Q: How do lambs say “Merry Christmas in Chiloé?”
A: “¡Fleece Navidad!”
Okay, sorry for the corny joke (I’m actually not- I’m a total sucker for dumb jokes like that), it was just a silly way for me to start talking about my trip to Chiloé!
Chiloé consists of several islands off the mainland in southern Chile. In contrast to Santiago, there’s lots of greenery, animals (besides the usual dogs and pigeons in Santiago) and fresh air. I took this trip through my IES program, so the best part about this trip was that I had to do absolutely no planning ahead of time! Every detail of the trip had already been thoughtfully planned out by the awesome IES staff, and all I had to do was show up and enjoy.
Getting to Chiloé is a little complicated (another reason I’m glad I went with IES), but after taking a plane, a bus, a ferry, and then bus again, we finally arrived in Puñihuil to eat lunch, play on the beach, and take a boat tour to see PENGUINS!!!
This was my first time seeing penguins just livin’ there real life and not inside a zoo! We also saw some other cool animals on the tour like a little sea otter and plenty of other birds.
That night we went to a beautiful restaurant where we had a delicious 3 course meal. As college students used to traveling on a budget, none of us were accustomed to eating so well on trips, so we all enjoyed our meals immensely.
There was also a lovely dessert that night- some kind of ice cream with fig and toasted wheat- but I scarfed it down without remembering to take a picture!
The next day was by far my favorite because we got to visit a sheep farm! Talk about animal therapy, the whole day I got to cuddle little lambs, puppies, a llama, and more! We had such a great time spending the day with Don Luis, the owner of the farm, and getting to learn about the animals, the land, and his family.
That evening we went to a beautiful beach to enjoy the sunset, and I absolutely got my fill of snapping sunset shots with my camera!
That night we stayed in a gorgeous hostel with floor to ceiling windows that give a magnificent view of Lake Cucao. The best part of the night, though, was stargazing on the dock. There is something magical, inspirational, and very humbling about looking at the stars. Because we were so isolated and the sky was so clear, it was like I could see every single star out there- I even saw a shooting star!
On the last day we went to a beach with wild horses and learned about all the legends and myths of Chiloé. After walking around the beautiful beach and a national park, it was time to head home. We made a quick stop at an artisan fair where I bought some souvenirs, and then we reluctantly left that beautiful island.
Chiloé was definitely an unforgettable trip! The more I visit different places in Chile, the more I am in awe of the diverse beauty this country has to offer. I can’t say it enough that I am so thankful to have these opportunities. Big shout out to my awesome parents- thanks for letting your daughter wander around South America for 5 months, I am absolutely having the time of my life.