13 Best Places To Visit In Chile

Chile is a country in the continent of South America. It is situated towards the west coast of the continent and occupies a narrow strip of land from the Pacific Ocean to the Andes going west to east. Its geographical area makes it extremely unique, as it is considered among one of the longest countries, however width-wise, it is minimal. Chile is one of the best places to visit in South America.

But this is good news for the traveler as the beaches can never be too far and the tourists have not explored the Pacific waters. The climate is also drastically different, and they witness summer from December to February and winters from June to August. The best time to visit is indeed summer. Chile has a warm and toasty feel to it with temperatures ranging from 59 degrees to 83 degrees.

Chile is all bright, with rainbow colors livening up the place. The Chilean people are also different, and they are more outspoken and vivacious than us. Though the official language is Spanish, people do speak and understand English to make communication easy. Often overshadowed by Brazil and Argentina, this incredible country stretches for over 4,000 kilometres and in that space you have all the best landscapes on Earth!

You have scorching deserts with very high volcanoes in the north, to magical fjords in the south with high volcanoes and mountains and with that it climatically goes from Morocco in the north, to Scotland and Norway in the south or Arizona in the north to Coastal British Columbia and the Alaskan Panhandle in the south. If you are someone who enjoys wine you can visit the Maipo Valley where you will be able to cycle down the vineyard and enjoy some of their best wines South America has to offer.

Chile is right in-between the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean and it is a country that has some of the most breathtaking landscapes that will stay forever in your memory. There are so many active and adventurous things that you can do while visiting Chile. They’re cities like Santiago are also cool and not hectic like Bogotá, São Paulo or Rio De Janeiro. You can find penguins in the south and west of the country and they are so so adorable!

best places to visit in Chile

Chile is filled with places and sites that will beguile the traveler to his core.

1. Santiago

Santiago is the capital and largest city of Chile. It is quite old as well, having been founded in the year 1541 by a Spanish Conquistador. The best part about the city is that it is surrounded by the snow-capped Andes and Chilean Coast Range, which you can see and be awed by from a lot of places within the town.

The city has an exceptionally exquisite aerial view, which you can quickly see if you hike up to the Cerro San Cristobal hill. This hill is 850 meters above sea level and about 300 m above the rest of Santiago. So you can just imagine the views. You will find people walking up the trek and even cycling. You can decide your medium yourself but the end, being the top, would be worth getting sweaty.

Plaza de Armas is the main square of the city, much like the Times Square of New York, but less crowded and more ancient. This Square houses many national monuments like the Palacio de la Real Audiencia de Santiago, which is home to the National History Museum. It is bound to satiate your thirst for history.

The Bahá’í temple in Santiago, Chile is a wonderful looking piece of architecture that could be from ancient times or of the distant future at the same time. This temple almost feels like something from a beautiful fantasy movie. The temple is open to every person, no matter what faith they belong to and prayer can be done for any kind of belief in this temple.

2. Valparaiso

Next on the list is a port city in northern Chile. Valparaiso is basically a European city. This is by far the most colourful city in Chile. From orange to green to a bright yellow, you will get to see all the houses in all the colours you can think of. This city has several museums and historical sites, but its best part is the Renaca Beach. This beach is trendy among tourists for surfing and sunbathing with the bluest waters of the Pacific.

Valparaíso is a hidden gem in Latin America, surrounded by Concepción and Alegre hills. You can’t see many cities that look like they rolled off the hand of a cartoonist. That’s Valparaiso. Valparaiso in the winter (July) can be as grey, rainy and dull as Portland or Seattle on a bad day. Not all of South America is sunny Tropicana beaches.

Valparaiso isn’t really very far from Patagonia, the Alaska of South America. On a good day, it feels a lot like the central California coast. When the sun is out, it’s just brilliant. When it’s not, it’s gloomy and grey. Topographically, Valparaiso is way more interesting. It’s built on a mountainous coastline, with vineyards galore just a few miles inland.

