Dalcahue, located in central Chiloé, is the original land of the Huilliche peoples. The current location of Dalcahue was visited by the Chono people and inhabited by the Huilliches. As this is the narrowest part of the Dalcahue channel, it is the natural point of departure for rafts going to the island of Quinchao. On their arrival, the Spaniards settled here for the same reasons.
The meaning of the word Dalcahue is extremely important, as in the mapudungun language of Chiloé, Dalcahue means a place of ‘dalcas’, the typical boats used by the Chonos, which were later used by all the cultures of the archipelago, including the Spaniards.
When Chile declared its independence in 1810, the inhabitants of Chiloé remained faithful to the Spanish crown, fighting the patriot forces for sixteen years. At the end of 1842, Dalcahue consisted of 897 houses, and a beautiful square. You can still see the houses while you walk along the promenade.
Dalcahue has a population of 4,933 inhabitants, corresponding to 38% of the total communal population; 62% of these people live in rural areas, in a zone called la Costa.
We recommend a visit to the church of Nuestra Señora de los Dolores in Dalcahue, which was built in 1858 on top of a mission church dating back to the seventeenth century. It a declared a National Monument on 26 July 1971 and a World Heritage building in December 2000.
The main economic activities of Dalcahue are commerce, tourism, shellfish processing, agriculture (potatoes, sheep and cattle raising), salmon farming, all of which generate an important volume of employment opportunities.
There is an attractive handicraft market in the middle of the town, where you can find local souvenirs. We also recommend a visit to the Ethnographic History Museum set on a stilt house, with a diversity of collections that record the evolution of the people of Chiloé through time, and the evolution of family agricultural activities, handicrafts, fishing, in addition to a replica of a ‘dalca’.

Dalcahue Map

Satellite Map