A tour of Chile,
From epic deserts to eye-catching fjords, Chile is a rich tapestry of nature and ripe for adventure… For more info and trip inspiration, visit chile .travel and
Chileans say that once God had finished creating the world, he was left with a sprinkling of everything – rivers, lakes, mountains, valleys, glaciers, deserts. But rather than discard them, he fused them into one remote, wild corner, and Chile was born. It’s this patchwork of nature that has drawn travellers to the country ever since. Now, in association with Tourism Chile and Geodyssey, you’ve the chance to savour some of its finest sights in one neatly wrapped trip.
Deserts to fjords
Chile may be a sliver on the map, but within it is contained every ecosystem and climate imaginable, and one of the more extreme is the Atacama Desert in the north. This vast, rocky lunarscape is said to be the driest place on the planet, as visits to either the Moon or Death valleys will confirm – such is their alien-like setting, both have figured as NASA testing spots for Mars-landing buggies.
But it’s not just sand as far as you can see. Salar de Atacama is 3,000 sq km of sparkling white salt – a desert within a desert – while the pre-columbian ruins of Pukará de Quitor and Tulor are reminders of a human connection. And even at night Atacama has its charms for star-gazers, its clear dark skies splashed with bright stars in visible billions
Hop to the other end of the country and your eyes couldn’t be greeted by a more different scene. Tierra del Fuego is a watery network of spectacular fjords split between Chile and Argentina, with snow-dusted peaks rising from the icy waters. The Chilean side is far wilder than its neighbour’s, and multi-day cruises offer prime access to this icy land.
City sights & park delights
Patagonia remains one of the great South American wildernesses, and Torres del Paine National Park is a spectacular showcase of this – granite peaks, epic glaciers, steel-blue lakes and high mountains surveyed by condors and patrolled by pumas. Walking trails make it a hiker’s paradise, while horse-riding treks and self-drive tours ensure it’s accessible to all.
But not all of Chile’s wonders are natural. Cosmopolitan capital Santiago is filled with café-lined squares and rich in cultural summits. But the Andes takes things to a higher level – literally – from the steamy vents of the El Tatio geyser field, the vast Lake District and the glacier-spawning Southern Ice Field. It’s a potent reminder of why this country is so ripe for exploring. It was fashioned by divine intervention, after all.