Arts & Culture
Traveling to Chile offers a diverse range of experiences that cater to a variety of interests and preferences. Here are some compelling reasons why you should consider visiting Chile:
Stunning Natural Landscapes: Chile is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, which include the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on Earth; the Andes Mountains, perfect for hiking and skiing; the mystical forests and lakes of Patagonia; and the Pacific coastline.
Atacama Desert: Explore the otherworldly landscapes of the Atacama Desert, with its unique rock formations, salt flats, geysers, and vast starlit skies. It's a haven for stargazing and astronomy enthusiasts.
Torres del Paine National Park: Discover the dramatic scenery of Patagonia in Torres del Paine, known for its towering granite peaks, glaciers, turquoise lakes, and diverse wildlife.
Easter Island: Visit the remote Easter Island, famous for its mysterious Moai statues. Explore the unique Polynesian culture and the archaeological wonders of the island.
Wine Tourism: Chile is a prominent wine-producing country, with various wine regions like the Maipo Valley and Colchagua Valley. Enjoy wine tours, tastings, and learn about Chilean winemaking traditions.
Charming Cities: Explore vibrant cities like Santiago, the capital, known for its culture, art, and history; Valparaíso, a colorful and bohemian coastal town; and Viña del Mar, a popular beach destination.
Adventure Activities: If you're an adventure seeker, Chile offers opportunities for hiking, trekking, skiing, snowboarding, kayaking, and more. The diverse landscapes provide a playground for outdoor enthusiasts.
Cultural Richness: Immerse yourself in Chilean culture by experiencing traditional music, dance, art, and festivals. Discover the Mapuche indigenous culture and their heritage.
Gastronomy: Chilean cuisine is a blend of indigenous and European influences. Savor dishes like empanadas, seafood, pastel de choclo, and the famous Chilean barbecue known as "asado." Preserved Ecosystems: Chile's commitment to conservation has led to the preservation of unique ecosystems and habitats, making it a destination for ecotourism and wildlife enthusiasts.
Geographical Diversity: Chile is often referred to as a "ribbon of land" due to its narrow shape and diverse geography, which includes deserts, mountains, forests, glaciers, and coastline—all within a relatively small area.
Friendly Locals: Chileans are known for their warmth and hospitality towards visitors, making your travel experience enjoyable and memorable.
Ease of Travel: Chile has well-developed infrastructure, transportation options, and tourism services, making it relatively easy for travelers to explore different regions.
Safety: Chile is considered one of the safest countries in Latin America for travelers, offering a secure environment for exploration.
From natural wonders to cultural treasures, Chile offers a rich tapestry of experiences that cater to nature enthusiasts, adventure seekers, history buffs, and those seeking to relax and unwind in stunning surroundings.
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Where to stay in Chile
Traditional luxury lodging in Santiago's financial district.
$100 food / beverage credit.
Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.
Nestled in the historic town of Vila Real de Santo António, indulge in opulent grandeur and impeccable hospitality at Grand House, where luxury meets history in every exquisite detail.
Discover the allure of Nayara Hangaroa, where Easter Island's breathtaking landscapes and this renowned luxury hotel unite for an unforgettable eco-luxury experience.
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Things to do in Chile
Visit the historic neighborhoods of Bellavista and Lastarria.
Discover local markets like Mercado Central and La Vega.
Explore museums like the Museum of Pre-Columbian Art and Chilean National Museum of Fine Arts.
Hike up Cerro San Cristóbal for panoramic city views.
Stargazing in the Atacama Desert
Experience some of the world's best stargazing in the clear skies of the Atacama Desert.
Visit observatories or take guided stargazing tours to witness the Milky Way and constellations.
Torres del Paine National Park
Trek the famous W Circuit or the longer O Circuit, enjoying stunning landscapes of granite peaks, glaciers, and turquoise lakes.
Spot wildlife like guanacos, foxes, and Andean condors.
Admire the iconic Towers of Paine and Grey Glacier.
Easter Island (Rapa Nui):
Marvel at the mysterious moai statues and learn about the island's unique Polynesian culture.
