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

Wanderlust Travel Magazine (UK) - - This Issue -

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.

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