Chile travel guide
The longest, thinnest country in the world tucked away on a remote coastline in South America is a lot more than just a name that reminds you of spicy peppers. Recognized worldwide for its stunning natural beauty and pristine, untouched wildernesses, Chile is the perfect country for adventure tourism and history hunters alike. Things to see include the arid Atacama Desert in the northern regions (widely recognized as the driest desert in the world), the rich, wine-producing valleys of central Chile, and the glaciers, dense forests and crystal-clear lakes of the south. All these things come together to make Chile a must-see destination for travellers taking that long-awaited trip to South America.
A visit to the north of Chile will remind one of what he thinks a visit to Mars might be like – and in fact, most movies set in Mars were filmed in the Atacama (remember Rocket Man? Quantum of Solace? Both were filmed in the Atacama). Snow-capped volcanoes, geysers, and salt flats dot the uniform tan of the pitiless desert soil; one can observe literally millions of years of geological history on display, baking under the cruel wasteland sun. Visitors will be interested to visit San Pedro de Atacama, a timeless town with thousands of years of pre-Columbian history, Antofagasta, Arica, Iquique, and Pica.
Central Chile is the very definition of wine country, producing every year wines widely recognized as some of the best in the world. Sample some of the best in the sixth region near Santa Cruz, or visit the beaches and music festivals of Viña del Mar and Valparaíso. Central Chile is also home to the Chilean capital city of Santiago, easily the most modern and cosmopolitan metropolis in Latin America. Rent a car and cruise carefree down the Ruta de Vino (Wine Route) and let your cares melt away as you enjoy the very finest Chilean wines and vineyards.
The south of Chile can be divided into two parts: North-South, and South-South. North-South is well known for its endless pine forests and rich indigenous history, the latter most apparent in the Araucania region, about 600 kilometres south of Santiago. South-South Chile is the very definition of the word wilderness, with glaciers, huge freshwater lakes, Magallanic forests, and the fabled Patagonian pampa (meaning, in the local dialect, "empty space"). Places to visit in the general southern regions of Chile include Osorno, Puerto Montt, Chiloé, Temuco, Coyhaique, Puerto Natales, Punta Arenas, and Tierra del Fuego.
No matter why you travel, Chile's stunning natural beauty and unparalleled friendliness to travelers makes is an essential stop on every serious tourist's itinerary.