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Wide desert extensions, a coast bathed by a very pacific ocean, smoking geysers, huge glaciers, green forests and endless lakes. Chile is a perfect combination of varied natural landscapes blended together to create the richest experience in emotions you can imagine.
We want you to have the chance to know what places to visit in Chile in its entirety and at its best, so we have compiled some of the destinations you can’t miss out on for a true Chilean experience, here they come!
Santiago de Chile
One of the traditional places to visit in Chile is Santiago. This is an unwritten law and it seems that if you don’t visit the capital of the country you are going to, the trip is not complete. The truth is that in Howlanders we don’t believe in rules, but this time we confess to you that it will be worthy to follow the masses.
Santiago de Chile is the largest city in the country and it is located on the foot of the Andes, surrounded by mountains. It may be natural that makes Santiago de Chile a serene and peaceful city, or it may be its relaxing parks or bohemian neighborhoods. It’s probably a matter of going there and finding out, don’t you think?
The main attraction of the city is the Plaza de Armas, located in the historical center, which houses the most emblematic buildings. No more than 20 minutes away is the Bellavista neighborhood, a must on your visit. The colorful facades of its picturesque buildings will not leave you indifferent. Among its streets, you can visit La Chascona, one of the three houses of the Chilean painter Pablo Neruda.
Now it’s time for an altitude view from San Cristobal Hill or Cerro Santa Lucia Hill . Either one offers magnificent panoramic views of the city surrounded by the imposing Andes. Is it time to eat? We suggest the Central Market where you can taste fresh fish and seafood.
San Pedro de Atacama
After a bit of civilization, we jump into the wild nature that the city of San Pedro de Atacama offers in the Atacama Desert. And what can we do here? We start to tell you, but we don’t promise that we can finish!
Our first recommendation is to visit the Salar de Uyuni in three or four days. It is an immensely rich place situated in Bolivia, but it is accessible through San Pedro de Atacama. There is no doubt that the particularities and curiosities about the Salar de Uyuni make it a paradisiacal destination. You can explore different landscapes both on the surface and underwater because you won’t want to leave the Morning Sun Geysers or the Termas de Polques once you try the experience. Do you already know when to visit the Salar de Uyuni?
We know that the idea of the geysers and the hot springs liked you. Now we introduce you to Geysers del Tatio, which are less than 100 kilometers from San Pedro de Atacama and make up the largest geothermal field in South America. Impossible to compare with the gym’s sauna. If you’re one of those people who doesn’t like to feel like a chicken in a pot (because of the smoke), you have the option of the Termas de Puritama to enjoy the water with the healing properties of its eight pools.
If you have not seen the stars yet, you have the opportunity to see them perfectly and enjoy the most beautiful night in the world at the command of the telescopes. If after seeing the moon you feel like getting closer to it, it is as simple as visiting the Moon Valley, you can imagine te reason of its name. You are right, its surface reminds of the moon. And following with the intuitive names we present you the Rainbow Valley where you can enjoy colorful mountains. Between the stars, the Moon and the rainbow, you will touch the sky!
Patagonia is a vast region of more than one million kilometers shared by Chile and Argentina. The Argentinean part is characterized by arid steppes, prairies and deserts. Chilean Patagonia is characterized by glacial fjords and temperate rainforests, although the weather in Chile is not always so temperate.
If you don’t know where to start the Patagonian adventure, we are happy to introduce you Puerto Natales which is delighted to meet you and I’m sure you will be too. It is a port city located in southern Patagonia. What to do in Puerto Natales? Don’t stop for a minute kayaking in Lake Grey, sailing between the Balmaceda and Serrano glaciers or touring the Perito Moreno glacier from start to finish.
Torres del Paine National Park
We have saved the best for last: Torres del Paine National Park. There are options for all tastes, you can have a first contact during a day in Torres del Paine or live a complete experience that will leave you breathless. If you choose the last option, you can continue choosing and you have at your disposal the O Circuit and the W Trek Route, we let you guess the reason for their names. You like the idea and you know it.
When is the best time to go to Torres del Paine? The truth is that each season has its advantages and disadvantages and depends on personal tastes. Not everyone enjoys the multitude characteristic of the more touristy seasons and prefers the idea of touring Torres del Paine in winter, from April to October.
From Puerto Natales we go to Punta Arenas located in the Strait of Magellan and if you like animals you will enjoy. You can see foxes and pumas living in freedom in the Pali Aike Volcanoes National Park, Magellanic penguins on Magdalena Island or dolphins on the way to Cape Froward.
Do you know the history of Easter Island? It is a long story and there are many hypotheses still unresolved, but to contextualize we will tell you that the ‘Long Ears’ and the ‘Short Ears’ were not BFF. And in case you still don’t feel like going to Easter Island and learn about the myths and legends of the Rapanui culture, we confess that not too long ago Moais bodies were discovered under the sculptures. Do you imagine their ears?
Not only the Moais are waiting to tell you their story; a magnetic stone that drives the compasses crazy, the Rano Raraku volcano, a ceremonial platform, the incredible Anakena beach and a crater formed by an ancient volcano will make you enjoy the time you decide to spend on Easter Island.
Big Island of Chiloe
We continue between islands and we propose you the Big Island of Chiloé, the biggest one of the archipelago that includes around forty islands. The charming touch of the island is given by the colorful houses that rest on the water known as palafitos. One of the best views to hallucinate is from the Gamboa bridge located in the south of the island.
In the archipelago of Chiloé sixteen of its wooden churches were recognized as World Heritage by UNESCO in 2000. The Route of the Churches in the archipelago is one of the biggest attractions, if you only have the idea of visiting the Big Island of Chiloé you can settle for nine of the sixteen churches, which is not bad at all.
From being surrounded by water we go to the coast of Chile in Valparaiso. Do you remember the hills of Santiago? In Valparaiso, there are 45 of them. The Alegre and Concepción Hills are UNESCO heritage , in case you want to reduce the list of visits. The color, in addition to the buildings, is in every street of Valparaiso through the murals that there are, especially in the area of the hills just mentioned.
And after being up and down it’s time to eat, a good option is to try the empanadas of Valparaiso. There are more than 70 options to choose from! Another option if you prefer to sit down and taste something more energetic we recommend the chorrillana: chopped meat in the oven, onion in a pan with egg and crunchy French fries.
If you want to know Chile and all its charms, take a paper and a pen and start planning your days. It combines adventure and tranquility, desert and forest, flora and fauna. Treat yourself to some fantastic time in the Chilean country and let it give you an unforgettable experience. Do you dare to pack your bags?