Nestled between the southern Andes and the Pacific Ocean, Chile is a country of diverse landscapes, sweeping coastlines and adventure sports. This narrow strip of land that runs along the southwesterly edge of South America transforms from desert, beach towns and vineyards into glaciers and ski mountains. Hiking, rafting, skiing and surfing are just some of the adventures offered in Chile.
Chile’s energetic capital city, Santiago, is centrally located in the country and a major transport hub. Explore eclectic neighborhoods against a backdrop of the snow-capped Andes. Check out Valparaiso, a colorful and bohemian coastal city, spread across more than 40 hills. In Viña del Mar, find palm tree-lined boulevards, lavish resorts and white-sand beaches.
Northern Chile is dominated by the Atacama Desert, one of the driest deserts in the world. Visit a copper mine in Calama. Enjoy superb star-gazing at Paranal Observatory. Tour the vineyards and Pisco distilleries in the Elqui Valley. Admire colonial architecture in La Serena, established in 1544. Relax on the beaches of Arica, Antofagasta and Iquique, part of Chile’s 4,000-mile (6,450-kilometer) long coastline.
Find Chile’s wine region in the Central Valley, south of Santiago. Take a scenic train journey from San Fernando to Santa Cruz. Visit a huaso (cowboy) ranch in Rancagua. Surf big waves at Punta de Lobos. Discover majestic waterfalls, ice-capped volcanoes and biking, hiking and horse-riding trails among the foothills of the Andes in the Lake District.
The southerly Patagonia Region is a paradise for lovers of the outdoors. Spot penguins in Parque Nacional Isla Magdalena. Cruise past giant glaciers or hike among mountains and lakes in Laguna San Rafael National Park and Torres del Paine National Park. Step onboard an Antarctica-bound boat at Punta Arenas.
Chile is a welcoming and safe country with a dependable network of cross-country buses. Temperatures vary greatly, from the mild northern climate to snow in the south. Ski between June and September. Beside its innumerable attractions, Chile is also a gateway to the mysterious Easter Island.