01/06/2014 08:27 am ET Updated Mar 08, 2014

Notes from a Far Flung Isle: Feel Like a True Explorer in Chiloé

Writing of this remote region in 1839, Charles Darwin described the far-flung isle of Chiloé with reverence of its resolutely wild nature and "fine evergreen trees ... incomparably more beautiful" than Tierra del Fuego. As he sailed along the Chilean coast in his famous vessel, the Beagle, he noted the "boisterous" winds and "impenetrable" forests; this was no beach-side paradise, nor a landscape for the faint-hearted, but instead a challenging region nevertheless offering its own wild beauty.

Our senior travel designer, George, recently traveled to Chiloé on a research trip, and he found that despite the near 200-year separation between his and Darwin's visits, the place hasn't changed quite as much as you might think. From the bartering system still used in its markets to the abundance of lichen covering the extremely fertile inland forests and vast wetlands, Chiloé offers a rewarding introduction to the region and is still distinctly off-the-the-beaten-track, guaranteed to bring out the true explorer in you.

Exploring Chiloe