From glaciers and frozen mountains in the south, to baking deserts and steaming El Tatio geysers in the north, Chile stretches almost 4,300 kilometres in length – over half the length of South America itself! Recognisable by its unique shape, this long and narrow country is paradise for those who love the outdoors.
Whether you're a backpacker at heart or prefer the comfort of an organised tour, there are Chile holidays to suit all kinds of travellers. Imagine exploring the spectacular waterfalls, mountains, forests and hot springs only hours from the capital Santiago, or touring Valle de Maipo – the oldest wine-producing region in Chile. Whatever your passion, there are virtually endless amounts of Chile tours to choose from.
A good Chile Travel Guide can help you discover some of the highlights you should add to your must-see list. Most international flights to Chile arrive into the capital Santiago, but you can also arrive overland from Argentina or Bolivia.
Santiago lies in a valley surrounded by the snow-capped Andean mountains. This modern, cosmopolitan city boasts many galleries, museums, lively bars and delicious food. For impressive panoramic views over the city, catch the funicular to Cerro San Cristóbal, a hill rising about 300-metres above Santiago. Those wanting a taste of Chile food should head to Santiago's Mercado Central, famous for its fresh seafood, before trying the infamous Chilean drink 'terremoto' at nearby bar, La Piojera. Some of the city's best dining is on offer in the stylish neighbourhoods of Lastarria or Bellavista.
In summer, head to white sandy beaches at Viño del Mar or a little farther to the bohemian seaside town Valparaíso – with its seaside views, brightly coloured houses and steep hills. Or explore the nearby Andes and spectacular landscape on horseback with the local working horsemen, known as 'arrieros'.
Consider flying to the enigmatic Easter Island, otherwise known as 'Rapa Nui'. This small, remote Polynesian island is famous for its spellbinding statues called 'moai' and is one of the most isolated places on Earth. Its haunting beauty and eerie solitude offers a unique holiday experience.
Head south to beautiful Pucón to ski or snowboard on an active volcano or hike to the nearby secluded hot springs. Don't miss the awe-inspiring Chilean Patagonia, an almost magical region bursting with lakes, rivers, craggy mountains and glaciers. See the granite pillars of Torres del Paine to trek, camp and relax in this remote and wild part of Chile.
At the opposite end of the country, lakes, coast and green valleys make way for cactus and dry mountains, right through to the baking Atacama Desert, renowned as the driest in the world.
Book your flights to Chile today to experience one of South American's most fascinating destinations.