While the water is cold in Valparaiso — it’s not a beach destination — it’s just a couple hours’ drive up into the Andes, so even better. Pablo Neruda had an incredible house in Valparaiso, which you can tour. Neruda’s La Sebastiana is a fascinating place, with a lot of the poet’s quirky collectibles inside and a sweet view out over the Pacific. Unfortunately, photography inside is not allowed. But you might be able to sneak a picture in.

And while not dirt cheap, Valparaiso is hardly expensive.

3. Torres del Paine National Park

The best places to visit in Chile is the Torres Del Paine National Park which is one of the wonders of the world. It is one of the best natural tourist destinations to visit in Chile where you will get to see ice capped mountains surrounded by beautiful lakes. You can take a multi-day trek around the amazing glaciers and some of the most beautiful teal lakes located in the Torres del Paine National Park.

This is one of a kind, not just in Chile, but the entire world. A national park means there would be a diversity of flora and fauna. There indeed is, the park boasts seven documented species of Orchidaceae, along with 85 non-native plant species. There are about 75 that are European.

Amongst animals, the most common is Guanacos. Apart from this South American grey fox and South Andrean deer also call this park their home. The authorities have documented about 15 species of birds of prey. But the park is not famous for them, but its mountains, glaciers, lakes and rivers. On average about 250,000 tourists visit it every year to take in the glorious views of its natural beauty.

4. Chiloe Island

This is the prime isle in the archipelago in Southern Chile. Your visit to Chile will be incomplete if you go back without touring through this beauty. Its greenery and authenticity will enchant you to stay forever. Chiloe National Park and Tantauco Park are a hiker's wet dream. Bushwalking these will delight you more than anything else.

Then there is the Islotes de Punihuil Natural Monument. This monument is famous for an exceptional reason, and it is the only shared breeding site for Humboldt and Magellanic Penguins. A boat ride can take you around the islets to make you witness the most majestic views. The peace and tranquillity this place exudes is not something you can find anywhere else.

The curanto en hoyo is not only a meal, it is also a celebration. It is not something you can ask for in a restaurant. A good option to try it would be traveling to Chiloé, an island in the south of Chile, where they cook this dish in traditional festivals that celebrate throughout the summer. In restaurants in Chile, a type of curanto en olla, also called pulmay, is prepared and served with the broth from the stew itself.

The casserole is a vegetable soup with meat, which can be chicken, veal or lamb. It is a very typical winter meal and very common both north and south of the country. It is a dish that you will find in any Chilean restaurant.

5. Puerto Montt

Route 7 of Chile, internationally known as the Carretera Austral, links Puerto Montt with Villa O'Higgins in a 1200 km route through Chilean Patagonia. Many travelers from all over the world want to travel the Carretera Austral, which starts in the Los Lagos Region and crosses the entire Aysén Region while hiking in Patagonia.

Embark on a ferry to the Carretera Austral from Puerto Montt to Puerto Chacabuco across the Pacific Ocean between fjords and canals and enjoy the Chiloé archipelago and the Andes from the sea.

6. Coyhaique

Coyhaique is a strategic point of the Carretera Austral because it is at the midpoint. Cerro Mackay is only 2 km away from the city, so some call it the guardian of Coyhaique. Another attraction of Coyhaique is the Simpson River that runs through it. On the bridge that crosses it you can see the particular Piedra del Indio.

Another recommended place is the Coyhaique National Reserve, which is 10 minutes away from the city and from where you can climb Cerro Cinchao. From there to Villa Cerro Castillo, 168 km, the route is paved.

7. General Carrera Lake

General Carrera Lake is one of the salient points of the Carretera Austral. Not only is it the largest lake in Chile, and the second in South America, but its colors - in the range of blue, turquoise and sky blue - are unique. The lake, shared with Argentina with the name of Buenos Aires, is bordered by Route 7 along 70 km.

