Ancud introduces visitors to the distinctive charm of the Chiloè archipelago, off Chile's southern coast. Located on the northern point of the main island, Isla Grande, Ancud takes visitors back in time. While the town grew rapidly at the beginning of the century, when it was a center of international trade, it has since returned to its origin as a fishing port. Generations of fisherman have taken to the water in the same small, brightly-colored boats that sail by today. The town's colorful houses add to the picturesque look.
The inhabitants of Chiloè are known throughout Chile for their folklore traditions, based on a series of local legends. The Museo Regional Aurelio Bòrquez Canobra in Ancud includes a series of stone statues representing figures from local folklore. The museum also has a replica of the wooden boat the took settlers to colonize southern Chile in the mid-19th century.
For spectacular views of the surrounding countryside, visitors can climb to the top of Huaihuèn Hill. Also in Ancud are the ruins of San Antonio Fort, the last Spanish stronghold in the country, which finally surrendered to independent Chile in early 1826. No visit to Ancud is complete without trying the region's seafood; some of the best is available at the town's main market. The Caulìn oyster beds also make an interesting side trip (and a good lunch stop).
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