Chilean Dolphin etc – Chiloe Island.

Hello all,

Chiloe Island, Chile. An underappreciated spot for cetaceans. Here are a couple of new spots/services if you go down.

Recently on tours we have been staying at Refugio Pullao. Wonderful spot with lots of birdlife around, not too far from the city of Castro, and about an hour and a half from forests that may have Pudu etc. But what is great is that the bay the hotel is on regularly has Chilean Dolphin and Peale’s Dolphin. You can book a Kayak session to get closer, but with scope or binoculars great views can be had.

About 1.5 to 1.75 hours to the south is Queilen. Here Turismo quilun has some great offerings. Depending on the season they have a short penguins/dolphins trip, or a longer trip to see larger whales. I guess Sei, Blue, and Fin are seen but I think they are still learning what is around and how to best find them. But the highlight on the first time I have been on this boat just last month was seeing close up Burmeister’s Porpoise along with Chilean Dolphin. The porpoise is least common, Chilean Dolphin and Peale’s they see frequently and well. Right below the boat. We also saw distant Pincoya Storm-Petrels and hope to sort out over time how to see that species well. A highlight was that they prepared steamed mussels with white wine on our way into port, that alone will get me back out there with Jessica and Jorge, superbly well run trip and a comfortable boat!!

Alvaro Jaramillo

Post author



  • Jon Hall

    Thanks Alvaro – this is super useful information! I still have not seen Burmeister’s well … Chile is calling me back

  • dactylor

    Hey Alvaro,

    I do not know if the quilin company is trying to figure things out or every year is just different for the whales. I know their business is at least running for 3+ years now. But like you I can highly recommend them. Amazing price and great atmosphere. I had them in my trip report as well but they never told me they saw porpoise from the ship sometimes.

    Greetings Jens

    P.s. Here a link to the report where I mentioned them

  • AlvaroJaramillo

    Jens. I should clarify that indeed what Turismo Quilun is trying to work out is how reliable the whales are year to year. It seems that they have a good handle on them during summer, and where to find them but earlier in the season it is still unclear what is about.
    Burmeister’s Porpoise may be something that is only now being seen? It is not regular, but it does occur. My guess is that they will learn more about where on their route it is likely as they do more and more outings. Known as Marsopa Espinosa locally. Jon, we have also seen them out of pelagics in Arica, Chile. We saw them two years in a row and then nothing. Key is to watch in the first 5 miles from shore, they are sneaky little cetaceans. Fortunately their dorsal fin is unusual, so ID is not a problem. In Arica otherwise Bottlenose Dolphin and Dusky Dolphin are most expected.


Leave a Reply