Lonely Planet has named Chile as its top travel destination country in 2018 and it’s not difficult to figure out why. This South American country boasts of breathtaking nature, incredible wildlife, deserts, glaciers, culture, history, and charming colonial architecture. A highly-developed economy, the country offers fantastic connections from major cities such as London, New York or Melbourne. Inland travel to popular destinations is relatively easy whether you are flying south or heading north. Just remember that the Southern Hemisphere has a different season. Spring (September-October) and autumn (April-May) are good for visits as there are fewer crowds and temperatures are less chilly. The winter months (June and August) are not recommended where most attractions close. That said, here is a short list of places you should visit while in Chile.
Explore the Stunning Torres del Paine National Park
The renowned peaks of Los Torres, the most photographed backdrop that you see in photos of Chile overlook this beautiful national park. The Torres del Paine National Park is known for its glaciers, mountains, and lakes. The park is also home to over 100 species of birds, a perfect place to spot native species including the majestic condor. Snap photos of splendid mountains or blue icebergs, hike on trails leading to outstanding lookouts and see guanacos (animals that look like llamas). The Chilean Patagonia is a must-visit where you can relax, commune with nature and forget your troubles.
Absorb the Natural Beauty of San Pedro de Atacama
Chile is a land of extremes and contrasts from the coldest climates in Patagonia to the driest areas of San Pedro de Atacama. Imagine a landscape of majestic mountains, volcanoes, blue lagoons and shimmering salt pans. Put in pink flamingos and you will probably see the most impressive scenery in your life. There are many things you can do in the Atacama such as a visit to Moon Valley whose land surface is comparable to the moon. Then there are the exciting geysers of the Tatio volcano or the perfect nightcap – an astronomic tour. Some of the biggest research stations and observatories in the world are in the Atacama because its skies are very clear ideal for star or planet gazing. Constellation gazing is very soothing and relaxing, a great way to spend a laidback holiday.
Discover the Magic of the Easter Island
A thousand moai sculptures, massive statues carved from stone dot the horizon of the Easter Island. Its remote location also attracts visitors considering that nearest inhabited centers are around 2,000 miles away. But beyond the statues and its isolation, the island offers an extraordinary Polynesian culture. Delve into the Rapa Nui culture, join the Islanders as they celebrate the Tapati festival centered on ancient sports or visit the three extinct volcanoes.
Ski in Portillo
You might ask why ski in Chile when there’s the French or the Swiss Alps? Several reasons. For one it is an established skiing site having been around for over 50 years. Secondly, the Andes are the second highest peaks after the famed Himalayas so going down the slopes or snowboarding is a thrilling and different experience. In addition, there are enticing apres-ski attractions such as the hot springs or the Termas de Chillan. The atmosphere is chill, you won’t have a hard time relaxing even while doing extreme sports.
Stop by at Santiago de Chile
Of course, your trip to Chile is not complete without checking its cosmopolitan capital. Enjoy colonial architecture, check out historic museums & sites, take part in its nightlife or just watch people go about their daily business at a charming outdoor café. If anything, most of your flights will be connecting from the capital so why not spend a few days here and find out what makes it tick? Besides, if you’re after the beaches there are many sites near Chile such as Vina del Mar and Valparaiso all within a reasonable distance from the capital.
From national parks and beaches to volcanoes and glaciers, photoshoots and adventure travel. Chile is a travel destination that needs to be savoured slowly. A trip to this South American country is an experience that you won’t forget, ever.