Birdwatching Natural Chiloe

Chiloé Island Birdwatching Tour. 5 days / 4 nights

Overview

Discover the wonders that Darwin saw on his journey to the south of Chile. Explore this fascinating territory of the Chilean Rainforest to see the same species of flora and fauna described by one of the Fathers of Modern Science.

 

Alongside exceptional local guides you will assist in the collection of valuable data for understanding these ecosystems. You can record what you observe in your nature traveler log. This tour is for those who love nature and want to be protagonists of its conservation. During the course of five days you can explore the hidden corners of Chiloe on foot and by water. In Chiloe fishing boats you will discover the coast of the island, where you can spot several species of mammals, shorebirds and seabirds, not to mention the Humboldt Penguin and the Magellanic Penguin.

Some of the most amazing migratory birds you can see in all its splendor is the Hudsonian godwit. This bird travels 14.000 km from Alaska to Chiloe Island.

The Audubon Society, along with local partners is beginning to address conservation needs. Their strategic plan involves educational programs and engaging landowners into Best Management Practices: watershed management and sustainable agricultural techniques. These initiatives spread awareness about the importance of coastal wetland habitats to migratory shorebirds and ensure that Hudsonian godwits and Whimbrels have a safe and sustainable wintering place for years to come.

Itinerary

​Day 1: Transfer to Chiloé - Discover Chiloé Island - Birdwatching and Oyster Tasting

Pickup from hotel or airport in Puerto Montt or Puerto Varas for 1 hr transfer to ferry crossing- first birdwatching from ferry.  Arrival to village of Chacao which was where Spaniards arrived in 1567 –  (historical, cultural and natural history orientation).  Continue through countryside to Caulin (seaweed collection, birdwatching and oyster tasting) – Picnic lunch at the Biological Field Station of the Senda Darwin where we’ll learn about ongoing biological studies and do a short forest walk in search of the chucao- Southern Chile’s emblematic tapaculo.  Welcome dinner and introductory tour briefing. Overnight in Ancud.

Accommodation at HOTEL ANCUD, 3*  www.hotel-ancud.cl

Meals: Picnic Lunch and Welcome Dinner

 

 

Day 2: Birdwatching in Chepu river

Full day to the Chepu River Valley where we will embark on a boat with local fisherman to bird watch at Laguna Coluco and among the sunken forest- reminder of the 1960’s earthquake that reshaped Southern Chile. We’ll have lunch at a nearby farmhouse and afternoon walk in the forest of the Senderos de Chepu (in search of other forest species). On our way home we’ll enjoy a traditional curanto pitbake made by “señora Enriqueta”. Overnight in Ancud

 

Accommodation at HOTEL ANCUD, 3* www.hotel-ancud.cl

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

 

Day 3: Penguins & Sea Mammals at Puñihuil Bay

Today will be spent on the rugged Pacific Coast of the island – visiting the Puñihuil penguin colony (where Humbolt and Magallanic penguins nest side by side) by boat and if conditions permit—visiting sea lions and possibly going out to search for blue whales – the largest population in the S. Hemisphere having been discovered off Chiloe Island in 2001. We’ll have time to search the coastal forest areas and beaches for signs of the pudu – one of the smallest deer species and another of Chiloe’s emblematic animals. By late afternoon we’ll return to the Highway 5 and drive to the regional capital of Castro for the night. Evening at leisure. Ask our guides if you need some local knowledge about dining and good shopping in Castro.


Accommodation at PALAFITO 1326 Boutique Hotel,  www.palafito1326.cl
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 4: Conservation Areas of Chiloé Island

After breakfast we’ll visit a few sights of the Castro including its thriving local market – where the freshest products from the countryside and ocean are found – including native potatoes, several types of seaweed, shellfish and more. We’ll visit the nearby Putemun wetland area – part of a conservation program being run by the WWF, The Nature Conservancy, Audobon Society and Manomet. It is home to the largest population of Hudsonian godwits in the world (during the S. Hemisphere migration from Alaska) among other species. We’ll then continue to the nearby fishing port of Dalcahue for lunch in their market where we will also learn about local aquaculture and the effect of salmon and mussel farming (Chile is the world’s #2 producer of both) on local wildlife and the local economy. We’ll take a small ferry to cross over to the island of Quinchao – the second largest of the archipelago where we’ll be able to appreciate the natural surroundings of this island group against the backdrop of the fjords only 25 kms East. Evening at leisrure and overnight at our boutique hotel.
 

Accommodation at PALAFITO 1326 Boutique Hotel, www.palafito1326.cl
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

 

 

Day 5: Wooden Architecture of Chiloé Island - Tansfer Puerto Montt Airport

In the morning we’ll have a 9:00 AM departure before departing toward the fishing village of Quemchi and the nearby birding area surrounding the Aucar Island – known locally as the Island of Sailors Souls for its cemetery. We’ll walk the 500 meter footbridge to the island and also have the opportunity to study the flora planted by a former priest of the local chapel who made the small island into a botanical garden of native species. We’ll have lunch in Quemchi before driving up the coastal road to the ferry ramp that will take us back to mainland Chile. Arrival in Puerto Montt airport or Puerto Varas at approximately 17:30. End of services.
 

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch.

 

Please Book your domestic flight not before 7 pm.

Highlights

 

  • Chiloé Island

  • Birdwatching Experiences

  • Humbolt & Magellanic Penguin

  • Conservation projects
  • Wooden Architecture of Chiloé

Included 

  • Professional tour guide

  • Private transportation

  • Accommodation at 3 * hotels

  • Meals as per itinerary (04 breakfasts, 01 picnic lunch, 04 lunches and 01 dinner)

  • Accidents insurance

  • All activities according to the itinerary: birdwatching, sea mammals watching, soft hiking.

