Conservation Tour Chiloe Island Chile



8 days




Chiloé Island


November to April

USD $3.440

Per person in DBL

8-Day Darwin’s Route Tour in Chiloé Island

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

Conservation Tour Highlights

  • Follow Darwin’s footprints in Chile
  • Visit mystical Chiloé Island
  • Birdwatching and oyster tasting at Caulin Cove
  • Navigation on Chepu River
  • Humboldt and Magallanic penguin colony at Puñihuil Bay
  • Ahuenco Park
  • Castro city and traditional architecture


For flight quotes (international and domestic), please contact our partner Exito Travel.  

Before we kick off our conservation tour in Chiloé Island, you should take a day or two to adjust to local time and recover from your travels, and allow for any flight or luggage delays. You should fly into Puerto Montt airport (PMC).

In Chile, domestic flights are operated by 3 local airline companies: Latam, Sky Airline and JetSmart.

We recommend staying at Cumbres Puerto Varas Hotel in the city, which is well-located with lots of restaurants and other facilities just a short walk away.

Suggested Hotels in Puerto Varas

Official Airport Transfer

The official shuttle company at Puerto Montt’s Airport is called Andres Tour.

They are the only authorized shuttle company at the airport, and their staff wears a green uniform.
By contract with the airport, they must have available transport based in the domestic flights arriving every day.

They have a counter at the airport, next to the automatic doors (from the baggage carrousel).

They offer regular shuttles to Puerto Varas at $10.000 pesos (USD $15 per person), and they need a minimum of 4 people.

If they don’t have the 4 minimum passengers, or if you want to have a private shuttle, with the same company you can do it at $18.000 (USD $25 per vehicle).

You don’t need reservations and you can pay in Credit Card or Cash. The ATM is on ground floor.

All their shuttle services will drop you off at the hotel or address you are staying in Puerto Varas. Driving time is approximately 30 minutes.

Our meeting hotel address is AVENIDA IMPERIAL #0561, PUERTO VARAS.

On the first day of our conservation tour in Chiloé Island, our local team will meet you at Cumbres Hotel in Puerto Varas at 9am. They will brief you on the adventure ahead and answer any questions you may have.

Then, we’ll have a 1-hour drive to a ferry crossing, and enjoy our first marine animals watching from the ferry.

Followed by the ferry crossing, we arrive at Chacao village, where the Spanish settlers arrived in 1567. Our local guides will host a welcome dinner.

Accommodation: Ancud Hotel
Meals: Lunch and welcome dinner

Our day start with driving through the countryside towards Caulin Cove for birdwatching and oyster tasting.

First, we’ll enjoy 2 to 3 hours of soft hiking while watching birds and other animals. Afterwards, we’ll visit the Senda Darwin Biological Field Station, where we’ll learn about ongoing biological studies. During the visit, we’ll have a short forest walk to collect datas & contribute to the scientific understanding of this ecosystem.

Accommodation: Ancud Hotel
Meals: Breakfast and picnic lunch


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. First, we’ll explore this area by boat. In addition to watching penguins, you can spot sea otters, sea lions and many other species of marine and shore birds.

Later, we’ll have time for a short walk in the coastal forest areas and beaches.

Accommodation: Ancud Hotel
Meals: Breakfast and lunch


Great full day in the Chepu River, where we embark on a boat with local fisherman to birdwatch at Coluco Lagoon among the sunken forest. It is a reminder of the 1960’s earthquake that reshaped Southern Chile. 

After then, in the afternoon, we’ll walk the Chepu trail in the forest in search of other species.  On our way home, we’ll enjoy a traditional curanto pitbake.

Accommodation: Chepu
Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch and dinner


Get ready for your first probable encounter with a Pudu, the smallest deer in Chile. We’ll visit the private conservation area of Ahuenco Park, where there is a collaborative project with the fishermen of Chepu River.

First, we’ll hike a rather flat and easy trail that goes alongside the coastline. During 3 hours we’ll cover a little less than 9 km, walking on a coastal trail. There, you will meet the local park ranger, a native Huilliche man who will lead our expedition in this area.

By visiting this Land Trust, you will be donating US $50 for conservation actions in the area.

Accommodation: Refugio Ahuenco
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner


Today, we will explore the trails of the dense Chiloé forest during 3 to 5 hours, depending on how deep we want to explore the rainforest.

In general, the trail is not difficult, mostly flat with some obstacles like dead trees. There, we will support the research of the Púdu deer by documenting the location, time, and behavior of our sighting. We can also volunteer to help with the maintenance of one of the park trails.

Accommodation: Refugio Ahuenco
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner


In the morning, we’ll hike for 3 hours until arriving at Chepu river, and leave Ahuenco Park. Then, we’ll go explore a conservation wetland area near Castro, Chiloé Island’s capital city.

On our way to Castro, we’ll visit the nearby fishing port of Dalcahue, where we will also learn about local aquaculture and the effect of salmon and mussel farming on local wildlife and the local economy.

Finally, we’ll visit the nearby Putemun wetland area, part of a conservation program being run by WWF, The Nature Conservancy, Audubon Society and Manomet. We’ll walk for about 1 hour, enjoying the views of the bay and the birds. 

Accommodation: Palafito 1326 Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and farewell dinner


Our last day starts with  departing towards 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 500meter footbridge to the island and also have the opportunity to study the flora planted by a former priest of the local chapel

After lunch, we’ll drive up the coastal road to the ferry ramp, taking us back to mainland Chile.

Lastly, drop-off at Puerto Montt Airport (PMC) to catch your flight. 

End of our services.

Meals: Breakfast and lunch



Intermediate: A reasonable level of fitness is required, as these conservation tourism trips can require sustained endurance levels, hills and longer days.

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 5 hours of physical activity per day.

These tours may include hiking of moderate intensity at an easy pace, sometimes with steep and/or uneven trails, with obstacles such as wet logs, branches and muddy areas. 

Itinerary Modifications

Slight itinerary modifications might occur due to weather and or road conditions, or force majeure.

Weather Notes

We suggest visiting the web for current conditions in Chile and doing your own research on this topic. or

Generally the weather in this area is very similar to Northern California, specially the coast side.

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!



Adventure. People. Nature.