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Dock of Souls (Muelle de las Almas)

A mystical and philosophical dock installation on Chiloe Island


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Chiloé's Dock of Souls is an unusual art installation based on local mythology. The curved boardwalk was built in 2007 by architect Marcelo Orellana. It spans 17m along the stunning seashore and disappears off a tall cliff into the Bay of Cucao.

Mapuche people once occupied all of south-central Chile and parts of neighbouring Argentina. According to one of Mapuche legends, lost souls must be aided by Tempilcahue to get to the afterlife or they will wander around forever. The Tempilcahue, according to Mapuche, are four whales who were once four old women turned into fantastic sea creatures. Their job was to carry the souls of the dead over the sea. In Chiloé’s variant of the legend, the Tempilcahue is a cantankerous ferryman.

Chiloé Island is located in the far northern reaches of Patagonia, tourists don't know too much about this destination. However, it's popular with Chileans for its folklore and natural beauty. Chiloé’s wooden churches are UNESCO World Heritage sites. To get to the island you can rent a car in Castro or take a bus to Cucao village. The Parque Nacional Chiloé is located in 2-3 hours by foot from the village.

The best time to visit Chiloé's 'Dock of Souls' weather-wise is summer, from December through March.

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