Snaking its way down the west coast of South America, Chile is easily one of the most rewarding countries to visit on the continent. As well as sparkling lakes, snow-capped stratovolcanoes, and epic sand dunes, it has some stunning seaside cities for you to explore with lots of wonderful watersports and wildlife watching opportunities also being on offer.
Stretching over 4,300 kilometers from north to south, it occupies a narrow strip of land between the soaring Andes Mountains to the east and shimmering Pacific Ocean to the west. Bordered by Peru, Bolivia and Argentina, it boasts a startling array of landscapes and climate zones with Easter Island in the middle of the Pacific also being included as part of its territory. As Chile lies along the Pacific Ring of Fire, many volcanoes line its coast, with the dry Atacama Desert, majestic lakes, fjords, and glaciers of Patagonia also making up much of its landmass.
While many people visit for its spellbinding scenery and views, the ‘Country of Poets’ also has some great cities and towns to check out. Its capital Santiago for instance hums with life and has a wealth of excellent museums and restaurants to try out, while Valparaiso on the coast is known for its bohemian culture, brightly colored houses, and breathtaking coastal views.
Other popular places to visit include La Serena for its colonial architecture and extensive beaches, and the large city of Concepcion due to its happening arts, culture, and nightlife scenes. Iquique also draws lots of visitors thanks to the gigantic sand dune overlooking it, whereas San Pedro de Atacama and Puntas Arenas respectively act as gateways to dramatic desert landscapes and the cute penguin colonies of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago.
Besides seeing these spectacular scenes yourself, you can also explore the incredible mountains and glaciers of Torres del Paine National Park, ogle at the amazing Moai Stone Statues of Easter Island, and bathe in hot springs at the gorgeous Geysers del Tatio. On top of all of this, visitors can climb to the top of Ojos del Salado – the world’s highest volcano – and take unforgettable sightseeing cruises along Chile’s scenic coast or even venture off to Antarctica.