Day 3: Castro to Quellón (41 miles)
Start the day with a tour of the island’s largest market, the waterfront Mercado Artesanal de Castro, where salmon ceviche with red peppers makes for a spicy breakfast and the best finds (sheep’s-wool sweaters and knitted slippers) are on display in the Calle Lillo stalls. Those looking for a contemporary-art fix, however, should take a detour to nearby MAM-Museo de Arte Moderno Chiloé (Parque Municipal de Castro; 56-65/635-454; mamchiloe.cl), housed in a shingled farmhouse also restored in part by Rojas, who happens to be the museum’s codirector. His vibrant collages incorporating photographs of Marilyn Monroe hang in a spartan gallery space alongside paintings and prints by other Chilote artists.
Next up? The route’s southernmost stop on the island, Quellón. Be on the lookout for blue whales in the Corcovado Gulf before grabbing lunch at El Madero (430 Calle Ramón Freire; 56-65/681-330; lunch for two $41), a laid-back Italian spot that serves grilled salmon and steak fillets in a sunroom connected to a private house. Once you’ve taken in the views of the countryside, make your way north to Espejo de Luna (Km 35, Camino Queilen; 56-91/458-933; espejodeluna.cl; doubles from $260), an eight-room hotel with a main lodge built from the island’s oak and cypress trees in the shape of a shipwreck, on seven acres dotted with sheep and ducks. After grilled island hake with pepper sauce and potato purée at the second-floor restaurant, ride the property’s funicular to the viewing platform set above the myrtle forest to see the galaxies of austral stars reflected in the Pacific.
T+L Tip: If you plan to travel within Chile, consider the LAN South American AirPass, available to international LAN travelers who book at least three domestic flights. Fares on internal routes, including Santiago to Puerto Montt, may be reduced by up to 33 percent.