Elqui Valley will always be one of those exceptional places to spend a holiday in Chile. This basin, within the Andean Ridge, contains one of the most emblematic rivers of the fluvial network in the country. The name Valle del Elqui comes from the Quechua language and means “thin”, in reference to the way how the smallest and weakest children in the community were named. This relates to the fact that the river flow is generally rather weak, until spring, the snow melting time in the mountains. Thanks to its closeness to the river waters and the mountains, soil in the valley is extremely fertile and green. For this reason, visits necessarily call for exploring vineyards and papaya plantations. Walking or standing in the midst of these green plains in the heart of spring can be a charming moment. Further along the valley, as part of the tourism attractions in Chile, is the Elqui Valley Observatory.
Winter in Chile is charming, and the best place to enjoy it is Valle Nevado, located at a distance of 40 km from the capital city. This holiday and winter sports resort is considered as one of the most modern in the country and in the continent. It offers 37 kilometers of tracks at a height of 3.000 meters, which are the site of competitions and sports practice and tourism. Valle Nevado is the venue of the FIS Snowboard World Cup. As a result, the area offers a wide range of exclusive and enjoyable restaurants and hotel accommodation, with options of walks in the snow, campfire evenings, rooms with fireplaces and other attractions. It is no surprise that it is frequently compared with the resorts and landscapes found in Aspen, Colorado, in the United States.
This small city, considered a village as compared to the Chilean capital, is an excellent destination to enjoy flavors, entertainment and beaches in a much quieter environment than in the main city. This characteristic makes it one of the best options in Chile. Located at a distance of over one thousand kilometers from Santiago, Iquique is one of the main maritime cities in the country. The local structure is constantly changing due to the impact of sea salt, showing how its inhabitants have adapted to the ocean and its demands. Here is one of the major Free Trade Zones in the continent, which contributes to a highly dynamic commercial life. Visitors can enjoy night life around the beaches, wonderful flavors in a wide variety of restaurants with international cuisine and numerous upscale stores. The city offers a coastline apt for public use and the climate is temperate most of the year, so, no matter your travel date, you can bathe in the sea. A special attraction is that in the surroundings you can still visit buildings from the former saltpeter works.
SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA
Would you like to know the best of the most arid desert on Earth? San Pedro de Atacama is waiting for you with diverse tourism options and visits to discover its Andean landscapes and native flora and fauna, its lagoons, valleys and salt pans. You can also be surprised with its archeological sites and a rich cultural heritage. San Pedro de Atacama was the center of the Atacama culture and later an Inca outpost. The richness of this ancient culture can be appreciated in fortresses and pucaras, pre-Columbian fortresses that date back from the 12th Century. Thanks to its peculiar geography and blessed by the local weather conditions, numerous astrotourism activities have developed, including stargazing tours and learning more on how the universe moves. Major astronomical observatories like Space and Ahlarkapin have been established in the surroundings of San Pedro the Atacama, apart from the Astronomical Radio ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submilimeter Array), one of the most important scientific facilities in the world. The urban center has preserved its local architecture where the San Pedro de Atacama church, which has been declared National Monument of Chile, stands out. The crafts fair is another point of interest where visitors can find articles made of cactus, wood and wool. San Pedro de Atacama is the starting point for a variety of attractive tours such as the Tatio Geysers, Miscanti and Miñiques Lagoons, the Atacama salt pan and the Moon Valley, among others.
VIÑA DEL MAR
Relaxation and good taste are the best words to describe this city that is also known as “Garden city”. Let your imagination fly and enjoy its special urban aesthetics combining modern buildings with white sand beaches and extended green areas. You will be surprised by innovative sports facilities in the open air, attractive activities and upscale gastronomy. You cannot miss bathing in the sun, swimming in the ocean and watching the colored sunset from beaches like Reñaca, Concón and Las Salinas. Walk along its streets and go back to the golden years of the last century. You will see castles and old mansions that belonged to the wealthy families and today adorn the city and are the site of elegant museums or cultural centers. The glamorous Municipal Casino is a “must visit” at night. Experience its intense cultural and artistic life with a large variety of concerts and prestigious music festivals. The iconic Viña del Mar International Song Festival, held in February every year, is an event that music lovers simply cannot miss.
