Chile is the narrowest nation in the world, yet its borders provide some of the most diverse terrains. It’s no secret that the country offers a vast array of exciting things to do and see for people of all ages. You never know what you might come across next, from waterfalls to mountains, hot springs to volcanoes. As a foreigner entering the nation, you will find that the rich culture, fantastic cuisine, lively nightlife, and sightseeing can keep you busy for a lifetime, so we’ve created a list of four of Chile’s best destinations that you must see first.
Santiago is the capital of this majestic country, and it certainly doesn’t lack character. As the largest city in Chile, you will find that residents and tourists favor it for many reasons. Each neighborhood nestled within the city’s borders is distinctly different from the next. For instance, as you enter Bellavista, you are introduced to historical European homes and free-spirited energy that you can’t ignore. With colorful buildings, marketplaces, and street art around nearly every corner, your eyes could wonder each crevice and still find new details while your ears can hear the pleasant sounds of live music fill the air.
The Maipo Valley is Chile’s best-known region. Its vineyards date back to the 16th century when the Spanish conquistadors ruled. It wasn’t until centuries later that Bordeaux grape varieties (primarily Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot) were first imported to Chile from France, and at the same time, modern Maipo Valley began coming into its own. Today, Maipo is home to Chile’s most famous Cabernet-based wines, including Concha y Toro.
If the street art of Santiago gave your eyes pleasure, wait until you experience Valparaiso. This city is one of the most desirable places for tourists due to its bountiful amount of cafes, art galleries, and coffee shops. Take in the rich history of this Santiago suburb by viewing the protest art created by young protesters in the ’60s and ’70s that referred to themselves as the “Ramona Parra Brigades,” or take a walk through the open museum of Museo a Cielo Abierto to get a glimpse of murals that are beyond your wildest dreams.
Isla Grande de Chiloe’s beautiful beaches and thickly forested areas seem to go on forever with their beauty. As you explore, you will find waterfalls, wildlife, and empty beaches no matter where you go on the island. The winter months in Chiloe may not allow residents and tourists to take advantage of the many water activities to enjoy, but that certainly doesn’t stop the penguins.
Known as one of the driest desert regions on this planet, San Pedro de Atacama isn’t suitable for everyone who passes through it. Nevertheless, the area provides some of the best night skies and exciting hiking adventures. Check out the volcano Lascar which is situated at the arc connecting four countries, before you head to the geyser field of El Tatio for a soak in its hot springs.
Patagonia is one of the most stunningly beautiful places on earth. Torres del Paine National Park, with its recognizable granite cliffs, is one of the most iconic destinations in Patagonia. The region offers outdoor adventures such as ice hiking on glaciers, horseback riding, and kayaking through a sea of icebergs.
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