I fell in love with South America on my trip to Peru and Ecuador. I haven’t decided yet which South American country will be next for me, but it just might be Chile.
Chile is the narrowest nation in the world, yet its borders provide some of the most diverse terrains. From waterfalls to mountains, hot springs to volcanoes, you never know what you might come across next.
Chile provides a vast array of exciting things to do and see for people of all ages. The rich culture, fantastic cuisine, lively nightlife, and sightseeing can keep you busy for a long time, so we’ve created a list of four of Chile’s best destination spots we recommend that you see first.
Santiago is the largest city in Chile, and it is the political, financial, and cultural center. It is home to more than 6 million people and is located in the middle of the Santiago Basin surrounded by the Andes Mountains.
It was initially founded in 1541, and there are areas of the city that reflect over 450 years of history in its architecture and cobblestone streets.
One of the oldest cities in the Western Hemisphere, Santiago offers so many options of things to do. From the Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art in the Plaza de Armas to the Central Market, it is easy to fill up a week. Excellent wineries around the city, La Chascona (Nobel Prize-Winning Poet Pablo Neruda’s former residence), and the Metropolitan Cathedral are a few of the highlights.
Valparaiso is one of Chile’s most charming coastal towns, and it has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city was founded in the 1530s, and it has a deep history reflected in every building, street, business, and its people.
Valparaiso is known for its multi-colored clifftop houses, steep cobblestone streets, and bohemian art scene made famous by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda as it was his inspiration for much of his work. The best way to explore the area is by strolling down the narrow streets that snake through the hillsides before settling in one of the enchanting bars that stay open until the wee hours.
3. Isla Grande de Chiloe
The beautiful beaches and thickly forested areas of Isla Grande de Chiloe seem to go on forever with their beauty. As you explore, you will find waterfalls, wildlife, and empty beaches no matter where you go on the island. The island is home to Chiloe National Park which offers a great diversity of wildlife including marine animals and penguins.
4. San Pedro de Atacama
Known as one of the driest desert regions on this planet, San Pedro de Atacama isn’t for everyone. Nevertheless, the area provides some of the best night skies and exciting hiking adventures. Make sure to check out the volcano Lascar before you head to the geyser field of El Tatio for a soak in its hot springs.
Are you ready to plan a trip to Chile?
Have you considered working with a professional travel advisor to help you make plans to explore the world? I help people turn their vacation dreams into a reality. Read about how my services work here.