If you take a delight in poetry and are keen on Pablo Neruda´s writings, you will fall in love with this coastline town, the same as the Nobel Prize winner did. In Isla Negra the constant sound of the waves breaking on the rocks is an eternal inspiration for artists of all disciplines. Come and visit the country house the poet built on the seashore and be surprised. Discover Neruda´s ludic imaginary world following the wild objects he collected all along his life. Ship figureheads, earth globes, boxes filled with weird insects and masks of different shapes and origins, are some of the treasures that create a magical aura in this house now turned into a museum. Walk along the winding roads surrounded by pine trees. Watch the attractive combination of houses built during the 1960s in a hippy style and the contemporary style of modern architecture. If you feel charmed during this tour, now is the time to visit the Arts and Crafts Fair with its sophisticated rustic style, in a good part inspired by the ubiquitous figure of Neruda.
Bohemian and colorful, the hills labyrinth of Valparaiso has been a source of inspiration for poets and writers during many years. You will discover something new at each stop, a gem of a building, a notable art gallery or a special gastronomic “finding”. Enjoy the exceptional architecture of this city that has been declared Heritage of Humanity. Walk along its narrow streets, climb its unending stairs, go up the historical funicular lifts and enjoy the panoramic view from the numerous viewpoints. Feel the emotion floating in the air during one of the several carnivals in the city or celebrate New Year with the spectacle of the bonfire feast on the seashore in Valparaíso. Do not forget to explore the harbor and the fishing piers where you can have a real idea of Chile´s peculiar maritime life. Buy or taste fresh seafood in the market and enjoy conversing with the fishermen and their jokes. The "Jewel of the Pacific", as Valparaíso is called, is the site of Chile´s National Congress and the Navy´s Headquarters. Enjoy these historical buildings and become acquainted with the maritime history of the country!
This name, taken from the Mapudungun language, or Language of the Land, means “small forest”. This beautiful natural area adorns the central region of the country in a combination of landscapes and waves that make it one of the outstanding tourist attractions in Chile. Pichilemu receives the strongest Pacific currents; the waves are so high that make it impossible to bathe in its coasts, which is no obstacle to enjoy wonderful views or have a picnic. The cliffs that surround the beach make up an excellent site to practice sports such as trekking and climbing, with the bonus that on the heights one can be amazed at the broad view of the Pacific from the high viewpoints. Pichilemu is one of the favorite destinations for surfers since the waves here are ideal to practice and train. For other tourists it offers an opportunity to learn a lot more about the Chilean culture and character through iconic buildings like the National Monument to Agustin Ross.
GREATER ISLAND OF CHILOÉ
Part of the Lakes District, this island is ranked as the second largest in the continent and is also one of the few virgin coasts in the country, with landscapes that have received no human intervention. This is one of the “must” places to visit in Chile. The island offers a postcard landscape, and its crystal waters are ideal for a swim at almost any time of the year. It is also an excellent site to practice a large variety of sports, including kayak or trekking. Visitors can also enjoy the palaphites, rudimentary wooden constructions that rest on the water, with chapels and churches dating back from the 18th and 19th Century that have been declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO based on the age of the construction.
Would you like to visit one of the most mysterious islands in the planet? Rapa Nui (Isla de Pascua) has a real charm to it. A place to be captivated by the ancestral culture with its geological formations and the mythical moais scattered throughout the island. How did they get here? This, is only one of the many questions that come up upon landing in Hanga Roa. Rapa Nui is one of the main tourist destinations in Chile and thousands of visitors come to discover the mysterious ancestral culture of the Rapanui people and to see the huge statues carved in stone known as the moais. The history of Rapa Nui is a plethora of myths and legends, but historical research shows that the island suffered overpopulation between the 15th and 18th Century, which led to wars and destruction of ceremonial altars. The Rapa Nui National Park covers a large part of the island territory with the purpose of preserving archeological treasures, as well as the local flora and fauna. If you are a fan of geotourism, this is the place for you! Rapa Nui is formed by three major volcanos: Terevaka, Po Ike and Rano Kau. You can also find numerous caves and craters, like Rano Raraku and the cinder cone of Puna Pau, which can be visited during a journey to Rapa Nui. We recommend planning a stay of at least 5 days so that you can enjoy the full historical richness of Rapa Nui. If you are into adventure you can dive. Visibility is greater than 50 meters of depth! You can also plunge into horse rides, trekking or renting motorbikes and explore the island. If you visit between January and February, you will enjoy the Tapati festivity, an artistic and cultural event that lasts about two weeks with sports competitions, dances and a large variety of ancestral ceremonies
Nestled in the heart of the Chilean Patagonian Forest and crowned by the majestic Andes, the Biological Reserve Huilo Huilo is a unique site in the world due to its commitment with the conservation of the natural heritage and the local culture. We invite you to a fascinating tour of the marvels of our magic Reserve and get acquainted with our commitment in Sustainable Tourism, Foundation and Territory. The Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve is a privately protected area nestled in the Patagonian Andes of Southern Chile. In its 100.000 hectares of extension there is a surprising biological diversity, species of flora and fauna that are unique in the world. The Reserve, through its three pillars: conservation, community integration and sustainable tourism, seeks to preserve this cultural and natural wealth for future generations.
