Chiloe, the second largest island in Latin America (after Tierra del Fuega), is south west of Puerto
Montt and contains the last 120 kilometer stretch of the Pan American Highway which originates in
Alaska and continues 16,000 miles to its end in Chiloe.
After our ferry ride to Chiloe on a small ferry, Jackie and I eagerly drove to the west side of the island
where we boarded a zodiak to go see the penguins.
On our third day in Chiloe, we drove to a national park where we hiked through the rain forest. Keep
in mind that the area we were visiting in Chile is at about the same latitude as where we live in Port
Angeles and the rain forest is a temperate rain forest. The one difference is that there is more rain in
their summer so that the vegetation is more lush and dense than on the Olympic Peninsula. So,
imagine our surprise when at the end of our hike we suddenly encountered a flock of parrots!
The penguins live on three small islands. This is the only place in the world where Magellanic and
Humbolt penguins live together. As we sat in the zodiac riding up and down in the white surf, we
delighted in watching the penguins come down to the ocean to go fishing. On land the penguins
were very awkward, and they were even challenged entering the rough surf.
After our visit to the penguins, we drove a short distance up a road to some cottages which sat on a
bluff with a view of the penguin islands. For $32, we rented a room with a magnificent view of the surf
and a path down to our own private beach. Only one other of the cottages was rented. There were a
couple young chefs from Argentina who took great delight in fixing us gourmet meals made to order
for $20 for the two of us.
The next morning we walked along the beach which met the rain forest (see below).