Ancud ’s U.S.-Peruvian Austral Adventures (Cochrane 432, tel./fax 065/625977) conducts day tours (US$60 including the Puñihuil penguin colony and other nearby sites) and sea-kayak excursions (US$50 for the day, US$299 for three-day, two-night trips); it specializes, though, in extended explorations of the archipelago’s inner waters and points south on the 15-meter Cahuella, whose exterior resembles a traditional Chilote fishing boat but whose interior has contemporary comforts. Click here  for more information on Organized Tours .
At Hotel Madryn, Argentine-run Patagón Chiloé (Bellavista 491, tel. 065/622128, www.patagonchiloe.cl ) is more attuned to local excursions, half-day trips such as the penguin colony at Puñihuil  (US$19) and the island’s churches and chapels.
At the southwest corner of the Plaza de Armas, the recently remodeled Museo Azul de las Islas de Chiloé, alternatively known as the Museo Aurelio Bórquez Canobra, is Ancud ’s regional museum. Informally known as the Museo Chilote, it focuses on the archipelago’s natural environment and wildlife, regional archaeology, European settlement, ecclesiastical art and architecture, the 1960 earthquake (which literally shook the island into the present), the Castro–Ancud railway (destroyed by the quake), and a vivid relief map of the archipelago. The patios also include sculptures of folkloric figures such as the sinister, forest-dwelling Trauco and the siren mermaid La Pincoya.
In January and February, the Museo Chilote (Libertad 370, tel. 065/622413) is open 10:30 a.m.–7:30 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m.–7:30 p.m. weekends and holidays. The rest of the year, hours are 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m.–2 p.m. weekends and holidays. Admission costs US$1.10 for adults, US$0.55 for children.
Guarding the harbor from a promontory just west of the intersection of Cochrane and San Antonio, the colonial Fuerte San Antonio (1770) was Spain’s last Chilean stronghold during the independence struggles—revolutionary forces finally lowered the Spanish flag and raised their own in 1826. Its cannon emplacements are still intact.