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Guide to Chile

Written by Thomas Power | 8th January 2014 |


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They say of Chile that when God was finished making the world, he had a little bit of everything left over so he popped it all down in Chile.

Mountains, forests, lakes, deserts, glaciers, beaches, islands, fertile valleys, Chile has it all.

The country is defined by the Andes which dominate the length of this narrow strip of a country.

It is defined by the mountains quite literally when it comes to the Argentine border. Anywhere the meltwaters from the Andes flow to the Pacific is considered Chile, anywhere they flow to the Atlantic, that is Argentina.

The border with Argentina, which makes up the vast majority of the length of Chile, runs along the very peaks of the high Andes.

The Andes, or Cordillera (mountain range) as it is always known here, is at its highest just north of Santiago. The peak of Aconcagua is just a couple of hours' drive north of the capital.

Chile's Regions

The simplest way to break the country down is by thinking in terms of landscapes.

There are three landscapes which are generally considered to be the most spectacular within Chile: the Atacama Desert, the Chilean Lakes, and Patagonia, primarily the Torres del Paine National Park.

There is much more to the country, as you will see from our list of destination descriptions, however, if you were to go to just one, two or three parts of this country then they would most likely feature in the above list.

For most people, the one place you simply have to see at some point in your lifetime is the southern part of Chilean Patagonia and the Torres del Paine National Park.

Next on the list, depending on your bent will come the Atacama Desert or the Lake District.

On subsequent holidays to this beautiful, peaceful and friendly country, you might start to explore the remote wilderness of northern Patagonia along the Carretera Austral.

You might spend time on the charming island of Chiloe.

You might dedicate time to the vineyards of the Central Valley and the capital Santiago.

You might come back in winter (June to September) to ski one of Chile's world-class ski resorts.

You might fly over to Easter Island, said to be the most remote place on earth.
You could explore the high wetlands and mountains of the Altiplano with its incredible birdlife.

You might spend time in the area known as 'Norte Chico' or 'little north' which is home to many of the most important astronomical observatories in the world, as well as beautiful beaches and some charming towns.

And this doesn't even touch on the food, the people, the wine, the history or the lesser known sights and sounds of the country.

All in all, people very seldom leave Chile without wanting to come back again. The destination guides listed above will hopefully prove useful if you are considering a holiday to Chile.

Once you have a sense of what sort of Chile holiday would suit you best, call on of our experts or drop them a line.

If you are looking for practical travel advice then please navigate using the categories on the right-hand side.


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