xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' World Toddler: 3 Rattles for Castro, Chile, A Picturesque Southern-Chilean Town without Playgrounds



Thursday, March 31, 2016

3 Rattles for Castro, Chile, A Picturesque Southern-Chilean Town without Playgrounds

Castro, Chile Overall Rattle Rating:
The Palafitos of Castro, Chile

Iglesia San Francisco at Plaza de Armas

To be honest, there's not much going on in Castro, Chile, a remote, working-class town built over an inlet in the Pacific Ocean.  It is a memorable experience staying in a Palafito, an old fisherman house built on stilts over the ever rising and receding inlet waters, and gives you the opportunity to take some incredible family pictures.  The town of Castro has a decent public square where you can go to people watch and check out the pretty purple and yellow church. The real reason to headquarter yourself in Castro is to be able to take day trips throughout the island of Chiloe. Day trips from Castro include a visit to the end of the Pan American Highway in Quellon, Chile; a hike through the Chiloe National Park, which takes you from the forest to the beach and back to the forest again; and self-guided tours of the dozen or so 18th and 19th century wooden churches that dot the island. You could easily fill 2 days with these serene activities, but not much more. 

Beautiful Scenery Surrounding Castro
Baby on a Budget:

Americans in Chile benefit from a favorable exchange rate of about 680,000 pesos to $1.  In addition, Castro is a working-class town, so the few restaurants that exist are reasonably priced.  Wine and beer, which World Toddler's parents really love, are particularly cheap.

Swings per Capita:

Playroom Mattress at Local Restaurant
Hot Dogs and Burgers at Café La Brujula

The only public playground we found in Castro consisted of a rusty metal slide and two seatless swings.  In back of the playground, a homeless-looking man was checking the chest of his homeless-looking friend, apparently checking to see if he was still breathing.  Castro redeemed itself slightly in the "Swings per Capita" category because of its main square "diner", Café La Brujula del Cuerpo, which has a kids' playroom.  Parents can sit in booths around the kids' room to eat mediocre bar food and drink $2 glasses of wine, while the kids jump on an old mattresses, the playroom centerpiece.


A Steep Climb to the Center of Town with Baby on Back

The sidewalks in Castro are decently paved, however the hills are steep and it was sometimes hard to push the stroller without fear of losing control.  In addition, Castro has numerous packs of stray dogs who are right at stroller-level.  So we ended up carrying Sydney in our carrier most of the time. 

Happy to Have You:

The people of Castro were friendly and welcoming to our family.  However, perhaps because neither children nor tourists are a novelty here, people were not as excited to see a World Toddler as they have been in other destinations.  Accordingly, while business owners and locals definitely accommodated our family, they did not go out of their way to interact with us.

Fun for the Whole Family:

 This old fisherman's village does not have much in the way of traditional tourist activities.  But it is relaxing to spend a couple of nights sleeping over the ocean, and interesting to see how people live in such a remote part of the earth.

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