Chile is a truly stunning destination, a place that we have traveled to many times and continue to visit as often as we can. But for some reason Chile gets overlooked on most people’s travel lists. It seems Chile is often disregard for its more popular neighbor of Peru, but this magical land offers all the beauty, culture, and adventure of any destination in the world. If we laid out Chile across the U.S. it would basically reach from coast to coast. Chile contains a huge variety of climates and geographies. Which in turn means that you as a traveler have an infinite amount of experiences to discover. With the Andes on one side and the Pacific on the other, Chile offers a world-class list of things to see and do. On top of amazing history and culture.
Chile is rich in history and culture, and there are many ways you can experience and learn about this when you are traveling in Chile. Tanner and I have been able to participate in many home-stay experiences with many of indigenous groups of the country. In the Bio-Bio region near Santiago, the Mapuche people live close to the land and still live in harmony with nature. To the north in the Atacama region the Lickan Antay people raise llama and move across the arid landscape. To the south live the Gaucho of Patagonia and the Yagan people of Tierra del Fuego. This is a great way to get to know the locals and also learn about the their history and the varied communities that make up this amazing country. There is also the added bonus of getting to eat the delicious food they make! There are walking tours in Valparaiso that will teach you about the rich history, or jetting to Ester Island. There are many ways to connect deeply with the many people of Chile
It’s still an under the radar travel destination
Chile is still under the radar, relatively speaking in comparison to Peru and even Argentina. It is starting to become a more traveled destination for people outside of South America which is great in many ways for the local economy and the stories of the people who live there. Chile seems to encapsulate so many needs and wants of travelers; good food and nightlife, beaches, natural wonders, extensive culture and a captivating history. There is a certain old-world European elegance to the country which is still infused with vibrancy and vitality that is distinctly South American, but you can be certain that you’ll always still be able to escape the crowds! On a two week adventure you can gaze at the stars in the driest landscape on Earth outside of Antarctica, revel in the glaciers and jagged peaks of Patagonia, and peer across the South Sea toward the frozen lands of the South Pole. This is truly an amazing place.
Some of the darkest skies in the world
The Atacama desert is a natural wonder that many flock to in order to find true darkness. Light pollution in increasingly hard to escape in our modern world, but this high desert has the perfect mixture of conditions to create astronomical delights you can’t find anywhere else. “The Atacama is the oldest desert on Earth and has experienced semiarid conditions for roughly the past 150 million years, according to a paper in the November 2018 issue of Nature”. It is tucked in the shadows of the snow capped Andes and the coastal Cordillera de la Costa mountain range. The Atacama has 200 cloudless nights in the year, which lends to stellar conditions for stargazing. Not only this but it has topped the list to watch the solar eclipse next December.
Hiking and Trekking
There are many many different hiking routes throughout Chile, from the famous Torres Del Paine, to the less known but just as spectacular Cerro Castillo. If you are looking to hit the trails you won’t be looking too far in this beautiful country. The variety of terrain and difficulty of routes is as varied as the people of Chile and boast a little something for everyone. From walking tours in Nahuelbuta National Park outside Santiago, to glacier climbing and technical rock climbing, Chile has something for the adventurer in all of us.
Santiago has a buzzing culinary and cultural scene:
For years Santiago was seen by many travellers as merely a place for flight connections. Now, the city has bloomed into one of the continent’s most modern and vibrant capitals.This city has been awakened by a dining scene that is proving that the food alone merits a few days to explore the city. The rise of Chilean dining is spearheaded by Boragó, the fifth best restaurant in South America. Trendy sangucherías (old-school sandwich shops), such as Capicuá in the Providencia neighborhood, are also leading the pack in rebooting Chile’s most humble cuisine: expect king crab or goat meat sandwiches that draw on culinary traditions from across the country.