At over 2000 meters above sea level and some kilometers away from Puerto de Varas, you can visit one of the most exciting sites in Chile. The Osorno Volcano is a key point to enjoy an incredible view of Osorno and the Chiloe Island. Capped by a huge glacier on top of the surface, it feeds the lands at its feet with water flows, which makes it one of the most fertile and green areas in the region. Since the time you arrive at the feet of the volcano, the views are impressive and you can improve your tourism experience by practicing mountain climbing, trekking and hiking on the side, where you can find special spots to enjoy the view from the heights. Locals tell stories on the volcano and on how, raising above the Osorno, it takes care of the inhabitants and feeds them with the sowing crops.
Valdivia, located in the confluence of the rivers Calle-Calle, Cau-Cau and Valdivia, founded in 1552 with the name of Santa Maria la Blanca de Valdivia given by the conqueror Pedro de Valdivia, is one of the most attractive tourist sites in the South of Chile. Considered a piece of Germany in Chile because of its architecture strongly influenced by German styles as well as the local habits and the flavors in the local food. However, this city preserves the love for the national craftmanship, so in this Southern location you can find the best art pieces and manifestations of the cultural life in the region. This city, where the main activity is tourism, offers excellent alternatives for visitors with monuments, parks and many other attractions. You can visit the Botanic Gardens of Chile Austral University, the Forts of Valdivia, the Fluvial Market and the Navy Museum, just to mention a few.
PUERTO NATALES AND TORRES DEL PAINE
Puerto Natales, the capital city of the Province of Ultima Esperanza, is the entry point to visit the Torres del Paine National Park. This destination is visited by national and foreign tourists alike. It offers a variety of adventure activities, and tours to explore the most remote sites of Chilean Patagonia, and also to take a rest in Patagonian ranches. Puerto Natales and its surroundings display an indomitable geography of fiords, archipelagos, valleys and ice fields. With irregular climate conditions, this city offers numerous landscapes and attractions with a diversity of possible experiences like horse riding, trekking, hiking, sailing, fly fishing and a lot more! Would you like to enjoy one of the most exciting experiences in Chilean Patagonia? Puerto Natales is the starting point of the tour to Torres del Paine National Park, one of the most visited protected areas in Chile, outstanding for its incredible natural beauty in the Magallanes Region. Visiting Torres del Paine means discovering lakes, lagoons, large valleys and huge mountains, among which Cuernos del Paine (Paine Horns) and the Torres (Towers) stand out and can be seen from different sites in Patagonia. You will see the intensity of the Campos de Hielo Sur with its glaciers Pingo, Tyndall, Geikie and Grey, being the latter the most visited by local and international tourists. Plan a trip to Magellan Patagonia and visit this corner of the world located in the Southernmost part of Chile. This venue is a favorite site for trekking as it offers circuits like the "W" and the "O" that will take you to discover the Magallanes forests, the Patagonian steppe, and the protected animal species in the park, guanacos (Lama guanicoe), ñandues (Rhea), huemules (Andean deer) and pumas.
This huge natural structure, 6 meters wide and a length of 19 kilometers, completely made up of ice, found within the National Park Torres del Paine, forms the area known as Southern Ice Fields. This site is rated as the third largest water reserve in the planet, which has made it one of the most coveted tourist destinations in Chile. Here you can enjoy walking along the ice forests, plunge into the caves and other ice formations in the area and see some of its cracks, as long as you are not afraid of closed spaces. As an unforgettable finishing touch, you can try the typical fruit of this region, the Calafate, a kind of cherry that can only be found in this site in the world. This area is the source of the calafates that are used to prepare the famous cocktail Calafate Sour, characteristic of Playa Cavanche.