The small coastal town of Dalcahue is one of the best places on Chiloé for handicrafts shopping: its Sunday market attracts artisans from across the island to sell their wares. Woollen goods including jumpers, hats and chunky socks, all hand-dyed with natural pigments make the best souvenirs here. If you can’t make it on a Sunday, a smaller version of the market runs throughout the week.
Chile’s 1960 earthquake saw the destruction of most of Dalcahue’s palafitos (waterfront stilt houses), but the town’s most important traditional wooden church survived the tremor. The Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores (Church of Our Lady of Sorrows) with its nine-arched facade, octagonal bell tower and interior barrel roof in simple whitewash was built in 1849, and is one of the 16 churches that collectively won Chiloé its UNESCO World Heritage-listed status in 2015.
From Dalcahue, it’s possible to take a short ferry trip across the channel to Quinchao Island, where you can visit the equally imposing Iglesia Santa María de Loreto, Chiloés oldest church, built by the Jesuits in 1740.
Map of Dalcahue