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Castro,

silversea south america cruises cruise castro chiloe island chileBright, wooden huts teeter on stilts over Castro's estuary waterfront, inviting you into a patchwork of colour that’s sure to brighten any day. These traditional palafitos give the warmest of welcomes, as you prepare to experience Chile at its most vibrant. Castro has faced something of a tumultuous past, having been hit by a by a succession of earthquakes and fires - the most recent a devastating earthquake in 1960. But this city is incredibly resilient, and today the capital of Chiloe Island makes for a fantastic base for exploring the archipelago that surrounds it.  

Explore Avenida Pedro Montt and Costanera, to see some of the finest of the palafitos - inside which, you can reserve a room for the night, or enjoy a delicious meal. There's plenty more to Chile's third oldest city than just its eye catching palafitos, however, and it’s blessed with some of the country’s finest wooden churches. The UNESCO World Heritage site of Nuestra Senora de Gracia is a gorgeous example, constructed from strips of cypress and larch wood. Plaza de Armas's centrepiece, meanwhile, is the striking, neo-gothic style two-towered Church of San Francisco, which has been painted a glowing yellow. It's another World Heritage Site, and features a stunning interior of neat wooden beams and tinted light which spills in through its decorative windows. The Plazuela del Tren is one of the city's more unusual squares, littered with old trains and abandoned locomotives - a leftover from the railway station, which was destroyed by the earthquake.

For even more of Casto's colours, head out to the Museo de Arte Moderno Chiloe, a fascinating contemporary gallery, where you can wander below huge, painted installations. It’s set in a bright airy building, which is something of an artwork in itself, supported by a spectacular nest of wooden beams.

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Castro,

Castro,