Explore the volcanic landscapes, including Rano Kau crater and Anakena Beach.
Discover the archaeological sites and petroglyphs.
Wine Tasting in Colchagua Valley
Enjoy wine tours and tastings in Chile's renowned wine regions like Colchagua, Maipo, and Casablanca.
Learn about the winemaking process and the history of Chilean viticulture.
Atacama Salt Flats and Altiplano
Visit the vast salt flats of Salar de Atacama and the high-altitude landscapes of the Altiplano.
Discover unique geological formations like Valle de la Luna (Valley of the Moon) and El Tatio Geysers.
Valparaíso and Viña del Mar
Wander through Valparaíso's colorful streets, filled with street art and historical charm.
Relax on the beaches of Viña del Mar and explore the Flower Clock.
Mapuche Cultural Experience
Engage in cultural encounters with the indigenous Mapuche people, learning about their traditions, crafts, and way of life.
Enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, trekking, skiing, snowboarding, kayaking, and white-water rafting in various regions.
Pucón and Villarrica
Climb Villarrica Volcano for stunning views and the thrill of an active volcano.
Relax in natural hot springs and enjoy water sports on Lake Villarrica.
Discover quaint towns like Pucón, Puerto Varas, and Frutillar, each with its own unique character and attractions.
Pacific Coast Adventures
Enjoy surfing, whale watching, and beach activities along Chile's extensive Pacific coastline.
Places to eat & drink in Chile
Boragó: A renowned restaurant focused on Chilean ingredients and native flavors, offering an innovative tasting menu.
La Vega Central: Explore this bustling market in Santiago to sample fresh produce, seafood, and local snacks.
Barrio Lastarria: Discover numerous cafes, restaurants, and bars in this historic neighborhood.
Samsara Restaurant: Enjoy fusion cuisine and stunning views of Valparaíso's bay.
Café del Poeta: A charming café in the heart of Valparaíso, perfect for coffee, snacks, and people-watching.
Viña del Mar
Restaurant 5 Sensores: Known for its creative dishes and use of local ingredients.
Casino de Viña del Mar: Experience dining and entertainment at the casino complex.
La Maga Restaurante: Offers a farm-to-table experience with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients.
La Tetera: A cozy tea house known for its cakes, pastries, and tea selection.
Mercado Municipal de Castro: Explore this market for fresh seafood, local produce, and traditional dishes.
Curanto: Experience a traditional Chilote feast cooked underground.
Wine Regions (Colchagua, Casablanca, etc.)
Viña Vik: Enjoy wine and dine in this luxury vineyard known for its stunning architecture and views.
Bodega Re: A winery and restaurant that offers wine pairing experiences with gourmet dishes.
Restaurant Ckunna: Offers a blend of Chilean and international dishes, using local ingredients.
Adobe: A restaurant with an earthy ambiance and a menu inspired by the desert's flavors.
Mesita Grande: A popular spot offering a variety of local and international dishes.
Baguales Brewery: Enjoy craft beers and pub-style food in a cozy setting.
Easter Island (Rapa Nui)
Te Moana: A restaurant that specializes in fresh seafood and traditional Rapa Nui dishes.
Kaloa Pisco Bar: Try unique Pisco-based cocktails in a relaxed atmosphere.
Empanadas: Try traditional Chilean empanadas, which come in various fillings, including cheese, seafood, and meat.
Completo: A Chilean-style hot dog with various toppings, including avocado, mayonnaise, sauerkraut, and more.
Mote con Huesillo: A traditional Chilean drink made with husked wheat and dried peaches.
Cafés and Bars
Explore local cafés for coffee and pastries, and visit bars for Chilean wines, pisco sours, and craft beers.
Chilean cuisine is characterized by its emphasis on fresh ingredients, seafood, and a mix of traditional and modern flavors. Whether you're dining in upscale restaurants, sampling street food, or enjoying local specialties, Chile offers a culinary journey that reflects its diverse culture and landscapes.
Need to Know
Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, Vibrant Rio de Janeiro.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Chile.