There’s something special about South America, and Chile is one of its most beautiful countries. From the arid deserts and high altiplano of the north to the wild and windswept south, this long thin nation is varied and compelling. Here are Mundana’s picks for five places you must visit in Chile.
San Pedro de Atacama
The tiny town of San Pedro de Atacama, where dogs outnumber whitewashed adobe dwellings, is one of Chile’s most rewarding destinations for travellers. The jumping off point for spectacular Andean scenery, this is where you should head if you plan to see snow-capped volcanoes and high altitude lakes. Get up early to catch the steam from El Tatio’s geysers before it dissipates, then watch the sun set over the starkly beautiful Valle de la Luna.
Far flung Easter Island is marooned in the middle of the Pacific. To get there it will take five hours by air from the country that claims this territory it as its own. But it’s worth every minute of the long journey to stand in front of those iconic moai and contemplate the society that put them there and ultimately tore itself apart. Take a hike to the stone quarry where half sculpted moai lie on their backs, a reminder that no civilisation lasts for ever.
Windswept and wild, Patagonia holds an irresistible appeal for those seeking to escape from the stress of the city. In Chile, the highlight of the region is the wonderful Torres del Paine national park. Herds of guanaco graze the pastures and icebergs bob on Lago Grey in front of a mighty glacier. The three granite towers that give the park its name are a wondrous sight. To truly appreciate them you’ll need to commit to the five day W circuit hike.
The Lake District
Wander down Pucon’s main street and you could be forgiven for thinking you’re in Germany. Its cafes serve apple strudel and warm not chocolate every bit as delicious as that found in Europe. But rising up behind the lake is Volcan Villarica, a reminder that this is South America. Book your trip for July and August and test your mettle on the ski slopes on the volcano’s white flanks. Alternatively, visit in summer to take advantage of the area’s many hiking trails.
The nation’s capital is a revelation: safe, cultured and a joy to explore. Take the funicular up Cerro Cristobal for panoramic views across the city and beyond. Then take a stroll through its historic core to see the Presidential Palace and wrought iron central market. By night, the bohemian barrio of Bellavista is buzzing, its bars and restaurants packed with people. But pay a visit before dusk. It’s where you’ll find La Chascona, the home of renowned Chilean poet Pablo Neruda.
South America’s calling! If one of these five places are those which you must visit in Chile yourself, why not see if Mundana has a special deal for you today?