Legend has it that when God finished creating the world, he took all the leftover scraps of the most diverse and beautiful pieces of landscape and nature and patched them together to create Chile. Spanning 2,604 miles from north to south & no more than 115 miles wide at any point makes Chile the world’s thinnest and longest country – with both factors considered together. Chile encompasses an extraordinary diversity of terrain and climates. Within its boundaries is the driest desert in the world – the Atacama – in the far north; the lush valleys and fertile farmland of the Central Region; golden Pacific beaches; the jagged spine of the snow-capped Andes with some of the highest peaks in the western hemisphere; the Lake District with its thick rainforest, volcanoes, hot springs and lakes; the far south with the 1,000-year-old glacier fields, granite peaks, jewel-toned lakes, and pampa of Patagonia; to the frozen wonderland of Antarctica.
Within the Chilean territory there also are several of the most enigmatic islands in the world: Easter Island (Rapa Nui), with its mysterious moai sculptures and vibrant culture; Robinson Crusoe Island, so-called for Alexander Selkirk who lived as a castaway on the island and inspired the well-known novel; and Chiloé, home to a unique culture centred on rich folkloric traditions and mysticism, and dotted with dozens of lovely antique Jesuit churches that are considered some of the oldest wooden structures in the world.
Chile is a geographical extravaganza where from the country’s northern border south to La Serena, the coastal desert and high-altitude desert encompass a breath-taking array of landscapes. The Central region, from La Serena to Los Angeles has attractions which range from snow-capped mountains (la cordillera de los Andes) to lovely beach resorts (Valpariaso and Viña del mar) and fertile green valleys. Around Santiago and even within city limits are wine-growing valleys that produce one of Chile’s most famous exports, while farther off shore are the exotic destinations Easter Island and Robinson Crusoe Island.
The Lake District from Los Angeles to Puerto Montt is inundated with verdant forests, volcanoes, rivers and lakes, offering a natural setting and numerous options for sports and adventure.
The Patagonian region that stretches from Puerto Montt to Antarctica is one of the most captivating regions for foreign travellers to visit, and given its extreme climate and terrain, extraordinary beauty, virgin forests, islands, fjords and glaciers, it offers unparalleled outdoor adventure to those who make the trip deep south.