The Atacama desert, the glaciers of Torres del Paine National Park, the mighty Andes, the wine valleys of Maipo – and let’s not forget Easter Island. There’s a lot to discover when you’re visiting Chile. Join us and discover the best.
With views reminiscent of a scene out of a sci-fi film, this beautiful landscape can be found in the north of Chile. It’s a perfect holiday destination – where you can let the warmth of the thermal baths soothe you, sit in awe of the gushing geysers and watch as some of the world’s most colorful sunsets develop into a celestial sky.
The Chile capital, Santiago, sits between the Andes and the Pacific, offering weekends away in the mountains – or by the coast. The city has a rather dark history from the time of the Pinochet dictatorship and now prefers to express itself through the city’s street art, tradition and culture. Time your visit to coincide with the Fiestas Patriascelebrations and get in the Chilean spirit.
A stomping ground for the famous poet, Pablo Neruda and visual artists alike, this coastal city gives Santiago a run for its money. With brimming culture, eye-catching street art and an ever-increasing size, Valparaíso is a must-see on your Chilean adventure. Admire the colorful houses that hang off each other artistically, and marvel at how they are all still intact after so many earthquakes.
In Chile, there is no shortage of vineyards – nor valleys where world-class wine is made. In fact, most of the countryside surrounding Santiago is lined with blossoming vines, which are used to create some of the finest wines in the world. Why not try a tipple of Carménère, Syrah and Pinot Noir, accompanied by some fine Chilean cuisine cooked with local meat to experience the real deal.
As you venture down to the south of Chile, you will encounter much German influence – as well as Mapuche traditions. Chiloe Island, in particular, is an island where, due to its isolation, life continues much as it did in the past. If you’re lucky to witness a minga celebration, you might get the chance to taste the explosive flavor of a curanto, too.
This sublime area of Chile is where the national drink, pisco, is made. Take a tour around the distillery and taste the product – as well as enjoying great trekking and other outdoor activities. The village of Pisco Elqui isn’t far from La Serena, so you can combine your trip with a stop off at Isla Damas, where you can spot penguins on one of the many beaches.
Embark on a road trip or a journey by bicycle along this famous route, stopping at the marvelous marble caves found on the General Carrera Lake. As you whizz over the glacial lakes by boat towards the caves, you will experience incredible tranquility. These stunning natural caves really are photogenic – with swirling patterns of the caves’ walls standing out against the azure blue lake.
Tierra del Fuego translates as “the end of the world”, and the main inhabitants here are the abundant colonies of Magellanic and Humboldt penguins. Nature and wildlife enthusiasts love the incredible mountainous scenery that comes hand in hand with animal spotting – keep an eye out for humpback whales, sea lions and dolphins, too.
The Chilean lake district is another area not short of great treks worthy of a day – or two – exploring. From waterfalls to dense forests, gurgling volcanoes and quaint country villages, you’ll really feel you’re in the heart of Chile. Take a boat ride around one of the many lakes that offer a great angle of the surrounding volcanoes of Puerto Varas.
Pucon is an outdoor enthusiasts’ heaven. You can climb the Villarrica volcano, white-water raft on boisterous rapids, gallop through the valleys on horseback, go canyoning, hike through the surrounding national parks – and once you’ve completed all these, sit back and relax in the steamy natural thermal baths.
Portillo is South America’s oldest ski resort, with an iconic yellow building that is easily noticeable from all around the resort. Discover the pistes and ski on the well-groomed terrain – or if you’re feeling adventurous, explore some of the endless off-piste runs. Be sure to pack extra clothes for the evenings, as they are known to get into the minus temperatures.