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Tour's duration: 9 days- 8 nights
Total drive distance: about 1.150 km
Best months to travel: November to April
Visiting: Lake crossing the Andes road - Puerto Varas - Chiloé: Ancud - Quemchi Castro - Dalcahue - Curaco de Velez - Achao - Chonchi - Cucao - Quellón - Puerto Montt - Andes crossing through land by car- Bariloche
Price: contact us
Heading to the west of Bariloche, embarking in Puerto Pañuelo and entering the Nahuel Huapi National Park, we will "navigate" through the Andes Cordillera through the Nahuel Huapi, Frías and Todos los Santos lakes, crossing to Chile through the border pass "Vicente Pérez Rosales" , going through the customs in the Peulla settlement. Driving and navigating through a typical Valdiviana forest, immersed in this green tones of pristine wilderness with exuberant vegetation, photographing the magnificent views of the volcanos Osorno, Puntiagudo, Calbuco and the Mount Tronador, arriving Puerto de Petrohué, at the foot of the Osorno volcano. Our crossing continues along the Petrohue waterfalls, place where water flows in torrents jumping over huge rocks of crystallized lava. Driving along Llanquihue lake , we arrive to a comfortable hotel at Puerto Varas town.
Continuing our journey toward Chiloé island, we arrive at Pargua, last continental point and ferry station, crossing the strait to Ancud, city founded in 1765 as port and fortress to protect the traffic coming from Cape Horn. We visit the San Antonio fortress built in 1770, at the port we board a fish boat and join the local people when collecting the jaivas (crabs) cages, that were left there the day before in the bay area. We can take magnificent photographs of the laborious and intense work of the fishermen. The big Chiloé island, from San Carlos port in Ancud and southwards the coast line, gave man rich coast land and fertile land. So it is not by chance that these towns have been founded and developed in the coast. Great part of its food comes from the sea. Fish and shellfish complemented by agricultural products -as the potatoes, green groceries produced by the gardens, the sheep, the crafts- are the bases for its subsistence. We will drive through Quemchi, Tenaún, Dalcahue, Castro, Chonchi, Queilen, Quellón, central settlements established at the end of the thick, humid forest, around their churches, build in wood and shingles by the Jesuits. These churches more than 200 years old, with varied colors and beautiful shapes, stand up like holly ships been stranded in the centuries. Its crosses served as a watchman to the soul or a protective lighthouse for the intrepid chilotes marines.
It seem that in the everyday routine is the secret of the truth, and we will witnesses that cotidian: the arrival of the local men to the market in their colorful rowboats, in the piers filled with birds as demanding its food, fish and shellfish in baskets, vegetables, wool and blankets, giving way to an inescapable cycle scented by exchange, until the tide permits the boats float again to those endless roads to the open sea. We take pictures of their typical houses with walls and roofs of larch shingles and their palafites houses - settlements on the coast line built on wooden posts - conceived like a cultural solution to undertake to the hostile nature that surrounds them. A world built in wood that did not left need without form. Joints and hewn shapes, show the skill and culture of the men from Chiloé, nourished by its forests of luma, mañio, alerce and cypress. On the coastal village of Castro, the Palafites look like birds with long legs expecting the sea tide like a clock to announce the feeding time.
On our crossing through the Grande island, we will drive to the Chiloé National Park, up to a small river port of Cucao, by the Pacific coast, place of extensive white sand beach, that visited Darwin in 1834. There we will find the last samples of larch trees and a forest of Guaitecas cypress declared "Sanctuary of Nature". We may take photographs of other trees such as: tepas, ciruelillos, olivillos, canelos, tepuales and mañíos, also an extensive fauna:the chilote fox, pudú (small indigenous deer), marsupials such as weasel and mountain monkey, seals more than hundred species of birds among them petrels, and garza cuca.
The richness of its vernacular vocabulary shows its knowledge of the sea, the beach. The nature, trees, fish and birds, will be the indicators of the weather, of the winds or the rain. The traveler will realize that the scientific yields giving way to the practical knowledge of the chilote people. Words and wisdom will give account of an allied man with the signs of this nature. The chilote man interacts with his surroundings facing his destiny. From the forest will take the wood to build its dwelling, barbadepalo to stain his wool or the hazel tree bark for its embarkation, the chungas or the firewood that maintains lit during all the day in his kitchen or hearth. A great deal to look at, to photograph, capture and learn from their believes, customs, a small world inside the world, where survive the legends, the myths and the superstitions, of their cosmos where the endless machinery of the universe appear: the positive and the negative, represented in Chiloé by the titanic fight between the sea and the land.
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