Discover the must sees
and hidden treasures
Chile has been living an ever growing interest of visitors who wish to experience some of many unique destinations, from the Atacama Desert (San Pedro de Atacama) to the north, Easter Island to the West, Patagonia (Torres de Paine) & Antarctica to the South, Snow Ski to the East and the latest trend Premium Wines in Central Valley. This vast increase in tourism is being boosted by new services and accommodations.
Discover Chilean most scenic trails
THE WONDERS OF CHILE
Unique, authentic and local tours
Today, Chile is considered to be one of the most stable and developed countries in South America. Its capital, Santiago, is not only a gateway to Chile, but also a hub for international flights off South America. Within a few hours drive from the capital you are able to ski in the Andes, lunch a delicious seafood platter facing the Pacific Ocean, mountain climb the highest peak in the Americas, or simply enjoy some premium wines in a state-of-the-art winery and later return to the comfort of your luxury hotel in a single day. Chileans have always welcomed foreigners, but just recently they are learning how to pamper their ever growing demand on tourism.
Imagine all of this in a country that averages only 100 miles wide! Opposites are 2,600 miles of Pacific Coast Line and Andes Mountain Range; including from the driest desert in the world, Atacama, all the way down to Patagonia with its famed Torres del Paine, World Biosphere Reserve.
Other territories off the continent are “Tepito o te henua,”, the Polynesian name for Easter Island and Isla Juan Fernandez, known as Robinson Crusoe Island. On its extreme south are Fireland, and Antarctica.
Chile has long been mentioned in literature and history. It has been part of adventure dreams for those who have read Moby Dick, by Herman Melville, or books written by Jules Verne. Naturalists as famous as Charles Darwin have also illustrated the minds of many generations with descriptions of this wonderful and varied country.
Northern Chile, with the beauty of the desert and the high plains, is truly a wonder. In the extreme north, in the middle of the high plains, you find Lauca National Park, declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. It is one of the planet’s major ecosystems, with abundant and exotic wildlife that exists far from human contact, in its lakes, salt flats, volcanoes and plains. Lake Chungará is found in the park’s highest area, an emerald-colored lake surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of two volcanoes, Parinacota and Pomerape.
The mountains are peppered with small towns and agricultural terraces, many of which date from the period of the Incan Empire and even earlier; while the white churches, built centuries ago and declared National Monuments, are undeniable evidence of Spanish influence. Vestiges of the first indigenous inhabitants are also found in the area, they left cave paintings and mysterious hieroglyphs and petroglyphs.
The Atacama Desert, located between the Pacific Ocean and the majestic peaks of the Andes, is the most arid desert in the world. San Pedro de Atacama, a remote oasis in the middle of the desert, can be easily reached by highway from Antofagasta. Centuries ago, San Pedro was the center of a Paleolithic civilization that built stone forts in the precipitous mountains that surround the valley.
San Pedro is currently the departure point for excursions to its impressive surroundings, such as the El Tatio geysers, at 4,572 meters above sea level, which erupt every day at dawn. Another area attraction is the Valle de la Luna, with a unique and surreal landscape. This valley, which looks like the bottom of a crater, possesses strange rock and salt formations, which have been formed by the wind and the drastic temperature changes between night and day, creating an inalterable cycle of contraction and expansion in the earth’s surface.
With the impressive framing of the Andes Mountains in the background, the capital, Santiago, offers visitors a variety of attractions: museums, theaters, cinemas, art galleries, restaurants, malls, exclusive shops, artisan crafts and parks. The city has a privileged location, between the mountains and the sea. Some of the best ski slopes in the world are found two hours from Santiago by car, while in an hour and a half you can reach the Pacific coast.
Valle Nevado, with its more than 800 hectares of ski slopes, and Portillo, the oldest ski center in South America, are can’t-miss destinations for ski enthusiasts. Olympic athletes from many different parts of the world come here to take advantage of the Southern Hemisphere’s winter.
To the West, on the other hand, on the Pacific coast, are the sister cities of Valparaíso and Viña del Mar. Valparaíso, with its elevators, stairs and picturesque houses hanging from the hills, has been declared a World Heritage by UNESCO. Viña del Mar practically doubles its population during summer vacation, as it is where many Chileans and foreigners enjoy the beach.
The vineyards are a mandatory visit during your stay in Santiago. Within the city limits, you can find cellars from the 19th century constructed below ground to guarantee the ideal temperature for wine, such as in the vineyards of Cousiño Macul, Santa Carolina, Concha y Toro and Santa Rita. There currently exist 11 Wine Routes in Chile in the various valleys, such as the Aconcagua, Maipo, Cachapoal and Colchagua valleys, each with its own denomination of origin.
MAP OF CHILE
Recognized for its majestic millinery native trees (Araucarias). This region is the “Gateway of Southern Chile” where outdoor activities are perfectly integrated to adventure volcanoes, rivers and lakes.
Come and learn the ways of the Mapuche people, an inspiring indigenous culture rich in its ancestral beliefs.
