Ancud is a city on a Chilean archipelago, Chiloe, in the Los Lagos region in the southern part of Chile. Up until 1982, Ancud functioned as the capital of the archipelago; it is the largest city in the island chain after Castro. Ancud lies in Chile’s fiordlands, one of the more remote parts of the country. It has spectacular natural scenery to go along with a quaint city centre and fantastic restaurants.
Ancud is full of cozy hostels. Most of the hostels are found on the southwest side of the city, near downtown, the bus station, restaurants, bars, and cafes, and the waterfront. The word for “hostel” in Chilean Spanish is “hostal,” so you won’t have any problems asking for one! Expect spacious common rooms and decent facilities; most of the buildings in Ancud were built following the 1960 earthquake that destroyed the city.
Once settled, stop at Centro de Visitantes Inmaculada Concepción before visiting any of the UNESCO World Heritage churches that dot the town. The visitors centre has sixteen small wooden models of each; well worth looking at before seeing the real thing. Fuerte San Antonio, at the northwest end of the city was the last remaining outpost in the Wars of Independence; go for the gun emplacements on the embankments. After a day exploring town, don’t miss Ancud’s nightlife right outside your hostel. Curanto is the local dish, a hearty stew of clams, mussels, chicken, pork, and potatoes; most restaurants serve their version of it.
Just offshore is Monumento Natural Islotes de Punihuil, a breeding ground for Magellanic and Humboldt penguins and home to blue whales. The best time to see the near-extinct penguins is during breeding season, which runs from September to March (summer). Its possible to do this on your own by taking a local bus from town to the beach at Punihuil and then hiring a boat, or you can arrange a tour in town. During high season, its best to book ahead in town.
Hi, I'm Jakob Lombardi,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Ancud hostels. Welcome.