Chile is known for having the longest and threadlike landscape in the world. Like a long stretched ribbon, its land area begins from the tropics in the north to the cold and breezy windswept seas around Cape Horn in the southern region. The country has a spectacular mixture of landscapes. The central region is filled with orchards, vineyards, wheat fields, and green pastures where cattle and sheep are raised.
In summer, the weather is warm and always sunny, and in winter it is mild with a bit of a freezing cold. Nestled along the central region is where the main cities are situated and where most of the locals live. To the north you can view the arid expanses of the Atacama Desert, one of the world’s driest areas. To the far south, it is filled with islands, forests, mountains, and glaciers.
Here are the top ten of the not to be missed places in Chile.
Museum of Memory and Human Rights
is an interesting place to visit to learn and understand the historical past of Chile. It shows how the people suffered so much during the military regime of General Pinochet (1973 – 1990). While he was in power, thousands of people who opposed his government left the country, died in the civil war, or were imprisoned. Others simply disappeared or were tortured. It is a powerful and moving experience; one comes to grief, anger, nostalgia and pity for the ones who suffered during the horrid regime. This museum is a great way to honor the victims of the dictatorship of Chile during the last 17 years of his rule. Guided tours are a great option where you can interact with the guide and ask any questions with regard to the topic. It is an activity that is not to be missed when in the capital city.
you can find the largest harvest of white wines and vineyards that Chile is famous for. You have multiple options to enjoy this attraction, visit vineyards with or without a package tour guide or you can go from one side to another as you participate in wine tasting and enjoying the facilities that are different from one another. There are several vineyards that offer various guided tour with lunch and some folk shows. When traveling from Santiago to Valparaiso and Viña del Mar (or other central coast spas) take Route 68. After leaving the tunnel, go through Zapata a long straight of the highway and from start to finish you can see both sides of the highway with an extensive plantings of vines that climb the slopes of the hills. Once there you will see a line of restaurants, the opportunity to taste some wines and buy bottles of wine at reasonable prices.
La Sebastiana (Pablo Neruda’s House)
opens its doors to the public to give the people an idea about the interesting details and corners of the house and how the great Chilean writer lives on a daily basis. It has a good view of the harbor and you can just imagine how and where Pablo draws inspiration and dedication to his poetry. The house has unique memorabilia pieces from the writer’s life and the view of the coastal port of Valparaiso. It is convenient to go during the week because Saturday and Sunday’s is when the crowds visit most and you lose the ability to appreciate what there is to see. It is a remarkable place to honor a unique poet plus the view of the landscape of the city as seen from the house/Museum is an added attraction to behold.
Cerro Conception and Cerro Alegre Hill
is the best route to do in Valparaiso. It has viewpoints, tiny cobblestone passages, and picturesque murals filled with different artistic lines. This hill is filled with old buildings and establishments and has picturesque places. The bohemian style is where you can see that Valparaiso is the heritage of humanity. The colorful houses, senseless streets and a story behind every turn describe part of the Chilean culture. It is an ideal place to see architecture, and enjoy the view of the entire metropolis. At the bottom there are vantage points with a view that leaves you speechless.
Vina del Mar
is a good place to walk by and enjoy the sea breeze and the sun. Sailboats, seagulls and the port of Valparaiso frame this countryside scenery. The waterfront was recently remodeled and allowed a promenade area to see the wide open sea. It has entertainment shows designed for children complete with play and sports equipment, and places to buy ice cream, drinks, etc. It’s pretty crowded in the summer when the water sport events usually occur around the area. This tour allows you to walk on the coast of Viña while watching the sea and the sunset. There are designated bike path for bicycle lovers and sport enthusiasts.
You may also reach the nearby bike path and natural beach attraction called the
Bring along a friend to better enjoy the attractions of this huge beach. It is a picturesque resort, clean, tidy, secured and safe. There is much to enjoy about the sea aside from the beach. There are places to wander and just enjoy the cold breeze brought in by the waves.
you will find unique pieces of the statues on Easter Island. It is small but interesting. It proudly showcases some interesting customs of the Rapa Nui culture, and all the written history on how it has come into existence. At the entrance you have the chance to photograph yourself next to a replica of a Moai statue without the need to go to the actual Easter Island.
