Squeezed in between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes, Chile is just 217 miles east to west, but extends more than 2,600 miles from north to south! Its peculiar shape and distinct geography results in a full range of climates and landscapes. Go stargazing in the salt flats of the Atacama Desert, and go kayaking in the icebergs of Patagonia in the Torres del Paine National Park. It’s all possible during the same trip when you visit Chile.
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Named after the huge, granite towers that rise impressively out of the landscape, the Torres del Paine National Park covers over 1,100 square miles of Patagonian wilderness. This park is a must-see for nature lovers and keen hikers who travel to Chile. The Cordillera Paine is the focal point of this park as the transition from the subpolar forests to the Patagonian steppes. Track the elusive puma with an expert guide, and discover the glaciers and deep blue icebergs of Grey Lake.
The Atacama Desert covers more than 600 miles and is the driest nonpolar desert on earth. You’ll see truly unique landscapes quite unlike anything you’ve seen before - huge salt flats, geysers, lagoons, and volcanos stretch for as far as the eye can see. For those interested in astrology, the Atacama Desert is one of the best places in the world to stargaze. Prepare to be amazed by an adventure destination that is truly out of this world.
Easter Island is located 2,290 miles off the coast of Chile. This UNESCO world heritage site is best known for the almost 900 stone head statues or Moai. See these monoliths at one of the ceremonial altars or ahu and summit Terevaka, the highest peak for a panoramic view of this spectacularly remote land.
Volcano Osorno is the perfect destination for those looking to enjoy a scenic road trip or adventure hike. Located around 500 miles south of the capital Santiago, Osorno is one of the most active volcanoes of the Andes. Located in the Los Lagos Region of Chile, this enormous volcano is similar in appearance to Mount Fuji, and has the beautiful Llanquihue Lake at its base.
Chiloé Island is the largest Island in Chile. The houses ignore the border between land and sea, and stand atop wooden stilts on the water. The island is known for its seafaring culture, and even the churches are built like boats! Most of these unique houses of worship from the 18 and 19th centuries are UNESCO World Heritage sites, made completely of wood with rounded ceilings like a ship's hull.
Santiago has been the capital of Chile since colonial times. Now about seven million Chilenos call this sprawling city home. Stroll through the neoclassical ambiance of Plaza de Armas or explore the winding streets of Bellavista where local artisans often sell their wares. Grab an Italiano hot dog—chock-full of avocado, onions, and tomatoes—to power your exploration.
Built on the steep hills rising from the Pacific Ocean, the port town of Valparaíso is known for the vibrant colors of its buildings. Ride the funicular railway up the city’s unusual landscape and enjoy spectacular ocean views. Visit Sebastiana, the quirky former home of Pablo Neruda, and learn more about this Nobel laureate from the attached museum. Watch the sunset with a steaming bowl of Cazuela Mariscos, a traditional seafood stew. Less
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