Chile, known as the ‘land of fire and ice’ is a country of extreme contrasts (in view and weather) and has some of the most spectacular landscapes on the planet. This long and narrow country stretches over 5,000 km from north to south, starting from the Tropic of Capricorn to within reach of Antarctica. As Chile’s geography is extreme, so are its highlights. Here are 5 of the best places in Chile to chill at.
- Torres del Paine – Soaring more than 2000 metres above the Patagonian steppe, the granite Towers of Paine dominate the landscape of what may be South America’s finest national park. The park is part of Unesco’s Biosphere Reserve system since 1978, where it is home to flocks of ostrich-like rhea, the Andean condor, flamingo and many other bird species. Its star success in conservation is undoubtedly the guanaco, which grazes the open steppes where pumas cannot approach undetected. After more than a decade of effective protection from poachers, these large, growing herds don’t even flinch when visitor, on foot or in vehicles, approach.
- Easter Island – Known as one of the most isolated places on Earth, it is blessed with the most logic-defying statues in the world which emanates a magnetic, mysterious vibe. However, Easter Island is also famous for its diving, snorkelling and surfing opportunities. Choose between experiencing the island by foot or on horseback, or just chill on blankets of white sand.
- Geysers el de Tatio – At an altitude of 4320 metres, 90 kilometres north of San Pedro de Atacama in Chile is El Tatio, known as the world’s third largest geyser field, and home to 80 active geysers. It is aptly named too as El Tatio is a native American word for ‘oven’. Experience the geyser bubbling creating a fog when the sun sets and if you’re up for it, don’t forget to bring your swimming suit to enjoy the hot springs!
- Valparaiso – Valparaiso is recognized worldwide as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for its beautiful, vulnerable, bustling hillside port. It is well maintained and deserving of its heritage award for it architecture, design, history and cultural contributions. If you love dwelling in history, viewing street art, and experience the bohemian life, Valparaíso is a must to visit whenever you’re in Chile.
- Atacama Desert – This desert is the driest place on earth, seeing only four inches of rain every thousand years. The desert spans over 600 miles from southern Peru to Chile’s central Pacific Coast and is perhaps known for its charming town that lies somewhere in the middle of all this. In other words, in the middle of nowhere. This little town by the name of San Pedro, has preserved all its primitive magic, with history of being taken over in 1450 by the Incas and has since incorporated into the Hispanic culture in 1536.
If you’re looking to explore more of Chile, try booking one of the many South America Tours that would meet what you need and can afford to make a getaway experience you’ll never forget!