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Chiloé Island in Southern Chile’s Los Lagos Region

42.4S 73.7W

March 9th, 2010 Category: Mountains

Chile - February 25th, 2010

Chile - February 25th, 2010

Chiloé Island (Spanish: Isla de Chiloé), also known as Greater Island of Chiloé (Isla Grande de Chiloé), is the largest island of the Chiloé Archipelago off the coast of Chile, in the Pacific Ocean. The island is located in southern Chile, in the Los Lagos Region, visible here in the lower left quadrant.

The effects of the recent Chilean earthquake were felt as far south as Chiloé Island. Argentina has sent construction teams there to help reconstruct some of the washed away coastal buildings.

Chiloé Island (8,394 km², 3241 sq mi), is the second largest island in Chile (and the fifth largest in South America), after the Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego. It is separated from the Chilean mainland by the Chacao Strait (“Canal Chacao”) to the north, and by the Gulf of Ancud (Golfo de Ancud) and the Gulf of Corcovado (Golfo Corcovado) to the east; the Pacific ocean lies to the west, and the Chonos Archipelago lies to the south, across the Boca del Guafo.

The island is 190 km (118 mi) from north to south, and averages 55–65 km wide (35 to 40 mi). The capital is Castro, on the east side of the island; the second largest town is Ancud, at the island’s northwest corner, and there are several smaller port towns on the east side of the island, such as Quellón, Dalcahue and Chonchi.

Chiloé Island and the Chonos Archipelago are a southern extension of the Chilean coastal range, which runs north and south, parallel to the Pacific coast and the Andes Mountains. The Chilean Central Valley lies between the coastal mountains and the Andes, of which the Gulfs of Ancud and Corcovado form the southern extension. Mountains run north and south along the spine of the island. The east coast is deeply indented, with several natural harbors and numerous smaller islands.

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