Thousands of kilometers south of Santiago, there is a world of surprising natural beauty, in the Lake Region. It is comprised of hundreds of kilometers, between the ocean and the Andes, peppered with crystalline lakes and snow-capped active volcanoes. Here you will find forests, waterfalls, hot springs and pure air, and you will be able to take part in excursions and sports, such as hikes or horse-back riding, or simply relax and enjoy the landscape.
Pucón, on the shores of Lake Villarrica and with a volcano of the same name in the background, is a recognized ski center, and it is perhaps the only place in the world where you can ski on an active volcano.
Fishing fans can enjoy the sport at Ranco Lake. Further south, it is recommended to visit Frutillar, alongside Lake Llanquihue, an enchanting locale whose architecture and local fare are evidence of the German colonists who populated the area.
Other can’t-miss destinations are Puerto Varas, called “the city of roses”; the waterfalls of the Petrohué River, Lake Todos los Santos and the island of Chiloé. Puerto Montt is the embarkation point to cross to Bariloche, Argentina via Peulla, by way of one of the most scenically beautiful routes in the world, known as the Cruce de Lagos or the Cruce Andino.
Chilean Patagonia, one of the most spectacular places on the planet, boasts green pampas, ice fields, thousand-year-old glaciers, crystalline lakes, fjords, bays and unexplored canals, volcanoes and majestic snow-capped peaks.
The area constitutes more than a third of the country’s territory; however, only three percent of the population lives in Patagonia, those who are strong enough to face nature’s cold and rough conditions. In Northern Patagonia, you find the Southern Highway (Carretera Austral) and the Queulat National Park, with the exuberant vegetation of its cold jungle. You can enjoy hot springs and a trip by catamaran to San Rafael Lagoon, to see the ice floes break free from a thousand-year-old glacier.
Torres del Paine National Park is Southern Patagonia’s most famous attraction, with its hiking trails to better observe the impressive peaks, lagoons and Grey Glacier, among other points of interest. The abundant wildlife includes condors, guanacos, black-necked swans, mountain lions, ñandús (greater rhea), and foxes, in addition to the trout-filled rivers.
From Puerto Natales you can also visit Milodón Cave and two glaciers, Serrano and Balmaceda. Found alongside the Strait of Magellan, the city of Punta Arenas is the regional capital. Cabo de Hornos and Tierra del Fuego are two other attractions in the area.
Chile’s Pacific territories include islands unlike any others in the world. Easter Island is both a spectacular outdoor museum, and an extraordinary destination with the legacy of its Polynesian culture. It is one of the most isolated inhabited places on the planet, 3,700 km west of Chile’s continental territory.
The island was discovered by a Dutch mariner on Domingo de Pascua de Resurrección in 1771, from which the island received its Spanish name, Isla de Pascua. Known as Rapa Nui in the native language, it is the cradle of a sophisticated, and complex civilization, which produced the famous gigantic sculptures known as moais.
There are more than 800 moais, which represent worship of the ancestors, scattered throughout the island. Some never made it out of the quarry where they were sculpted, in Rano Raraku Volcano.
Rano Kau Volcano is another point of interest, along with the nearby Orongo archaeological site. Additionally, the island offers the beautiful Anakena, and Ovahe beaches.
Closer to the Chilean coast (about 700 km away), is Juan Fernández Archipelago, a paradise of dramatic beauty, surrounded by crystalline waters, and with astonishing flora and fauna.
The largest island and the only populated archipelago is called Robinson Crusoe, because in 1704 Scottish mariner Alexander Selkirk was abandoned on this island, where he survived for four years until being rescued. His adventures inspired Daniel Defoe to write his famous novel Robinson Crusoe.
The island has the most endemic plant life in the world: of 146 species, 104 only exist on this island. It is also a paradise for bird watchers. In 1977, the archipelago was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.
Juan Fernández is a rustic destination for nature lovers who are in good physical condition.
Antarctica is the continent of extremes: the most isolated, the coldest, windiest, and driest, and the least populated. It represents the largest reserve of water in the world, containing 90 percent of the planet’s ice. The landscape, wildlife and marine life are the main tourist attractions. This is one of the few places in the world that remains untouched by mankind, and it is one of the most important Biosphere Reserves.
Today, it is possible to experience the White Continent comfortably and safely. Visitors depart from Punta Arenas, the southern-most city in Chile and continental South America, with the option of traveling by cruise ship or charter flight.
Hot Springs & Ski
Chile has a large number of volcanoes and more than 15 active snow-capped volcanoes.
Given the country mountainous environment and as consequence of the volcanic activity and igneous rocks that have formed in the past, it offers more than 270 registered thermal springs along the country.
We invite you to discover the most popular hot springs from natural river rock pools to modern and luxurious spas and their wide range of services while you enjoy scenic sights, sprinkling water and pure air surrounded by natural scenery.
Pamper yourself while enjoying a therapeutic mineral water bath, a mud bath, a massage or exfoliating and moisturizing body treatments. Many modern spas include additional beauty, cosmetology and therapeutic services