2nd Patagonia Photo Contest
Patagon Journal announces the launch of its 2nd Patagonia Photo Contest.
Open to amateur or professional photographers, from any country, we want to receive your best images of the Patagonia region of Chile and Argentina.
This is a part of the world that without doubt provides extraordinary possibilities for photography. Last year, our inaugural contest was a great success with an impressive display of photos
that made it difficult to decide the winning images. So, to help us with that honorable task this year, we have a distinguished panel of judges; they include:
Photo Gallery: Dynamic Chiloé
Editors Note: This is the sixth article in our special series "Travel in Los Lagos," sponsored by Sernatur Los Lagos.
Text and photos by Nicholas Gill
One of southern Chile’s most dynamic places for its landscape, food and culture is Chiloé, the stunningly beautiful archipelago hanging off of continental Chile, but twisted in some distinctive form. Though the main island can be reached via a short ferry ride across the Chacao Channel from the mainland, Chiloé has developed in large part in insolation, forming a culture unlike anywhere else in the country.
This is a place where tales of mythological figures such as sirens, witches and ghost ships are woven into the fabric of daily life. These superstitions were originally a product of the indigenous Huiliche communities, but when the Spanish arrived Chilote folklore began to fuse with elements of Christianity. That transition was sped forward greatly when Jesuit missionaries built hundreds of wood shingle churches, many of which are now UNESCO World Heritage sites.
The archipelago is a place of rolling green hills, dramatic beaches, and thick temperate forests, which together form one of the most unique collections of flora and fauna in South America. That ecological diversity has also helped give Chiloé one of Chile’s most distinct regional cuisines. While curanto - a potluck of meat, shellfish, and tubers that are cooked in an earthen oven – is the most representative dish, there’s much more to be found here. Traditionally a seafaring culture, the diet here is rich in fish and shellfish, as well as aquatic plants, though the patchwork of green pastures provides grazing room for lambs as fine as any in Patagonia and the growing of potatoes, which are used in almost everything.
Modern Chiloé is increasingly leaning on its past. In the capital of Castro the iconic palafitos, stilted wood buildings, are being turned into cafes and boutique hotels, effectively preserving them. Modern architects are building structures that resemble the hulls of ships. Natural resources, such as the Puñihuil penguin colony or the forests and swampland of Chiloé National Park, are being protected with help from the increasing number of tourists. An airport, Mocopulli, is even in operation here now, which means you can reach Castro by flights from Santiago and Puerto Montt, though the ferry system is more efficient than it has even been.
1. The cushy, all-inclusive 12-room Refugia Lodge on an isolated shore outside of Castro, used master Chilote woodcarvers to create the furniture and frame, while they filled it with hand spun, naturally dyed textiles from the archipelago.
Photo Gallery: The Cochamo Valley trail
Editors Note: This is the fifth article in Patagon Journal’s special series "Travel in Los Lagos" sponsored by Sernatur Los Lagos
Text and photos by Carlos Gutiérrez
Cochamó is located in the middle of the Andes, just a few hours from Puerto Montt or Puerto Varas. Nestled between mountains, fjords and sea, it is a true natural paradise. Trekking, horseback riding, and kayaking are among the outdoor opportunities here. It is also an important spot for rock climbers. For many, Cochamo’s granite walls are reminiscent of Yosemite National Park in California.
If you’re like us, the journey is more important than the destination: take your time and go for a long hike. You can contact a guide or you can simply do it yourself on the marked trails. You will be constantly rewarded by the native flora and fauna, and stunning Eden-like landscapes.
1.There are many attractive bridges on the hiking trails, often utilizing fallen trees.
Touring the Puerto Octay – Ensenada road
Editors Note: This is the fourth article in Patagon Journal’s special series "Travel in Los Lagos" sponsored by Sernatur Los Lagos
Text and photos by Wayne Bernhardson
Shaped roughly like an equilateral triangle, Lake Llanquihue is one of southern Chile’s most visited areas, thanks to towns like Frutillar, with its Germanic charm, and Puerto Varas, with its distinctive architecture, exceptional accommodations and fine restaurants. Both enjoy panoramas of Osorno Volcano, its snow-topped cone mimicking the perfection of Japan’s Fujiyama.
But there’s another part of the lake that gets too little attention: from Puerto Octay, at its northern tip, a newly paved road follows the lakeshore southeast to reach the hamlet of Ensenada, where it meets the road from Puerto Varas.
Lunch with the locals: Curanto on Chiloé Island
Editors Note: This is the third article in Patagon Journal’s special series "Travel in Los Lagos" sponsored by Sernatur Los Lagos
Text and photos by Gabriel O’Rorke
“It’s like the devils kitchen,” says María Luisa Maldonado with a laugh as she stirs her milcao in a large pan of oil.
Maria Luisa is quite some lady. Not only is she the pioneer of agrotourism in Chiloé, a kind of tourism where people visit farms and ranches for a taste of rural life, but she was the inspiration for the main character in Isabel Allende’s latest book, Maya's Notebook
Brewery bike ride in Los Lagos
Editors Note: This is the second article in Patagon Journal’s special series "Travel in Los Lagos" sponsored by Sernatur Los Lagos
By Gabriel O'Rorke
Photos by Gabriel O'Rorke and La Comarca Puelo Adventure
Love biking? Love beer? It was only a matter of time until someone pulled together the dream combination and made a tour of cycling between breweries. Especially in Los Lagos with its chocolate box scenery and German heritage. What better place for a brauhaus?