Cucao Chiloé National Park

Located on the Western coast of Chiloé Island in the Los Lagos Region, Chiloé National Park (as it is more commonly known) is not to be missed if you’re in this part of the world. I spent a wonderful a day hiking, exploring, and tasting some of the cultural highlights of this region. It was an overcast day just before Christmas 2016 and I was with some of the loveliest people I had the pleasure of meeting while working in the luxury cruise ship industry.

Something that really struck me this day was nature and its beauty. There weIMG_2059re so many species of birds and flowers that were indigenous to this area. Some of the birds had distinct calls and made sounds I had never heard. For the most part, it was a very quiet experience, with chatter picking up only towards the end of the day between myself and the new friends I had made. I spent a good portion of my time practicing my photography skills on the different flowers and plants in the park as I walked along the hiking trail. It was heavenly! And the cloudy weather certainly aided in my photography efforts!

One of the highlights of this day was the authentic Chilean lunch they served us!

It was bright and colorful, which made it very enticing! The portions were all bite-sized to ensure that we had room to try a little bit of everything. It was very eye-opening to see what a traditional meal included. I appreciated the opportunity to experience new foods in a new setting!

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The trails themselves were definitely for hikers of all skill levels and were very easy to follow. As you can see in the photo above, they were lined with wooden planks and rope, to prevent your phone from falling through the cracks as you snap photos of the park’s natural beauty! The park is a great starting place for more advanced hikers to then forge their own paths either down towards the beach or deeper into the forrest. There is plenty of information available for hikers and visitors at the park itself, but also at http://www.conaf.cl/.

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The best way I can describe my day here was, to put it simply, peaceful. The air was fresh. The people were kind. It was quiet, but full of life all at once. The beauty of the flowers, trees, and animals I was surrounded by was calming, yet captivating. I left feeling at peace with myself and with the world around me, if only for a fleeting moment. It was wonderful, and I truly recommend spending a day here if you’re ever in this part of the world.

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Happy Traveling!
Caitlin

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