When the dark of the night falls on the Chiloé archipelago, the tall ship Caleuche emerges from a curtain of mist to patrol coastal waters. This infamous ghost ship is piloted by the souls of those lost at sea—spirits who make raucous revelry on deck into the wee hours. The Caleuche is just one of the ancient legends of the indigenous Mapuche people that linger on this island chain. The dancing water spirit Pincoya foretells the daily catch as fishermen head to sea, and deep in the evergreen forests, a seductive goblin called Thrauco trolls for love.
Perched on traditional palafito stilt architecture on Chiloé island, where the Pacific laps up against a bucolic coastline, Tierra Chiloé connects guests with the lore of this surreal archipelago on excursions by land, sea, and horseback. Spin your own island tale in a mystical world of lush cliffs and swirling seas, fern-draped woodlands and babbling streams, and you’re likely to become believer—in the local mythology, or simply in the magic of nature. Enchantment lingers inside the lodge, where the ocean is on grand display through floor-to-ceiling windows, colorful Chilote handicrafts abound, and a Mapuche fairytale—left propped against your pillow each night—might weave its way into your dreams.
While Catholicism is the prevalent faith on these islands, the centuries-old myths and traditions of the ancient Mapuche live on in the modern-day seafaring and farming Chilote people, who embody a different side of Chilean history. Tierra Chiloé is doing its part to keep this indigenous culture thriving by sharing their stories and customs with guests. On lodge excursions, cultural exchange is prioritized, and even nature outings like hikes and horseback rides are thoughtfully complemented with meet-and-greets and storytelling sessions. Thanks to these meaningful interactions, visitors leave Tierra Chiloé with a deeper understanding of the local fishermen and farmers and their spiritual bond to the land and sea.
Take a complimentary property tour, offered exclusively to guests who book through National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World. See how the lodge has harnessed natural resources from the surrounding environment to provide home-grown food and efficient power for the property. Visit the on-site greenhouse and garden, enjoy views of coastal mussel farms and the Pullao wetlands—part of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network. Upon return to the hotel, visit the on-site art installations and hear about the Chilean artists that incorporated the myths and legends of the island into the hotel design. Cap off your tour with a special “flavors of Chiloé” aperitif and cheese and charcuterie board, specially prepared for National Geographic guests.
Tierra Chiloé has gone to great lengths to create a hotel in step with its natural surroundings, a mission that began with a study of the property’s climatic factors. The local community was integral in the construction of the building, which was made from sustainable locally sourced wood and optimizes natural resources, including wind, sunlight, and rainwater.
In addition to supporting local residents through cultural exchange, the lodge uses handicrafts made by local artisans, including their private boat, the Williche, which was constructed by a Chilote boat-builder. Tierra Chiloé rents an historic home for preservation purposes, and when guests visit the archipelago’s Jesuit churches, the lodge makes donations to the local maintenance committee.
Conde Nast Traveler Gold List, 2017 & 2018
Conde Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Awards, Top Resorts in South America, 2016 & 2017
Conde Nast Reader’s Choice Awards, Best Resorts in the World, 2016
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