In front of the General Carrera Lake is Puerto Río Tranquilo, a key place to stop and visit the Marble Chapels. These formations that are on the shores of the lake, but are not seen from the road. Puerto Río Tranquilo is also the point to connect with the road that leads to Exploradores Bay and San Rafael Lagoon. It is 52 kilometers to the west until you reach the viewpoint of the Exploradores glacier. To visit it, you can hire excursions from the town.

Continuing south on the Carretera is El Maitén crossing. There appears a bifurcation that allows to go to Puerto Guadal and Chile Chico, bordering the lake. Chile Chico is the border city with the Argentine locality Los Antiguos, an option for those who want to follow the mythical Route 40. From the El Maitén junction on the Carretera Austral, you arrive at Puerto Bertrand.

Lake Bertrand, later give rise to the Baker River, the largest river in Chile. On the side of the Carretera Austral, between Puerto Bertrand and Cochrane, the Baker River joins the River Nef forming a powerful jump for the power and color of the waters to Caleta Tortel. From Cochrane to the south, the landscape becomes much more dense due to the presence of the famous cypress of the Guaitecas.

Chilean Navy transports them across the ocean to Punta Arenas. Caleta Tortel, well known as the town without streets, is built on a small hill to the top of Cerro Bandera. Go on an excursion to a glacier such as the Jorge Montt or the Steffen or a boat ride to Isla de los Muertos. From now on, to Villa O'Higgins, the road is a gravel road.

8. Southern Patagonian Ice Field

With its world-famous peaks, pristine lakes, and sprawling glaciers, Patagonia is a bucket-list destination for every nature lover. On this trip, you’ll hike to your heart’s content! Villa O 'Higgins is the point where the Carretera Austral ends. It calls itself the capital of the Patagonian glaciers for being the access point to the southern ice fields.

From there you can go by boat to the O'Higgins Glacier, one of the four largest in Patagonia and you can also cross to Argentina and after a boat trip to El Chaltén.

You can cross Argentina to see San Martin Lake (on the Chilean side it is Lake O'Higgins). For that you must go to Carabineros and request the exit. After an hour of walking and doing the necessary immigration procedures to enter Argentina, you can access a very wide beach to rest and enjoy an unparalleled peace. Climb the Cerro Mirador and for the more adventurous, there is the option of a 10 km trail to see the Mosco River Glacier.

There are several ways to travel the Carretera Austral and all have their charm. Go hitchhiking and it is something for those who travel without a return date and are encouraged to leave their destination in the hands of an unknown driver. For something it is considered one of the best scenic routes in the world. Having armed a Carretera Austral itinerary can be very helpful.

The Patagonians are very friendly although they may be a little distant. For hitchhiking, it gets harder after you get to Cochrane. From there to Caleta Tortel or Villa O'Higgins the frequency of cars is much lower. Regarding the lodging, try to do Couchsurfing. There are places like Tortel or Puerto Guadal where there is only one couch, so you should be lucky to be accepted.

In case of not finding accommodation in this way, camping can be a good option if you are traveling between December and February. Obviously there are also more luxurious lodging options. Do not forget that Patagonia is a very popular destination and visited by travelers from all over the world to do fishing, rafting, climbing and boat trips and even helicopter trips.

Fishing coves is the name given in Chile to places, especially beaches, dedicated to the activity of artisanal fishing.

9. Puerto Natales

Puerto Natales is a smaller city than Punta Arenas, on the banks of Última Esperanza Sound, with incredibly blue waters and full of black-necked swans. Puerto Natales, unlike Punta Arenas, has a special seal.

10. Pucón

Located on the shores of Lake Villarrica, in the Chilean region of the Araucanía, Pucón is a paradise for travelers who are passionate about active tourism. It began its history as a military settlement, later received twenty German families and, during the 1970s, began to become the increasingly popular tourist destination it is today.

