Chiloé Island

Chiloé Island

Chiloé Island is the largest island of the Chiloé Archipelago in the Los Lagos Region and the second-largest island in South America after Tierra del Fuego. In part because of its physical isolation from the rest of Chile, Chiloé has a very special architecture and local culture. The Spanish who arrived in the 16th century, and Jesuit missionaries who followed, constructed hundreds of unique wooden churches in an attempt to bring Christianity to the archipelago. The result was a mixing of Catholicism and indigenous Chilean beliefs.

Chiloé Island and the Chonos Archipelago are a southern extension of the Chilean coastal range, which runs north and south, parallel to the Pacific coast and the Andes Mountains. The Chilean Central Valley lies between the coastal mountains and the Andes, of which the Gulfs of Ancud and Corcovado form the southern extension. Mountains run north and south along the spine of the island. The east coast is deeply indented, with several natural harbors and numerous smaller islands.

Chiloé has been described by Renato Cárdenas, historian at the Chilean National Library, as “a distinct enclave, linked more to the sea than the continent, a fragile society with a strong sense of solidarity and a deep territorial attachment.”

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chilo%C3%A9_Island


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