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High Five… Chile!

This week, our lovely Land Product Executive Anna Corbett takes the reins to give us five reasons why Chile rocks her world…

Chile is truly a country of contrasts. An average of 180km wide and stretching a massive 4300km (the distance between London and Canada), Chile’s got everything from tropical rainforests to massive ice fields and everything in between. It’s hard to pin down just five highlights from a country where you can lunch with llamas, potter with penguins and commune with condors – but here’s our top tips for getting a long, thin slice of the action.

Our Choice of Chile’s Most Amazing Sights

The Atacama Desert

Think dry. Really dry. Dryer than that year nine history lesson on the 18th century. The Atacama Desert is the driest place on earth with an average of 4 inches of rain every 1000 years. But it’s not all trekking through parched wilderness – you can bike around salt lakes, hike volcanoes and surf down sand dunes. After a packed day kick back and relax under the awesome night sky from one of the best star gazing spots on the planet.

Patagonia

Though Patagonia is often associated with Chile’s larger neighbour Argentina – the south is split between the two countries. On the Chilean side you can spot penguins, sail up to the face of glaciers in ice lined fjords and hike in Torres del Paine – a massive national park which National Geographic named the 5th most beautiful place in the world. With views like this it’s not hard to see why…

Hot springs

Because of its position on the edge of the Pacific Ring of Fire (stop giggling) there are more than 270 hot springs in Chile spanning the length and breadth of the country. Some of these sites are thought to go back to pre-Inca times and the thermal waters are traditionally believed to sooth everything from rheumatism to anxiety. Chile’s fantastically diverse landscape means you can bathe in the shadow of volcanoes, under the desert stars, in the middle of a rainforest, in sight of a glacier and even near erupting geysers. Just not too near…

Easter Island

One of the most isolated inhabited islands on earth – Easter Island is a puzzle wrapped in enigma stowed inside a massive stone head. The heads (or Maoi to give them their proper name) are 4 meters high and used to be decorated with eyes made out of coral – making them even spookier than they are today. As if this didn’t already sound like a story line from Lost, the island is also home to “the navel of the worlds” (a large stone said to have magical powers), the site of the Bird man cult and over 4000 ancient rock carvings. Reports of a roaming polar bear remain unconfirmed…

Valparaíso

While national capital Santiago is known for its busy streets and polluted air – Valparaíso is a riot of colour nestled on the Pacific coast. Surrounded by hills (peppered with handy funiculars so you don’t even have to climb) and imbued with a distinctly bohemian atmosphere, this beautiful city just an hours drive from the capital is the perfect place to while away a few days. If that wasn’t enough the local dish is Chorrillana – a massive plate of chips topped with beef, onions and fried egg… now that’s a tradition we can get behind.

Thanks Anna! If you’d like to explore Chile there’s no better way than as part of an adventure tour to guarantee you see the very best of the country. Check out all our adventure tours in Chile on our website.
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