Thanks to its privileged natural environment, where national parks, volcanoes, lakes, waterfalls and thermal waters are discovered, tourists arrive constantly throughout the year. In the local environment Pucon is known as "the capital of adventure tourism".

When exploring the city of Pucon, one can notice the Andean construction style of Patagonia, in which wood and stone prevail. There are numerous restaurants, attractive stores, all kinds of services and religious sites of interest, such as the monastery of Santa Clara and the parish church of Santa Cruz.

38 km from Pucón is what was part of the first National Park of Chile. Huerquehue National Park is characterized by the presence of thousand-year-old araucarias that are currently in danger of extinction. A 12,500-hectare foothill park characterized by its mountainous terrain, where hills and gorges enclose numerous lakes and lagoons with crystal clear waters, in addition to the legendary araucaria.

Easily accessible during the summer, this park offers visitors various recreational options, whether admiring nature or doing leisure and sports activities. From there you can see wonderful views from the Pucón river valley, to the Villarrica volcano. And if you are lucky, observe the majesty of the flying condor while you travel in Chile.

The park has impressive beauty spots, so you can not miss the Verde and Toro lakes, the Renahue river canyon, the Rio Nevados valley, the Quinchol and Araucano hills. In summer, the green of the fauna gives a beautiful and pleasant sight. In autumn, there is the beautiful view of the red of the lengas, the native tree of the park.

In winter, be amazed by the snowy park and the amazing and unique view of its frozen lakes while travelling to Patagonia in Chile. Then end the year with spring, where the park springs to life again, delivering a mix of beautiful colors and pleasant aromas.

11. San Pedro de Atacama

Most outdoor travelers will probably agree that Patagonia, the southernmost part of Chile, is one of the most amazing outdoor destinations in the world. So it's no small claim to suggest that the crazy salt pools of Chile's Atacama Desert may be cooler. Or at least as cool.

By some accounts, the Atacama Desert is the driest place in the world — which is why it's amazing that one of its best draws are the turquoise-blue natural pools dotted across its landscape. And because of their high salt content, it's effortless to float on the surface for hours.

But if you fancy a more desert type of adventure you can visit the Atacama Desert where you will be able to see the famous salt-flats, active geysers as well as enjoy a starry night to finish the day off right. Atacama Desert-is located within stripe land on Pacific coast of Chile to the southern part of Peru.

Atacama Desert is the driest desert in the world; the desert covers a 1,000-kilometre or 600 mile land space between the Andes and Chilean Coaster Range. Records show, the desert may have not witnessed rainfall between 1570 and 1971, a period of almost 400 years. Chile is a place to be interested in volcanoes because there are over 500 volcanic peaks in this country. As a plus, you can even visit the geothermal Pucon Hot Springs and relax after a hard day of adventuring.

12. Madre de Dios Island

Isla Madre de Dios is located in the south of Chile (Madre de Dios Island), and it is very hard to access. The fjords in the area are treacherous and famous for being difficult to navigate. Furthermore, most of the coast of the island coast are steep cliffs, with very few places to access the island. The island is also constantly bathed with winds up to 130 km/h.

It has been estimated that the conditions currently existing on Isla Madre de Dios are equivalent to what was around the world some 12,000 years ago, you know, when the last ice age was still around. Now, to make things even more interesting, Isla Madre de Dios has HUGE caves underneath it. Now, these caves go deep, very deep. Some expeditions have descended some 350 meters under the earth, with chasms of 60 meters deep.

Okay, you may be asking what’s the big deal; there are other places with caves like this, and even deeper. And here is where it gets REALLY interesting: the island was inhabited. There is evidence, dating up to 4,500 years ago, revealing that Isla Madre de Dios was inhabited by the kawésqar, which was an indigenous tribe who lived in the south part of Chile. Keep in mind that the these cave paintings were found AT THE BOTTOM of the caves, so the kawésqar had to go down the 60 m chasms with stone age technology.

