Saving the best for last . . . we loved Santiago and especially our guide and driver. They were absolutely marvelous. Not only were they knowledgeable and extremely professional, but they made each outing great fun. The tours, tasting, and lunch at the wineries were excellent, the city tour and lunch in Santiago outstanding.
Chile and PatagoniaTrip Recommendations
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Things to Do and See in Chile
Chile is an amazingly diverse country that more than makes up for its lack of longitude with its diversity of latitudes. From the amazing sculptured peaks of Torres de Paine national park in the south, to the central cosmopolitan urban centers of Santiago and Valparaíso, to the Andes highlands and national nature reserves along the border with Bolivia in the north, this is truly a country of contrasts.
Chile offers the intrepid explorer the opportunity to tour wine country, to hike in one of the world’s most formidable mountain ranges, to stroll beaches among penguin and seal colonies, to shop and enjoy art galleries and art and cultural museums by day, or to experience some of the greatest in South American nightlife by night.
Chile is a diverse country made up of indigenous and European groups that inhabit the landscape in a variety of ways, producing a variety of crafts and other goods.
The Weather in Chile
Chile, because it stretches so far from north to south, has nine separate climates. They are, from north to south: warm desert, cold desert, cold semi-arid, warm Mediterranean, temperate continental, temperate oceanic, cool oceanic, and tundra.
Each climate overlaps and overtakes each other in various places, depending upon latitude, altitude, and proximity to the Pacific Ocean. Depending on what time of year you’re visiting (the seasons run opposite those in the Northern Hemisphere), and where your itinerary will take you, you may need to pack for just about all types of weather.
Chile Transportation Options
The big cities and most of the towns in Chile have taxi service, collectivos (taxis that run fixed routes for fixed rates), and mass transit. Valparaiso and Santiago also have commuter rail systems, and Santiago has a subway. Rail travel is problematic for travelers and most long distance travel should be booked by air. To get off the beaten path in Chile will require either renting a car or hiring a driver. Of course, TravelStore can also arrange a car and driver for you, as needed.
Hotels & Resorts in Chile
Chile’s larger cities and towns will have a range of accommodations for all travelers on all manner of budgets. Accommodations near Torres del Paine and other parts of Patagonia tend to be on the more luxury end of the spectrum, catering to tourists who want adventure by day and comfort by night.
Small towns throughout the country may have some lodging available in small inns, through home stays, and via the occasional hotel or resort. Make sure to book lodgings in advance, especially if you are venturing outside the usual tourist spots and bigger towns. And our travel experts can also offer you our hand-picked resorts, where you’ll enjoy special amenities during your stay.
Unique Adventures and Experiences in Chile
From the monkey puzzle tree, to the interesting and unusual varietals grown to make Chile’s best wine, this country is a study in uniqueness. But if you’re looking for something even more off the beaten path, consider one of these options.
Visit Pablo Neruda’s love nest, La Chascona. Nobel prize-winning poet and Chilean native Pablo Neruda constructed La Chascona as a getaway for himself and his mistress, Matilda Urrutia. It is now maintained by his foundation as a museum to the author, his eventual wife, and his love for art.
Stay in the amazing and fascinating Atacama Desert, where you can view the skies at night like you’ve never seen our universe before.
Visit the marble caves, high in the Andes, accessible only by boat tour on Chile’s Lake General Carrera. These beautiful caves of swirling stone patterns have been cut by six thousand years’ worth of waves on the lake’s surface.
Visit the home of the Birdman Cult, Orongo, on Isla de Pascua. Once the site of a tribal ritual that would pit sponsored tribesmen against each other in a cliff diving, shark infested water swimming, and rare egg-gathering contest, this UNESCO world heritage site has to be experienced to be believed.
More About Chile
Plan your adventure to Chile today with us. Whether you’re hoping to concentrate solely on the backcountry adventure options afforded to you in Patagonia, to visit multiple wine producing regions, or to tour the high Andes, enrich your Chilean vacation experience by calling one of our Chile travel experts. Learn more about vacations in Chile.