went out of their way to help me finally get my jab and finally, the man who sat next to me on the bus to Chiloe was really keen to talk about the island and to know more about me. It really feels like I’ve just come out of a big city where everyone is so rushed and landed in a place where people are more relaxed!
- As expected, the weather has not been nice, and that’s not expected to change… I normally am a summer all the way girl and can honestly spend countless hours tanning on the beach, but I feel like experimenting Chiloe/Patagonia in this weather so far has made it feel even more charming and “real” – after all, it rains on average EVERYDAY in Chiloe so I know I’m getting an authentic experience.
- I’ve actually enjoyed being alone so far, I was able to go at my own pace, spend exactly what I felt comfortable with. It also feels like I am connecting with locals more than I would if in a group!
Overall – Day 1 has been a Success! I hope you will enjoy this article, and as always, I’d love to know what you thought. Have a lovely Friday, and keep an eye out for tomorrow’s post! xx