Chile is a long, narrow country in the southwestern part of South America, extending from the Andes Mountains on the east to the Pacific Ocean on the west. Chile borders Peru and Bolivia to the north, and Argentina to the east. It is divided into 5 geographic and climactic zones: North & Atacama Desert; Santiago, Valparaiso & Central Valleys; Lakes & Volcanoes; Patagonia & Antarctic and the Oceanic Islands. Chile offers a wonderfully varied mix of landscapes and climates that range from the most arid desert in the world to ice-cold glaciers and straits in the Pacific Ocean, from the Polynesian warmth of Easter Island to the soaring ski slopes of the Andes, from the sun-soaked beaches of the Pacific coast to the delightfully moderate climates in the central region.
Popular Things To Do:
Observe the incredible Atacama night sky at one of the world famous observatories.
Enjoy wine tasting in some of Chile’s world famous vineyards.
Visit the museums and historic sites of Santiago, Valparaiso (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and Viña del Mar.
For the active traveler, there is no limit to activities. Everything from horse riding, white water rafting, skiing & snowboarding, hiking, fishing and much more.
Spend a day in a traditional Mapuche village, perhaps sleep in a traditional ruka dwelling.
Take a cruise to Tierra del Fuego and Antarctica.
In the north, visitors can discover the wonders of the Atacama Desert, which happens to be the world’s driest stretch of land. The dramatic mountains and wide expanses of unspoiled desert make this region feel like visiting another planet. The El Tatio Geysers, Valle de la Luna & Valle de la Muerte, San Pedro de Atacama & one of the observatories for star gazing are among the many places worth a visit during your time in the Chilean north.
The central portion, in the Andes Mountains, is home to the majority of the best ski resorts in South America, attracting thousands of enthusiasts every season (and don’t forget, Chile’s ski season is the opposite of North America’s). Some popular ski centers are Valle Nevado, La Parva & Portillo. Nearby, you can find lots to do in the sophisticated cities of Santiago, Valparaiso (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and Viña del Mar taking some time to visit the museums and historic sites that these cities have to offer. If you are a wine lover, then you simply must visit some of Chile’s world-famous vineyards – the Maipo Valley alone is home to some 20 vineyards.
In the south, skiing and snowboarding are complemented by activities like whitewater rafting and hiking against awe-inspiring backdrops that are especially bio diverse thanks to the humid and rainy climate. The traditions of the Ancient Mapuche people can be felt throughout the south. You can sleep in a traditional ruka dwelling, tour medicine gardens and sample the local cuisine. There are a plethora of hot springs, each offering its own unique treatment options such as wine or mud baths.
The southernmost areas — which include Patagonia and the Chilean Antarctic — are paradise for nature lovers, with fields of glaciers and thousand-year-old icebergs. You can enjoy the breathtaking scenery by boat, cruise ship and trekking. Torres del Paine National Park (a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve) is a must see for nature lovers. Fly fishing enthusiasts will enjoy Aysén. Patagonia and Antarctica are ideal for wildlife spotting: sea lions, dolphins, penguins and more. You might like to take a cruise to Tierra del Fuego and Antarctica – a big bucket list item for many.
You will find laid-back beauty and a myriad photo opportunities on Chile’s numerous islands, which include beautiful Chiloé as well as an island named for the story of a ship- wrecked adventurer, Robinson Crusoe, and the legendary Easter Island, home to hundreds of mysterious statues & a UNESCO World Heritage Site.