6 Chilean sights, places, and activities to see on your trip: In this current coronavirus climate, our minds are on the move to the next destination once it is all over, and traveling is a joy again. Maybe you will be looking for culture or places to really get away from it all. Or how about breathtaking natural landscapes. I believe Chile has all of this and much more.
Holidays in Chile invite you to discover a land of extremes. What other country has the driest place on Earth (not polar) that is the Atacama Desert married with the magnificent views of Patagonia. Coupled with the historic and picturesque metropolitan areas of its capital, Santiago and Valparaiso, a vacation in Chile will leave you with unforgettable memories.
So where should you go and what should you do? Well, Chile is so vast and different that it may be worth saying that a trip may not be enough for you or that it is better to focus on one area to dive completely rather than miss key things on a fast trip.
Whatever your visit to Chile, these places and activities should be on your list when the trip is back on the agenda:
• Discovery of Chilean wines with wine tasting
• Atacama Desert
• El Tatio geyser
1. Wine tasting
With a climate comparable to that of France and California and a culture without phylloxera, it is not surprising that Chile has become one of the largest producers and exporters of wine in the world.
Two of the main wine regions Colchagua and Central Valley are close to Santiago. This means that you can easily taste good wines on a day trip outside the capital.
For example, the Montes winery offers a full tour of their sustainable winery in the Colchagua valley, including a tasting of their drink. You can even take a botanical path through the vineyards and taste local specialties in their restaurant.
Another interesting cellar to visit is Viu Manet. Here you can see the different varieties of grapes just outside the main reception area. To add to the spectacle, you are transported through the vineyard in horse-drawn carts. In addition, another unique selling point is that Viu Manet has converted one of its cellars into an amphitheater that channels Gregorian chants and classical music into barrels of wine. It is in the belief that this will create a greater wine. You just have to go taste it to see if it is!
2. Atacama Desert
There is nowhere on earth like the Atacama Desert. The driest place on Earth is home to some incredible sites that are worth a few days of exploration to really appreciate.
You will almost certainly enjoy your stay in the Atacama Desert while staying in San Pedro De Atacama. Here you can enjoy pisco sour and empanada in one of the many restaurants and cafes. At night, don’t be afraid to look up – with minimal light pollution, stargazing is a must. In addition, you can even take a tour of San Pedro De Atacama further into the desert to really discover incredible celestial sites.
Another thing not to be missed during your trip to the Atacama Desert is the Valle De La Luna (literally the Valley of the Moon). It is a landscape from another world with imposing rock formations, salt marshes and mountain ranges.
You should not miss this place when the sunsets. The panoramas will transform a superb spot of reds and pinks, much like Mars. Indeed, don’t take my word for it, a prototype of the Mars Rover was tested here.
3. Geyser El Tatio
El Tatio Geysers is the largest geyser field in the southern hemisphere and the third-largest in the world (after Yellowstone National Park and the Geyser Valley in Russia). This natural attraction is not to be missed during your vacation in Chile.
If you get there before sunrise (and you really should), you can see columns of steam as far as the eye can see. To make this view even more spectacular, the mountains in the background only add to the incredible spectacle. If you’re tired of venturing out early in the morning, a dip in one of the hot springs will rejuvenate you completely.
The capital of Chile is a metropolitan delight. With the Andes as a backdrop, Santiago comes with colonial architecture and lively squares and squares. It is a hub of arts and culture in Chile. And there are lots of things to see and do.
Take the funicular to San Cristobal, discover the historic sites made infamous under the Pinochet regime, including the Presidential Palace and London 38.
The cathedral and the main square (Plaza de Armas) are places to sit and people watch. The myriad of food markets and restaurants means that you can truly immerse yourself in the delights of Chilean cuisine.
5. Patagonia and Torres Del Paine National Park
Rugged and wild – Patagonia is a wilderness that you can’t really understand until you get there. With Tolkien Esque’s landscapes of towering mountains, pristine lakes and emerald forests, exploring this region will impress you at every turn.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is an almost complete contrast to the hectic life of Santiago. Filled with colorful buildings and crossed by funiculars, Valparaiso is a delight for the senses. There are many museums and sites to explore. Some of the picturesque houses have even been transformed into charming hotels.
Fans of Pablo Neruda, icon of Chilean literature and Nobel Prize winner, lived in Valparaiso and his house was transformed into a museum. To add to the charm of this place, Valparaiso is close to the Casablanca Valley – which is home to some of the country’s best white wines.
I hope this has shed light on some of Chile’s strengths. It is a fascinating country and fully deserves a few weeks of your time to fully explore it.