Chile

Overview

Between the vertiginous peaks of the Andes and the vast waters of the Pacific is the Republic of Chile. Made up of 16 different regions that form a 4,270-km long strip of land from North to South, Chile is simultaneously home to the world’s driest desert and an icy landscape of glaciers and alpine tundra. Take a trip to Santiago, the capital that masterfully fuses tradition with modernity in its culture, its architecture and the overall flavour of its character. Outside of the capital, dramatic mountain ranges rise from the earth majestically. Far out into the ocean lies the island of Rapa Nui, or Easter Island, where Polynesian heritage remains strong, retaining the gravitas and grandeur of the island’s characteristic stone moai statues. Back on the mainland, regions like Araucanía and Biobío are synonymous with lush green wonderlands straddled by lakes, rivers and national parks. If you’re looking for the ‘Jewel of the Pacific’ head to Valparaíso, where colourful and artsy buildings match the bohemian lifestyle of this laidback seafront city. Chile is in equal parts diverse and inviting with so much to offer its lucky visitors.

Top Attractions

  • Explore the vibrant capital city of Santiago, with its bustling markets, historic landmarks like the Plaza de Armas and the La Moneda Palace, and cultural attractions like the Museum of Pre-Columbian Art and the Chilean National Museum of Fine Arts.
  • Discover the natural beauty of the Atacama Desert, the driest desert in the world, with its otherworldly landscapes, geysers, salt flats, and stunning rock formations like the Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley) and the Atacama Salt Flats.
  • Visit the iconic Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia, home to towering granite peaks, pristine lakes, and glaciers, as well as opportunities for hiking, trekking, and wildlife spotting in one of the most beautiful national parks in the world.
  • Explore the picturesque port city of Valparaíso, a UNESCO World Heritage site, with its colorful hillside houses, historic funiculars, and vibrant street art scene, as well as cultural attractions like the Pablo Neruda Museum and the Naval and Maritime Museum.
  • Experience the natural wonders of Easter Island, one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world, with its mysterious moai statues, volcanic landscapes, and archaeological sites like Rano Raraku and Orongo.

Local Cuisine

  • Indulge in the flavors of Chilean cuisine, known for its fresh seafood, hearty stews, and South American influences.
  • Sample iconic dishes like empanadas (savory pastries filled with meat, cheese, or seafood), pastel de choclo (a corn and meat pie), and cazuela de pollo (a traditional chicken stew), as well as traditional side dishes like pebre (a spicy salsa) and ensalada chilena (a tomato and onion salad).
  • Try Chilean specialties like ceviche (marinated raw fish), completo (a loaded hot dog with avocado, tomato, and mayonnaise), and curanto (a seafood and meat stew cooked in a pit), as well as traditional desserts like tres leches cake and alfajores (dulce de leche-filled cookies).
  • Savor refreshing beverages like pisco (a grape brandy), pisco sour (a cocktail made with pisco, lemon juice, sugar, and egg white), and terremoto (a sweet wine cocktail), as well as traditional drinks like mote con huesillo (a sweet drink made with dried peaches and wheat).
  • Don’t forget to try Chilean street food like sopaipillas (fried dough), anticuchos (grilled meat skewers), and completos (loaded hot dogs), as well as snacks like churros (fried dough sticks) and kuchen (fruit tart).

Outdoor Activities

  • Go hiking and trekking in the Chilean Andes, with opportunities for exploring scenic trails, summiting peaks like Cerro Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre, and trekking the famous W Circuit in Torres del Paine National Park.
  • Explore the lakes and volcanoes of Chile’s Lake District, with opportunities for kayaking, fishing, and hiking in destinations like Pucon, Villarrica National Park, and the Chiloé Archipelago.
  • Take a boat tour to explore the fjords and glaciers of southern Chile, with opportunities for whale watching, glacier hiking, and visiting remote islands and coastal villages in the fjords of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego.
  • Visit the vineyards and wineries of Chile’s wine regions, such as the Maipo Valley, the Casablanca Valley, and the Colchagua Valley, with opportunities for wine tasting, vineyard tours, and gourmet dining at some of Chile’s most prestigious wineries.
  • Experience outdoor adventures like horseback riding, mountain biking, and white-water rafting in destinations like the Maipo Canyon, the Atacama Desert, and the Bio Bio River.

Cultural Experiences

  • Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Chile with visits to museums, galleries, and cultural institutions like the National Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Memory and Human Rights, and the Museum of Pre-Columbian Art, which showcase the history, art, and culture of the country.
  • Explore the vibrant arts scene of Chile, with opportunities to attend music festivals, dance performances, and art exhibitions showcasing Chilean and international talent, as well as workshops and classes in traditional crafts like pottery and weaving.
  • Experience traditional Chilean music and dance performances, such as cueca (the national dance of Chile), cueca chilota (a variation of cueca from Chiloé), and cueca nortina (a variation of cueca from the Norte Grande), as well as contemporary styles like folk rock, hip hop, and reggaeton.
  • Discover the history and legacy of Chile’s indigenous peoples with visits to historic sites like the Mapuche Museum in Temuco, the Rapa Nui National Park on Easter Island, and the traditional villages of the Atacama Desert, which showcase the art, culture, and traditions of Chile’s indigenous communities.
  • Participate in local festivals and celebrations, such as Fiestas Patrias (Chilean Independence Day), the Santiago International Film Festival (SANFIC), and the Valparaíso International Music Festival (FIMV), to experience the vibrant culture and spirit of Chile firsthand.

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