Chile. A really cool
Chile with Spear Travels. Amazing wilderness and mesmerising places.
Chile is a rich and diverse country where you can visit places such as the Mars-like Atacama Desert and cosmopolitan capital of Santiago. On the other hand, you can travel farther south through Chilean Lake District’s natural beauty and discover the spectacular wilderness of Patagonia in Torres del Paine National Park. This is only a fraction of what can be visited in this formidable country!
The capital of Chile, Santiago, is one of the largest cities in South America. Its Metropolitan Region is home to about 7 million inhabitants, a third of the total Chilean population. The Andes are only 70 KM away, which means you can enjoy stunning views of the world’s longest mountain range from around the city! Santiago is vibrant, cosmopolitan and Its institutions reveal strong European and North American influences. The city has a lot to offer, that is why it is recommended to begin the journey at “La Plaza de Armas”, the main square and the centrepiece of the initial layout in Santiago.
From there, you can visit places such as the remarkable La Moneda Palace – the seat of the of the President of the Republic of Chile, and other places like Santa Lucia Hill or the Central Market, where you will discover traditional Chilean food and outstanding products at great prices.
Within the city itself there are many neighbourhoods to explore and stay. Districts such as Providencia, Bellavista, Las Condes and Vitacura offer a dazzling array of shops, restaurants and bars.
TORRES DEL PAINE
Torres Del Paine is probably Chile’s most famous National Park and located at the southern end of the Andes Mountains. It’s an area of outstanding natural beauty and the scenery is dominated by the “Torres”, 3 vast granite tower that stretch 9,000 feet into the sky. This beautiful national park attracts thousands of visitors each year and is a great place to go if you are into walking, trekking, mountain biking or anything with an outdoor nature! The Torres Del Paine National Park is also home to the famous W Trek which is a one week-long trek throughTORRES DEL PAINE Torres Del Paine is probably Chile’s most famous National Park and located at the southern end of the Andes Mountains. It’s an area of outstanding natural beauty and the scenery is dominated by the “Torres”, 3 vast granite tower that stretch 9,000 feet into the sky. This beautiful national park attracts thousands of visitors each year and is a great place to go if you are into walking, trekking, mountain biking or anything with an outdoor nature! The Torres Del Paine National Park is also home to the famous W Trek which is a one week-long trek through the National Park. Looking at a map, this famous trail makes the shape of a W hence the name. The trek is around 100km long and meanders in and out of the valleys of the park.
CHILEAN LAKE DISTRICT
Covering the regions of La Araucania and Los Lagos, the Chilean Lake District stretches 220 miles from the town of Temuco in the north to Puerto Montt in the south. Deep blue mountain lakes, snow-capped volcanoes, forests, ski resorts, year-round sports, and traditional towns make this one of the most visually attractive regions in Chile, with plenty of activities to be enjoyed. The Chilean Lakes is a perfect place to spend a few days relaxing or exploring on a spectacular self-drive. A great combination is to cross between Chile and Argentina on the famous 3 lakes crossing over the Andes to Bariloche on the Argentine side. The Lake District is a large area and without weeks of travel time, most visitors will head to the sublime town of Puerto Varas. Puerto Varas is around a 30-minute drive from the airport at Puerto Montt and this attractive town has great views of the Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes, and the Llanquihue lake and its imposing waterfalls.
As you explore this beautiful area you could be forgiven for thinking you have arrived on another planet! The dramatic and rocky landscape is home to many spectacular sights including enormous valleys, glistening salt lakes, turquoise highland lagoons, explosive geysers and historic towns. You will come face to face with artefacts from the indigenous Atacameño people that have inhabited the region for thousands of years. Look into the sky at night and you will also find some of the best views of the stars found anywhere in the world. Some of the highlights in the Atacama include the Moon Valley, Death Valley, the Atacama Salt Lake and the El Tatio Geysers. Explore independently by hiring a car or base yourself in the charming town of San Pedro de Atacama and explore on an infinite number of tour options with your own guide. Northern Chile is home to a number of astronomical observatories. The most impressive Cerro Paranal and the Alma Project confirm the region’s status as a land of magical discovery. You can see all these incredible places on our 16-day highlights of Chile holiday which takes in all these destinations from £4299 per person.
You can read more articles like this one in the latest edition of Thame Out.