Chile is home to some of the world’s most varying climates and landscapes, making it the perfect place for any traveller who is new to Latin America and yearns to start exploring the continent.
Sandwiched between the Andes mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Chile has the world’s longest coastline and boasts a range of different environments. From the glaciated landscapes of Patagonia in the South, all the way up to the Atacama Desert in the north: Chile gives a little taste of each type of wonder that South America has
Thanks to its shape, Chile can be easily travelled without missing any of the key attractions. Direct flights to Santiago de Chile leave from London Heathrow four times weekly at an average flight time of 14 hours and 35 minutes. You could spend months exploring all that Chile has to offer, but two to three weeks is really enough to cover the basics.
First stop has to be Calama where a day trip can be arranged to San Pedro de Atacama. Tours to San Pedro from Calama generally take around three to four days, cost around £70 and include tours of Valle de la Luna; Saalar de Atacama; Lagunas Altiplanicas and Geyser del Tatio.
From Calama, a flight back to Santiago will allow you to begin exploring the country’s centre. You will find that you can get a good feel for the European-esque city in just a couple of days. Free walking tours leave from the Plaza de Armas in the centre at 10am and 3pm daily, taking you through the maze of streets that make up Chile’s capital city. Don’t miss the cable cars of Parque Metropolitano which have incredible views over the city contrasted with the backdrop of the Andes. From Santiago, there are lots of possibilities for day trips and excursions. Local attractions include Chile’s street art Capital, Valparaiso; incredible hiking trails near Embalse El Yeso and the beach town of Viña del Mar. These are just a few of the possibilities.
To finish off the perfect tour of Chile, a flight from Santiago to Punta Arenas will take you on a Patagonian adventure! The southernmost tip of Chile is packed full of outdoor adventures and is extremely close to Antarctica. Tours range from 3 to 5 days, cost around £120 and include Penguin spotting; Torres del Paine National Park and whale watching. Chile is a once in a lifetime adventure where you can create memories that you’ll never forget!
by Isabella Pugh