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The Atacama is home to some of Chile’s most spectacular landscapes, and it shouldn’t be missed. In between visiting Valle de la Luna, Geysers El Tatio and Lagunas Altiplanicas, why not try your hand at sandboarding? If you’ve had some experience, you will be able to cruise down the steep 120-metre (394-foot) dunes.
In order to add a little more excitement to your skiing trip, rather than skiing around the well-groomed resorts, why not hire a guide and a helicopter? Then you can discover all the incredible off-piste terrain that’s only accessible in this way. It’s popular with the world’s best skiers; you really are in for a treat.
On the Argentinian–Chilean border is one mammoth volcano. Climbing Ojos del Salado is not for the fainthearted, as it reaches a daunting height of 6,893 metres (22,614 feet). Not only is it extremely tall, it is in fact still active; the last-known eruption was 1,300 years ago.
The third-largest ice mass in the world, after those in Greenland and Antarctica, is found in Chile. The Patagonian Southern Ice Field stretches over three national parks, including the Torres del Paine and San Rafael Lagoon National Parks. It is one of the most exciting treks in the world, so grab some crampons and a warm jacket and go.
Whether you rate yourself as a surfer, or you absolutely don’t, Pichilemu has waves for all standards. Beginners can easily pick up lessons on the main beachfront, Calle Costanera, where the waves are smaller and easier to learn on. Surf lovers can head to Punta de Lobos, where the waves are huge and many competitions are held.
There’s no need to travel far from the capital, because in Santiago you can jump out of a plane at a height of over 4,000 metres (13,123 feet); perhaps not an activity for those with vertigo, but if you’ve always dreamed of flying like a bird, here’s your chance.
The scenery in Patagonia is out of this world. The Torres del Paine National Park boasts soaring mountains that you can admire while you’re cantering through the golden pampas. Keep an eye out for guanacos and maybe even a puma, although the latter mostly prefer to come out at night.
Chile’s top destination for whitewater rafting is along the River Trancura in Pucon. Beginners can gain their courage along the calmer grade III rapids in the lower sections of the rivers, while those looking for a thrill can test the higher grade IV section, all while admiring the beauty of the surrounding area.
Central Patagonia boasts some wild waters. Head to the Futaleufu River, which can be found off the Carretera Austral, or the Baker River near the General Carrera Lake. These routes are adrenaline-filled, with rapids and waterfalls to add to the fun.
One of the most popular treks in South America is the Torres del Paine W or O trek. The W trek takes five days, and will lead you to the crown jewels, the Torres. The O trek is a little more challenging, taking between six and ten days, depending on your route.
The warm, crystal-clear waters of Easter Island are like something out of Finding Nemo, with mysterious caves to explore and sinking Moai statues to locate along the Las Áncoras reef. This is all easy to see, because the visibility is perfect; you can go as far as 60 metres (197 feet) under the sea.
Grab your kite, lock in and find the whistling winds that will give you the ride of your life. The Chilean coast has some stunning beaches; for the best of them, speed along either Matanzas or La Boca de Rapel.
Strap in, lock on and enjoy the ride, whizzing through the trees at high speed. You’ll be begging to go again as soon as you stop. Zip lining can also be enjoyed near Puerto Varas.
Weave along the downhill paths towards the gorgeously clear blue ocean waters, where you will be teased into taking a dip by the alluring beauty of it all.
Combine water sports with flying high up in the air, being pulled along by a motorboat on the Villarrica Lake. Up 700 metres (2,300 feet) high, you will be able to enjoy the panoramic views over the quaint town of Pucon, as well as seeing the domineering Villarrica volcano from a whole different angle.
Where are the best ski resorts in Chile?