Chiloé


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Chiloé

(chēlōā`), island (3,241 sq mi/8,394 sq km), a part of Los Lagos region, off S Chile. It is separated from the mainland by the Corcovado and Ancud gulfs and the Chacao Channel; the waters around the island are used as nursery by blue whales. It is the largest of the Chilean islands and the only one that has been successfully settled. A rainy climate favoring the growth of wet and dense evergreen forests makes it one of the world's last virgin frontiers. Nevertheless, the settlers have been able to raise wheat and potatoes and to export timber. The population is concentrated around Ancud and Castro; the former was totally destroyed and the latter badly damaged by an earthquake in 1960. Wrested from the natives by the Spanish in 1567, Chiloé was the last stronghold of Spanish royalists, who were not driven out until 1826.

Chiloé

 

an island off the coast of southern Chile. The Isla de Chiloé is separated from the South American mainland by the Chacao Strait, the Golfo de Ancud, and the Golfo Corcovado. The island is approximately 8,000 sq km in area and reaches a maximum elevation of 820 m. A hilly plain lies in the eastern part of the island; the eastern coastline is highly indented.

Chiloé has a temperate oceanic climate. The average monthly temperature varies from 7° to 14°C; precipitation averages 2,000 to 3,000 mm annually. The island has evergreen mixed forests. The inhabitants engage in logging, commercial fishing, and oystering. Ancud is the principal city and port of the Isla de Chiloé.