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Chile

7

Reasons to Visit Chile

  • Atacama desert

    Endlessly referred to as the "driest desert in the world" the Atacama is a great base for the outdoor enthusiast. Mountain biking, walking, visits to salt pans and bubbling geysers are just a few of the possibilities whilst staying here.

    Atacama desert
  • Expedition cruises

    The bottom third of Chile is home to numerous fjords, islets, archipelagos and peninsulas to explore. There is no better (in fact no other!) way to explore these fascinating territories than by taking to the water. Whether it is exploring the northern ice fields, travelling down through fjords or cruising around the southern tip of South America to Cape Horn there is a journey to suit all interests.

    Expedition cruises
  • Patagonia

    The most famous National Park in Chile and all of Patagonia, Torres del Paine is remote, rugged and windswept. The eponymous "Torres" or towers and uniquely smooth and twisted cuernos (horns) of the Paine Massif are unforgettable. Once there, the incredible landscape is waiting to be explored, either by foot, boat, bike, horse or vehicle.

    Patagonia
  • Self-drive

    By comparison to neighbouring countries, Chilean roads are generally a good standard and well-signed, making it an excellent choice for self drive. Opportunities extend from heading out of Santiago, through the Winelands down to the pretty Lake District through to self-exploration of the Patagonian Steppe around Torres del Paine National Park.

    Self-drive
  • The Andes

    The mighty Andes create a magnificent natural border between Chile and neighbouring Argentina, running the full length of the country. They loom up from the Pacific providing a breathtaking backdrop to desert, vineyard and glacier and isolating the Chilean people from most of the rest of the continent.

    The Andes
  • Walking & trekking

    From gentle strolls in the lush green hills of the Lake District, to hiking a volcano in the Atacama or climbing to the base of the famous towers in Torres del Paine National Park, Chile offers some of the best opportunities in Latin America for walking and trekking at all levels.

    Walking & trekking
  • Wine

    Chile has been making wine for over 400 years and now produces some of the best Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon in the world. It is also very reasonably priced. Chile's most famous vineyards and wineries are generally located in the valleys around Santiago and make excellent day trips from the city whilst many have their own accommodation.

    Wine

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South America

South America

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Highlights of Chile

    • Discover the mystical Moai of Easter Island
    • A tiny speck in the vast Pacific Ocean, Easter Island (or Rapa Nui as it is known by the locals) is a remote and mystical place, famous for the brooding stone statues known as Moai that litter the volcanic landscape.
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    • Enjoy the natural beauty of the Lake District
    • This impossibly pretty region of the bluest waters, white-tipped volcanoes, waterfalls and ancient forests is perfect for gentle hiking, bike riding, fishing or relaxing in warm thermal pools.
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    • Explore the beautiful Aisen Region
    • One of the less visited parts of Chile, this is a beautiful and lush region, great for enjoying outdoor activities and stunning scenery.
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    • Search the night sky at La Serena
    • This is an area with incredibly clear night skies, and as a result there are several international observatories throughout the Elqui Valley that can be visited.
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    • See the unusual landscapes of the Atacama Desert
    • One of the driest places on earth, The Atacama Desert features a stunning moonscape wilderness of volcanoes, salt lakes, different coloured lagoons, hot springs and geysers.
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    • Spend time on Lakutaia at the tip of South America
    • An untouched part of Tierra del Fuego, Lakutaia is a small island located off the southernmost tip of the South American continent. The perfect place to escape the crowds and get away from it all.
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    • Take time to enjoy Torres del Paine National Park
    • Towering granite peaks, turquoise lakes, condors and guanacos, all waiting to be discovered in Chile's most beautiful national park.
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    • Taste great Chilean wine in the Colchagua Valley
    • To start to learn about (and taste) some of the best wine in Chile, the Colchagua Valley is an ideal place to visit.
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Our country specialists have travelled the length and breadth of Chile - here are a few of their favourite things to do

Chilean legend has it that when God had finished creating earth, he walked back across the heavens and a little of everything that was left; mountains, deserts, lakes, glaciers, volcanoes and valleys, trickled out through a hole in his pocket, and thus Chile was born.

Diverse landscapes

This implausibly long and thin ribbon of land that unfurls down the Pacific coast of South America compresses an extraordinarily diverse range of terrain between its Andean spine on one side and the ocean to the other. Sweeping from the world’s highest and driest desert down through rolling vineyards, past snow-dusted volcanoes, narrow fjords and turquoise lakes to sharp granite peaks towering above blue icebergs, this slender slice of land is also bursting with culture and charm.

