Chile Travel Guide

Use this Chile travel guide to plan your trip to this adventure packed sliver of South America.

With an almost comical geographical shape and virtually every climate imaginable, this beautiful, memorable corner of the world is a place of extremes and contradictions. Few countries have quite such a split geographical personality. Here, you can often glimpse the snows of the high Andes from the Pacific Ocean, ski in the mountains in the morning and be drinking pisco sours on the beach come sundown.

Our Chile travel guide covers this country in all its contrasts. To the south, the country is hemmed in by thick temperate rainforest, fast-flowing rivers, icefields and glaciers, while to the north is the memorable Atacama Desert, with its endless space and pristine skies, and where some places have not seen a raindrop for centuries. The desert's geoglyphs bear testament to the ingenuity of some of prehistoric America's most complex civilizations, while an intermingling of the old world with the new has led to some of the most enduring aspects of ancient and modern Chilean culture, such as the legend of the Inca princess La Tirana, which spawned the country's biggest religious fiesta.

Chile Travel Guide Highlights
Altiplano parks, Chile, Photo by Alberto
Altiplano national parks
Shy vicuñas set against a backdrop of snow-capped volcanoes.
Pucón, Chile, Photo by Avodrocc
Gateway to the Lake District with volcanoes, fishing and whitewater rafting all nearby.
Tulor, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile, photo by Rewbs Soal
San Pedro de Atacama
A desert town surrounded by geysers, salt flats and millennia of history.
Parque Pumalín, Chile, Photo by Sam Beebe-Ecotrust
Parque Pumalín
Native temperate rainforest preserved for posterity.
Pan de Azúcar, Chile, Photo by Atilio Leandro
Pan de Azúcar
Where sea lions and penguins hang out on beautiful beaches and the desert blooms in spring.
Chiloé, Chile, Photo by Seo2
A magical island of fishing, forests and mythical creatures.
Valparaíso, Chile, Photo by Macha Cl
A UNESCO World Heritage Site waiting to be explored.
Cycling near Carretera Austral, Chile, Photo by magical world
Carretera Austral
Cycle, hike or hitch your way through spectacular scenery between Puerto Montt and Village O'Higgins.
Snowboarding in La Parva, Chile, Photo by Alex Grechman
Ski resorts
The best skiing and snowboarding in South America, within easy reach of Santiago.
Torres del Paine, Chile, Photo by winky in the uk
Torres del Paine
Quite simply one of the world's greatest national parks.
Central Valley Vineyard, Chile, Photo by blmurch
Wine routes
Chile's finest vintages come from the Central Valley.
Rapa Nui (Easter Island), Chile, Photo by msdstefan
Rapa Nui (Easter Island)
A remote dot in the Pacific with a fascinating cultural heritage.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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