Travel to picture-perfect Chile
Get your walking shoes on because Chile has so much to see and experience. Majestic glaciers, national parks and towns that will blow you away with wonder are just a few things that will put Chile high up on your travel list. From the much-loved towns of Valparaiso to Pucón visitors will absorb the cultural vibes, the food and the sights that make this Latin American country a favourite among travellers.
Things to do in Chile
- Parque Nacional Torres del Paine: Situated at the southern tip of the Andes Mountains, this is the perfect place to see nature and get away from a busy schedule. This also has to be one of the country’s most sublime parks. The park covers 181,000 hectares and is accessible by road. A real adventure into the wild, visitors will encounter picturesque lakes, rugged mountains, forests and glaciers. But then there’s also the ever popular Torres del Paine (Towers of Paine) which attracts many tourist. These 3 granite towers is where the park gets its name. Birdwatchers, get out your binoculars and spot various bird species, including Flamingo and the ñandú, which almost looks like an ostrich. You will also spot foxes and pumas during your visit. Parcque Nacional Torres del Paine is a must-do for hikers, nature lovers and adventure sport junkies. Popular hiking routes among trekkers are the ‘W’ Trek and the Paine Circuit. There are also hotels within the park, so you can stay as long as you like. The best time to visit the park is October to April.
- Grey Glacier: Situated in the western part of Parque Nacional Torres del Paine, the Grey Glacier should not be missed on a trip to Chile. The glacier has a piece of land that divides the glacier in two. Visitors can enjoy the glacier up close. Even better, book a kayak tour where you can weave your way between icebergs and take in the scenery around Grey Glacier. The ‘W’ Trek will take you along the east side of Grey Glacier. For a more relaxed experience of this mammoth glacier, hop on a boat. For hiking of the glacier possible to hike. So get your boots on and head out.
- Valle del la Luna: Moon Valley as it is also known, is situated in the Atacama Desert. This valley is also one of the most visited places in Chile. This region is populated with sand desert and pillars of stone and salt. The valley forms part of the Salt Mountain Range where you will see natural salt sculptures also called Las Tres Marias. Nothing beats watching a sunset as you admire the changing hues across the valley. The landscape you will find yourself looking at is similar to that of the moon. Notice the volcanoes in the distance while you are there. On a clear night, an amazing view of the stars is on offer. Tours to the area are also available. Make your way through caves and various trails and get to know this wonderful part of Chile. Moon Valley is great to visit any time of year.
- Santiago Metropolitan Park: To get a full view of Chile’s capital, every tourist should visit the metropolitan park, which consists of 400 hectares of forest located 880 metres above sea level. You will need to take the iconic cable cars. Those afraid of heights, don’t look down until you reach the top of San Cristóbal Hill. There are other attractions beside the cable cars. Visit the Victoria Fortified Tower, Winery Museum and Botanical Garden. Mountain bikers and joggers also frequent the park and the views of Santiago are stunning. While you are there, see if you can spot landmarks down below.
- Santiago Museum of Contemporary Art: If you need a dose of culture and you are inspired by art, head to the Santiago Museum of Contemporary Art. Home to 2,600 works of art, including over 600 paintings. Art lovers can wonder around and look at ceramics, sculptures and prints. Don’t leave the museum without taking a look at works by Friedenreich Hundertwasser.
- San Rafael Glacier: Located in the northern Patagonian Ice Field and rising 70 metres from the water, visitors can get to the glacier by boat and marvel at this natural wonder. You can’t get too close to the glacier though as the huge ice blocks that fall from San Rafael Glacier create big waves.
- Parque Nacional Lauca: Hot springs, lakes and volcanoes capped with snow greet you when you arrive at Parque Nacional Lauca. Encounter wildlife such as the puma, fox and vicuñas. The park is also a habitat for over 100 bird species. Parque Nacional Lauca is good for hiking, mountain tours and photography. Bird watchers will think they’re in paradise. Within this breath-taking beautiful park is Lake Chungará, one of the world’s highest lakes. Be sure to visit the dormant Parinacota volcano while you are at the park.
- Pucón: This delightful tourist town in Chile’s Lake District is ideal for anyone seeking adrenalin thrills of adventure sport and fun. Pucón is fantastic for all things touristy. There is lots to do, from excursions and restaurants to taste local brews. In the winter months Pucón is filled with ski and snowboarding enthusiasts. In the summer heat, people hike the mountains and spend time on its beaches filled with black sand. There’s also horse riding, kayaking and white water rafting if you need some heart pumping activity. Natural hot springs will put you in a relaxed mood and if you want to conquer a volcano, climb the Villarrica.
- Valparaiso: A city filled with cobblestone streets, cafés and pubs are yours to explore when you tour Valparaiso. This port town which dates back to 1536 is a World Heritage Site and boasts popular entertainment for night owls and eateries which all seem to have a bohemian feel to them. Valparaiso is filled with coloured houses and the views of the Pacific Ocean are just superb from the hills. Get on a boat at the harbour and take in the views or enjoy a plate of chorrillana, which is fried steak, onions and potato.
- Easter Island: Located in the South Pacific, Easter Island is a territory of Chile. The island is famous for the over 800 giant statues found on the island. Besides the statues, Easter Island is a great place for diving and surfing. You can also catch a tan on one of the island’s beaches. The island is quite mysterious and isolated.