  • Entrance fees and USD $50 donation for conservation actions in Puñihuil Bay.

Not included

  • International and local flights

  • Travel insurance

  • Extra beverages & cocktails

  • Laundry

  • Gratuities at restaurants, hotels, and local guides.

 

EASY

  • You don’t live for hiking, but you definitely love to spend time in nature. These conservation tours are appropriate for all people and suitable for older adults in good health with overall good mobility, who are comfortable participating in up to 3 hours of physical activity per day. Programs at this level generally involve nature walks of light to moderate intensity at an easy pace, mostly walking, sometimes on slightly uneven terrain.
    All our guided nature tours include natural interpretation and focus on the history, volcanology and the native flora and fauna of the wilderness areas.

PACKING TIPS

  • We advise you to bring clothing for warm and cold weather; also including a rain poncho and knee-high rubber boots (you can also buy them here for a low price). Include base layers, hat, windbreaker, gloves, sneakers, a waterproof jacket and any other waterproof item, sunglasses, bathing suit and sandals. Bright color clothing is NOT recommended. Don’t forget your camera!

  • Clothing to go birding in should be comfortable, which will encourage you to stay in the field longer. Non-restrictive garments in lightweight fabrics are often preferred, and dressing in layers allows for changing temperatures throughout the day without interrupting the birding. Clothes should be well worn in so there will be no chafing or blisters.

  • Cargo pants with deep pockets to hold a notebook or field guide are helpful, and belt loops can hold other tools. Shoes should have good ankle support and adequate tread for different walking conditions. Wear clothing that will blend in to the habitat you will be exploring and prefer colors or subdued shades of brown, green and gray. Avoid bright colors, especially white, which is a color many birds are accustomed to seeing as a danger warning.
    Long sleeves and long pants are most useful for blocking excessive sun and discouraging insects in all habitats, while waterproof clothing, especially footwear, is a good idea in wetland habitats (Chiloe is all about wetlands). Thermal clothing is essential, and lighter fabrics that promote air circulation are a smarter choice for sunny days.
    Wear a hat to shield your eyes and break up the outline of your head and face for better camouflage near wary birds. Always choose clothes you don’t mind getting dirty so you can take the steps necessary to see a bird better, even if it involves rubbing against bushes or stepping in the mud.

VISAS

  • Visa to enter Chile: No advance Visa application is needed for entry into Chile. Australian and Mexican citizens entering Chile for tourism purposes will be charged a $160.00 processing fee payable on arrival. Cash and credit card accepted.

  • USA, Canada and New Zealand citizens no longer need to pay the reciprocity fee ($160.00) to enter Chile. A valid passport is required  travelling as a tourist for 90 days.

FAQ's

  

Weather notes

We suggest visiting the web for current conditions in Chile and doing your own research on this topic. www.meteochile.cl/reg09.html and www.meteochile.cl/reg10.html or www.accuweather.com

 

Late October and November (spring time in the southern hemisphere) present milder temperatures (50°F / 77°F) with some scattered rain. During December you can start feeling the beginning of the summer with temperatures around 50°F / 81°F.  In January and February temperatures range between 60°F / 95°F. Remember that you are visiting the Lake & Volcano district, so always expect some rain!

 

In Chile there are no insects or animals that represent a threat to human beings.

 

Airline Information
We highly recommend getting the Chile Airpass ticket with Lan Airlines, which includes the international flight from your country to Santiago (Chile) and the domestic flights Santiago(SCL) - Puerto Montt(PMC)-Santiago(SCL). This Airpass is definitely less expensive than buying the flights separately and what's more important it is very flexible if there are some unexpected last minute changes. Lan Airlines Airpass can be purchased at any IATA travel agent.

 

The international terminal at SCL is located in the same building than the domestic terminal.

Note: The local flights in Chile have a luggage allowance of 23kg. You will need to pay excess if your baggage exceeds this. There is an allowance for cycling equipment charged at 3kg (approx $5 per kg).  

 

Insurance
Any policy you purchase should, at the very least, cover trip cancellation, loss of baggage, accident/life coverage, travel delays, and non-refundable airline tickets. Carriers for travel insurance include Travel Guard and Travelex. You may also consider insurance that covers emergency medical evacuation. Search the web to find the best deal that suits your needs- read the fine print

 

Currency

In Chile, the local currency is called peso.

The current exchange rate is $1 USD = $650 Chilean Pesos (CLP).

Travel checks are not convenient because only few places accept them and the exchange rate is 10% lower than dollar bills. Most credit cards are accepted at shops, restaurants and hotels. The most common cards are Master Card, Visa and Dinners Club. American Express is less commonly accepted that the others. There is no need to bring a large amount of cash; there are ATMs almost everywhere we go on the tour. The maximum amount of money that you can withdraw per day is equivalent to $360.000 CLP. For up to date information we suggest you visit the website www.xe.com/ucc/

 

Gratuity

In Chile, the gratuity for hospitality services is normally 10% of the bill. People usually tip in restaurants, hotels and the local staff of guides. You shouldn't tip taxi drivers, baggage carriers and bar tenders, they do not expect any tips. At the end of the trip gratuity for the crew for a job well done is highly appreciated. We encourage you to use your discretion and tip according to the caliber of service you receive. As a guideline, the industry standard is $120 dollars per person, per guide.

Additional Information