As Chile sweeps to the top of many people’s lists of must-visit destinations for 2018, we couldn’t agree more. With the gurgling volcanoes come therapeutic thermal baths; the driest non-polar desert in the world, the Atacama, boasts infinite landscapes that’ll be sure to amaze you; and Patagonia will blow you away with its sublime views and whistling winds. It’s incredible that all this is contained in one country, and we haven’t even scratched the surface of all the fabulous sights, animals and natural phenomena you will find here.
Secluded from the rest of the world and South America, this long stretch of country has an extensive coastline hugging the Pacific Ocean, offering plenty of locations for surfing and water sports, pristine beaches and marine wildlife spotting, while the east has the towering snowcapped peaks of the Andes, where hikers, climbers and skiers can all get their adrenaline on with a healthy dose of adventure.
The contrast of climate from north to south is also fascinating, with arid, dusty desert in the north and incredible celestial skies by night, while the islets of the south have stunning turquoise and azure blue lakes, frozen fjords and staggering glaciers.
Santiago, the capital, oozes culture and history, with colourful murals of street art brightening the streets of Bellavista, where you will also find one of the houses of the famous Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda. What’s more, Santiago was named a top gastronomic destination for 2017, with chef Rodolfo Guzmán changing the way we think about food; his restaurant Boragó ranked fourth in Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2016. Hand in hand with the exciting cuisine, the wine doth flow, with the Casablanca, Maipo, Colchagua and Maule valleys in close proximity to the capital; you have to try the Cabernet Sauvignons, Carménères and Syrahs here.