Getting There & Around
By Bus -- You'll find the bus terminal at the corner of Esmeralda and Sotomayor. For buses to Dalcahue and Isla Quinchao, take Buses Arriagada, San Martín 681; for Dalcahue and Chonchi, take Colectivos from the Terminal Municipal; for Isla Lemuy, take Buses Gallardo from its office at San Martín 681; and for transportation to the national park, take Buses Arroyo or Buses Ojeda from the Terminal Municipal. The majority of these bus companies are independently owned and operated, so it's difficult to obtain reliable information about schedules and fares in advance. I recommend showing up at the terminal or checking at the tourist information kiosk to ask questions or book a tour.
By Car -- To get to Castro from Ancud, head south on the island's only highway for 146km (91 miles), and from Quellón, north on the highway for 99km (61 miles). The cheapest car rentals anywhere in Chiloé can be found at Salfa (Mistral 499; tel. 65/630422). Reserve well in advance, especially in the summer.
A new municipal tourism kiosk (no phone; daily 9am-6pm) on the main plaza offers a decent selection of brochures and tourist information, and the staff is fairly good at answering any questions on travel in Chiloé. There are also scale models of a handful of the area's UNESCO churches, which are an interesting diversion.
Special Events -- A weeklong gastronomic celebration takes place the third week in February, known as the Festival Costumbrista Chilote. If you like to eat, this enormous feast could very well be the highlight of your trip to Chiloé. The festival centers on traditional food and Chilote culture and mythological folklore, with men roasting meat over open fires and curanto simmering in grand cauldrons. Come hungry. For more information, call tel. 65/633760.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.