13. Easter Island

This beautiful island is located in the southeastern Pacific Ocean and is a part of Chile. It’s most well-known for the giant statues that line the coast. It’s estimated that people settled on Easter Island sometime between 300 and 1200 AD. Many researchers believe that the first people to arrive at Easter Island were Polynesians from the Gambier Islands, Marquesas Islands, or South America.

According to traditions that were written down by missionaries in the mid-1800s, Easter Island used to have a class system, and a high chief had power over other leaders and their people. The statues, or moai, are thought to represent and honor their ancestors. Despite this island’s beauty, some terrible things happened here. Using numerous resources to construct the moai resulted in severe deforestation and environmental damages.

Since Easter Island’s natural state was already uncertain, this drove it over the edge. The settlers’ main protein source was dolphins and tuna, and the rest of their diets were made up of the crops they farmed, like sweet potato, taro root, and bananas. But, without the protection of the forest, salt spray from the ocean ruined their crops and fresh water, and without trees, they couldn’t build boats to fish.

The people were able to live off of birds for a short time, but things quickly turned worse, and they were forced to start feeding on each other. However, despite the evidence suggesting a lack of food caused this, the practice was once common among the Polynesian cultures.

Rapa Nui is an island of Polynesia located in the Pacific Ocean. Belonging to Chile, it is one of the main tourist destinations in the country. Rapa Nui has only one town, Hanga Roa, where almost all the inhabitants of the island are concentrated. Without a doubt, it is a unique and idyllic place due to its nature, culture and history.

The first inhabitants arrived around the 4th century and developed a unique culture that we can still admire today thanks to the vestiges such as the impressive moai, ancestors carved in stone that protect the island. In addition to the enigmatic moai stone heads, on the island you will find fascinating landscapes.

It is worth visiting one of its main volcanoes such as Rano Kau, with its beautiful flooded crater, and Rano Raraku, where the moais were carved. In addition, Rapa Nui has a beauty beach without equal, Anakena. You can see at the same time the crystal clear waters of Polynesia and the moai of the Ahu that are there.

On Easter Island you can also give yourself a dip or two. If you dare to do something else, nothing better than an immersion in the crystal clear waters of Rapa Nui. There are several experienced diving companies to choose from and with all you will have an exciting safe experience that you will never forget.

The closest beach to the capital is Pea. It is one of the best beaches for surfing, bodyboarding and swimming. At 30 km you will reach Ovahe beach, although the most important one is Anakena beach, home of the great Ahu Nau Nau and where Ahu Ature Huki and his enigmatic solitary moai can be found.

But most of the moais on the island come from the slopes of the Rano Raraku volcano, located at the southwest end of Easter Island. If you are passionate about volcanoes you should not forget the Maunga Terevaka (the highest point on the island) and the Poike. As for the Moais, the most prominent are those of Ahu Akivi, Ahu Tongariki, Ahu te Pito Kura, Ahu Akahanga and Ahu Vinapu.

Easter Island is an island that has always been on the list of top most attractive places of the world. Eastern Island's huge stone figures have beguiled the researchers, explorers and the broader world for centuries. According to experts, they have cracked one of the biggest mysteries.

Easter Island has more than 300 megalithic platforms. It is believed that first of these platforms was constructed in the 13th century. Many of these statues are around the coast. Scholars did not find anything to explain the purpose of the Moai statues. It is believed that the carved stones and the wooden objects have magical essence according to ancient Polynesians.

This essence is known as Mana when they are correctly formulated. The location of the fresh water is the most substantial component for determining the position of Ahu and Moai. Scientists have tried a lot for centuries to solve the mystery of how the giant stone of Easter Island statues got moved.

Moreover, now there is a new theory behind it. According to the new approach, the figures that are known as Moai was engineered to run in the upright in a rocking motion. The rocks was moved by humans with the help of ropes.

That will be all I can tell you about. I am pretty sure; it is enough to make you crave the experience of travelling. Do think about it, Chile is one of the most popular tourist attractions in South America.
Kalyan Panja