Culture and history

Chileans are proud and friendly, fiercely protecting their traditions, keen to boast about their two Nobel prize winning compatriots; Pablo Neruda and Gabriela Mistral, and more than happy to enjoy a glass of the fiery national cocktail, pisco, with visitors. Add to all this the mysterious statues of Easter Island marooned five hours’ flight away out in the Pacific Ocean, and you have every imaginable ingredient for a wealth of sights and experiences.

Popular Places to visit in

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{C6EB57A1-A225-4FC2-91BA-1529AFD5A1E1} Casablanca Valley

This stunning valley is best known for its crisp white wines, most notably Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.

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{154A960A-A936-43E5-BD55-1EFBCAC92728} Colchagua Valley

The Colchagua Valley lies to the south of Santiago and makes up a major part of the Central Valley. It makes up a vital part of the Chilean economy as a producer of fruit to be exported around the world.

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{9EE88CCF-1442-476A-BFDB-4B6FFCF69033} Easter Island

A tiny speck of volcanic rock in the middle of the Pacific a five hour flight from the Chilean mainland, Easter Island has, for centuries, fascinated travellers and scholars alike. This is due to the squat bodies and brooding faces of hundreds of stone statues or ‘moai’ that gaze from all corners of the island.

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{CD1BAD6C-7514-44A1-BDE7-394BD9C27897} Pucon

Pucon is nestled on the shores of the mighty Lake Villarrica, with views of the perfect snow-capped symmetry of Volcan Villarrica.

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{C8E5F2F9-D812-400E-A82E-DA547E41CEC4} Puerto Varas

Curving around the southern shore of Lake Llanquihue, with breathtaking views of the Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes, Puerto Varas is a pretty little town with a lovely, welcoming feel.

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{9DC42450-FCB9-43BB-B1B9-D35CD5850A1C} Santa Cruz & the Wineries

Another highly recommended antidote to the bustle of Santiago’s streets is to journey a little way south to taste some fine Chilean wines at nearby Concha y Toro, just outside the city.

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{706B790C-301C-434D-B697-5200C261479D} Santiago

The capital of Chile is a modern metropolis, but a charming one with many landscaped parks, peaceful hilltop sanctuaries offering calm amid the chaos and Snow-covered Andean peaks providing Santiago’s backdrop.

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{7024C468-8AEE-4B9A-8441-1F37FB2F15F3} The Aisen Region

The Aisen region lies to the north of Torres del Paine and the most frequently visited parts of Patagonia and with an average of 300 days of sun a year it has its own specific micro climate.

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{7765C5AD-AD23-4FC5-9B5D-053876ED2CC3} The Atacama Desert

Eerie, austere, remote yet beautiful, no more so than at sunrise and sunset when the surfaces and the skies turn all manner of improbable hues of orange, crimson and gold, Chile’s Atacama Desert is so dry that there are many parts of it in which no rainfall has ever been recorded.

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{E397E028-A695-48B9-AB70-A0A9C510C7B9} The Lake District

The Lake District is an impossibly pretty region of the bluest waters, white-tipped volcanoes, waterfalls and ancient forests, perfect for gentle hiking, bike riding, fishing, relaxing in thermal pools and languorous cruises around fjords and glaciers.

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{1B2F7789-DDF6-4691-BDB9-7D2BB4EA7D12} Torres del Paine National Park

The most famous national park in Chile and all Patagonia, Torres del Paine is remote, isolated, rugged and windswept, yet while all this makes it lengthy to reach and demanding to explore, it is at the same time the very essence of its appeal and there is no doubting that it is worth the effort.

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{05B6A223-5F9B-410F-B274-531FF189A3C3} Northern Patagonia

Chile’s Southern Highway snakes south from Puerto Montt through the country’s remote Aisén region down to southern Patagonia. The landscape through which you pass is dramatic, pristine, and enticingly studded with waterfalls, rivers, forests and lakes.

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Practical Info

Flight time

16 hours (Santiago via Madrid, Sao Paulo or Buenos Aires)

Recommended airlines

British Airways, Iberia & LAN

Timezone

GMT-4 hours

When To Go

Jan
The best time to travel
Feb
The best time to travel
Mar
The best time to travel
Apr
A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of
May
A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of
Jun
A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of
Jul
A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of
Aug
A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of
Sep
A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of
Oct
The best time to travel
Nov
The best time to travel
Dec
The best time to travel
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