Refugia is Chile’s new luxurious lodge

The new Refugia Lodge, opened this month, brings a luxurious establishment to the Chiloé archipelago, an island in southern Chile.

Named by The New York Times as one of the 45 places to visit this year, the Chiloé archipelago offers dramatic Pacific coastlines as well as green fields and wild forest. The archipelago also houses many Jesuit churches, 14 of which are designated by UNESCO as World Wide Heritage sites.

The Refugia Lodge, which opened this month, offers guestrooms in an area where the lodging capacity is low. Each one of the guestrooms has a sea view, a reading room, living room with fireplace, dining room and terrace. Located on the banks of the Rilan peninsula, the hotel also offers spa facilities.

The new hotel rooms are available from $530 per person per night for an all-inclusive program including transport to the nearest airport in the city of Castro, 18 km away, as well as three meals a day, access to the bar service, use of the spa, and access to the hotel's equipment including boats, horses, vehicles and bicycles.

Chiloé Island has been undergoing a facelift since Chile's president Sebastien Pineros anounced it could attract more international tourists. Lan, one of the largest South American airlines announced on September 7 that it was initiating service to Chiloé from Santiago de Chile. The route, to start flying on November, 7 will operate four times a week on Wednesday, Friday, Saturdays and Sundays. Flights will be operated by a fleet of Airbus A320 aircrafts.

Currently the best way to get there from Santiago, the country's capital, is to go to Puerto Montt, 1,044 km to the south. The journey takes 2 hours by plane or more than 14 hours by bus. Then from Puerto Montt, the Panamerican Highway Route takes travelers to Pargua. There are boat shuttles to Chiloe Island every day and night during the high season (December to February).