Never too far away from the Pacific Coast or the Andes on either side, beautiful natural sights are nearby at all times. Santiago is the capital city and cosmopolitan base for exploring the rest of Chile, with attractions such as the world-famous Maipu wineries, well-established ski slopes and unique coastal towns like Valparaiso all within easy reach. The northern section of Chile includes the dramatically lunar landscapes of the driest desert on earth – Atacama, yet a few hours south of Santiago, the Lake District’s pristine scenery of 12 major deep blue lakes backed by snow-capped volcanoes offers some great hiking adventures. Many will also want to experience the southern extremes of Patagonia, the majesty and remoteness of which is sculpted from fjords, glaciers and brilliantly turquoise lakes.
Chile’s icing on the cake comes in the form of windswept Rapa Nui, or Easter Island. As the world’s most remote inhabited island in the mid-Pacific, over 2000 miles from mainland Chile, myth and history abound. The existence of the 900 giant monolithic ‘moai’ statues, which date back as far as 10th Century, has long puzzled historians and its deep crystal waters – the clearest in the world – entice any marine lover. More Polynesian than Latin, this history contrasts with the rest of Chile whose ethnicity is comprised of European settlers and Mapuche Indians.
The unique shape of chile affords it some of the most incredibly diverse landscapes and experiences as you travel from one extreme to another.