Muelle del Alma – hiking Chiloé with a view
A wooden footbridge leading to mystery lands. Well not entirely. It's a wooden footbridge that leads you upward to a platform towards the ocean. The view up there is just breathtaking. The footbridge has a well-sounding name: Muelle del Alma – path or harbour of the soul.
And like the name suggests is this place absolutely perfect to slow down, enjoy the view and do a little soul searching. My gaze wanders over the ocean, my legs are dangling off the edge of the footbridge and I am completely relaxed.
The island of Chiloé lies in the lake district of Chile and is a little paradise for nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts like me. Most paths aren't really marked but the risk of getting lost isn't very high. In this article I want to tell you more about the hike, getting here and all of the trappings:
The hike Muelle del Alma
The actual hike is about 5 kilometres long (plus the 9km from the bus stop to the entrance).
It is not a circular path which means that you have to walk back the same way. The scenery is so beautiful I didn't mind at all. You will also spot things on the way back you missed before.
The hike to Muelle del Alma is absolutely stunning and even though the path isn't really marked, the chances of getting lost are very slim.
The path is both narrow and wide but the view over the ocean is always breathtaking. Cows, horses and goats are grazing along the way and they seem to be wondering where all the hikers are headed.
How to get to Muelle del Alma
Catch a bus from the terminal Municipal de Castro (Avenida San Martín). Buses to Cucao depart every couple of hours. Look up the bus timetables here or ask on site.
Careful: Castro has two bus stations and buses are rarely delayed.
Ask the bus driver to let you off at the crossroads to Muelle del Alma, which is a little before Cucao.
Quiero bajarme donde el cruce para ir al muelle del alma, me puede avisar por favor?
The bus ride to reach the crossroads to Muelle del Alma takes a good hour. Turn left and head South on an unpaved road. The hike doesn't start immediately. You have to follow the road for a couple of kilometres until you reach the start point. I would guess the road is about 9 kilometres long. You cannot take a bus to the hiking path but the walk to Muelle del Alma is also beautiful. You can see the ocean for most of the way.
You will get to a little booth where you can purchase your ticket for 1500 CLP (ca. 2€).
My tip: Hitchhiking! I let the first few cars pass me. I wanted to walk some of the way. I managed to stop a car and hitchhiked the last couple of kilometres though.
How to prepare for Muelle del Alma
- Bring enough water as you won't be able to buy some on the way
- Bring a snack with you – have it up on the top while enjoying the view
- A book/music for the bus ride – or take in the panoramic views
- warm sweater as it is quite chilly early in the morning in the winter months (July-September)
- Sneakers or hiking boots
- Plan on spending a full day if you do not have your own car
- weekdays are less busy than weekends
- avoid the month of February – high season!
Muelle del Alma is the perfect choice if you are after a calm, green hike. I didn't just enjoy my time there, I absolutely loved it and would go back in a heartbeat.
There are plenty of hikes on Chiloé (even though Lonely Planet fails to mention them). Here is another gorgeous hike but also ask hostel staff for more popular options.