|Palafitos in Castro: traditional wooden houses built on stilts and painted in vibrant colours|
|The street entrance to some palafitos|
|Iglesia San Francisco: a UNESCO-protected building constructed entirely from native woods|
We drove past the picturesque fishing village of Ancud to Monumento Natural Islotes de Puñihuil on the northwestern coast of Chiloé. Here, three rocky islets of volcanic origin serve as breeding grounds to colonies of Humboldt and Magellanic penguins every year. We hopped on a small boat and cruised around the islands, where we saw both species of penguins, red-legged cormorants, flightless steamer ducks, sea lions and a little aquatic beaver (a rare sighting!).
|The rocky island refuge of the penguins|
|Some young penguins hidden among the rocks|
|A little coipo (beaver) coming out for a snack|