The climb to
is one of the most entertaining activities to do in Pucon. If the weather is not good and the site is too windy, the cable car service is closed and you have to climb the mountain on foot, which means a 1 hour 1/2 more of hiking along the dense forests. The view of the volcano with its chimney smoking permanently surprises those who are not used to living with so breathtaking image!
Huerquehue National Park
, what await every visitor is an incredible and natural scenery park that consists of; lakes, volcanoes, and the protected forest. It’s an affordable tour and you can not get out of Pucón without visiting this national park. This park is a marvel of nature and there are several possibilities for hiking for the day or for several days at different levels. It is advisable to bring your own food and plenty of drinking water. Take the bus that is in the main central town of Pucon that leaves at 8 am and be well equipped for a trekking adventure.
If you go to Puerto Varas it is highly recommended to spend a couple of hours to admire the lake called
which has a nearby coastal area and community. Enjoy the color of the water, the breeze and the view of the Osorno volcano that can be seen in all points and other pair of volcanoes around the area. It is an ideal place to jog and breathe the cold and clean air of this windy region.
It is a large lake that covers several cities in the region. It is very different from other lake regions along Chile.
San Pedro de Atacama
When you visit the
Salar de Tara
you will like the scenic landscape, silence and design of the highlands. You can also have the great opportunity to observe the suris, partridges of the Puna, and the vicuna pink flamingos in their natural habitat that is a privilege for the eye as well as getting acquainted about the variety of birds. It is the most interesting tour of the Chilean Altiplano Atacama area where one can see the clearest signs of glacial advances and periods of thaw.
This excursion is characterized by visiting remote places of difficult access, where you can enjoy the vastness and silence of the Altiplano. It has much more variety of landscapes, do not pay tickets and breathe freedom with the sight of limited road less views or fences. Actually the place is like living in another world where for a brief moment you escape from reality, and imagine for a moment that you are on another planet. It is highly recommended to bring food for the journey is long and somewhat against the wind.
Experience a new kind of adventure and thrill as you visit the Isla
Magdalena y Marta
. Enjoy a walk and the sight of the penguins that strides beside you as you walk. You can see many chicks nearby. Barge staff is friendly and attentive. Magdalena Island is a paradise and the perfect spot to see the penguins. The boat ride takes about an hour to reach the island. It is advisable to stay at least half of the day to have the unforgettable chance and experience of seeing or watching the penguins inside the island. Bring binoculars or telescopic lenses to enjoy it more.
Take a local bus and just drop by at the gates of
. The place is beautiful inside and the large pine trees give an air of not being in a cemetery. Take time to walk along the halls and admire the impressive architecture of the place and account or history on when the city was founded and the colonizers who once ruled and oppressed the country. It is a perfect example of what a place for meditation and relaxation can mean to the families of those who are here in their final resting place.
If you are in Chile, you must not fail to see the
Torres del Paine
. The landscape around the park is very large. To cross and discover the rest of the land, it would take several days. It is best to go or avail of group tour packages and be with a good team. You can do several days of hiking and camping and stay in the shelters that can be found along the trail.
A great advantage is that no dangerous animals like bears or snakes can harm or attack you so you can go quiet and carefree. It is definitely safe and there are roaming park rangers and conservation authorities that will monitor your climb and activities in the natural park.
In the Elqui Valley you will be amused at the enchanting views of the place. You can see the rivers that descend steeply and you have to watch out where the water is going, admire the scenery and the great weather plus see the house of Gabriela Mistral.
The place is loaded with so much peace and tranquility and a perfect place to unwind and find inspiration. The entire tour of the valley is worth all the effort to get there, especially in the vineyard plantations that you get to discover on every corner and in the middle of the mountain.
The Ahu Tongariki is a unique place on earth that is full of energy and has the largest ahu on Rapa Nui. As a tip try to visit before dawn, the rising sun just behind the statues gives an incredibly mystical touch and a certain sense of peace and calm as the sun shine through. To enjoy the exploration, wear comfortable clothes and shoes (sneakers), wear a hat, sunscreen, bring along some snacks and drinking water. It is best explored with a guide.
Beware not to step on any of the Ahu statue or platforms, for the islanders view it as disrespectful and offend their culture. It is just fascinating and mysterious. The tour begins in the moai quarry and the rest of the other ahu statues. Being in front of more than 15 statues will simply leave you speechless.