Chile is a relatively underrated travelling destination, being a small country in South America with a population just shy of eighteen million and a land surface of 756,102 square kilometers. Chile stretches between the Andes mountains and the Pacific Ocean as a narrow piece of land wedged between Bolivia and Argentina in the east and Peru to the north.
Also, the Atacama Desert acts like a buffer between Peru and Chile, while in the south there’s nothing else beside the infamous Cape Horn. the Antarctica and the ocean, making Chile to be a very peculiar (as in isolated) travel destination.
However, isolation comes with its own advantages, as you’ll hardly find a quieter and more serene place to spend this summer, other than Chile I mean. And the country’s diverse landscape makes it the ideal destination for road tripping, hiking, climbing and surfing, as Chile holds proudly its crown as the best place for adventure-tourism in South America.
But don’t worry, even if you’re not a thrill seeking adrenaline junkie, Chile has something for you, ranging from the country’s vibrant arts scene to the incredibly beautiful night skies and the indigenous Mapuche Indian culture/heritage, not to mention the Chilean people themselves, an open and warm populace which make visiting the country a true joy for your soul and your senses.
The country’s capital and main city is Santiago, a modern and dynamic place boasting arty neighborhoods and busy boulevards. Regardless of what you’re seeking, Chile has it: whether you’re looking for solitude or to enjoy wonderful sights in the lap of luxury, Chile has myriads of attractions to offer for the intrepid tourist.
What to see, what to do in Chile
Northern Chile is a place where you’ll discover the country’s plethora of delights and attractions. For example, you may go visit Los Choros, a small fishing-village where you can admire sea otters and bottle nosed dolphins swimming majestically of shore. Also, if you’re a water sports enthusiast, you’ll definitely have to pay a visit to Pichilemu and Arica, where some of the best world surfing championships are held every year. If you’re an amateur, the ideal place to surf is Punta de Lobos. Also, Northern Chile will offer you the incredible opportunity to visit the old Humberston, a former mining town which is now deserted. Also, while here you can go bird-watching for rheas and flamingos in the Parque Nacional Lauca.
The Atacama Desert offers its visitors an astounding view over its unique and incredibly arid landscape, salt flats, vistas of volcanoes, abandoned homes of the Ayamara people and aquamarine lakes, being the driest place on Earth, where not a drop of rain was spotted for more than four hundred years.
San Rafael’s National Park’s main attraction is its eponymous San Rafael Glacier, a place where you can chill out (literally) watching spectacular icebergs taking a glacier cruise, or to enjoy kayaking. Also, you can take a longer cruise and pass around Cape Horn along the Beagle Channel, admiring fjords and glacial valleys along the way, together with enormous icebergs.
Francisco Coloane Marine Park is world renowned for its whale watching opportunities, being located in the straight of Magellan, or you can hike up fiery volcanoes, like the Volcan Villarrica and enjoy white water rafting down the rapids at Maipo near Santiago and the Trancura near Pucon.
Easter Island is a volcanic island sitting lonely in the Pacific Ocean, a place where you’ll stand in awe staring at the ~300 statues which still puzzle the scientific community today, as we don’t have a clue why and how they were built.
Chilean Food and Drink
Chile is a country with a temperate climate and very fertile lands, being blessed with a huge variety of natural produce. The cuisine is great, less spicy compared to other places in South America, yet hearty and fresh. Specialties include red meats, seafood and chicken, which dominates the menu. Beer and wines are also plenty, together with Pisco, a strong brandy and Chicha, a local maize-made beer.
To enter and visit Chile, you’ll only require a valid passport, but no Visa.