Even if the 1960 tsunami split Chonchi’s palafitos into toothpicks, the earthquake spared its historic Iglesia San Carlos de Chonchi (1900) and many houses along Calle Centenario, an area designated a zona típica national monument; the church’s exterior has undergone restoration, but the interior is still underway. The Museo de las Tradiciones Chonchinas (Centenario 116) replicates a typical Chilote kitchen and displays impressive photographs of the 1960 tsunami; it’s open 9 a.m.–1 p.m. and 3:30–7 p.m. daily. Admission costs US$1.
Owner Carl Grady of Hospedaje La Esmeralda conducts boat excursions to a nearby sea lion colony, offshore islands such as Lemuy and Quinchao, and a nearby mussel farm. Grady, who is English, also speaks German and Spanish.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Chile, 2nd edition