Chonchi was another beautiful old traditional town. It has managed to keep many of its original timber buildings (despite a large fire in 2002). Unfortunately almost all of its palifitos were destroyed in natural disasters. The colourful church is not original, the natural disasters didn’t spare it, but it has been restored perfectly.
This wooden town was the capital of the timber industry in the area, where wood baron Ciriaco Alvarez made millions by stripping the island and the archipelago of its forests. He was well loved, however, as he used to dress in rags and work in the docks with his workers loading wood onto ships bound for Europe and Peru.