Chile is a nation squeezed between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes mountain range. Chile has a great diversity of attractions and natural landscapes. There are deserts among the driest in the world, such as the Atacama desert, mountain peaks, volcanoes, fjords, lakes and glaciers. The natural aspect is undoubtedly the main motivation for a trip to Chile. There are 32 national parks in the country that protect the most beautiful areas from a landscape and natural point of view.
In the Atacama desert area there are also interesting testimonies of pre-Colombian cultures, which have left petroglyphs, rock carvings, mummies and objects, often magnificently preserved by the aridity of the climate.
But Chile is not lacking in the most mundane attractions. Like the ski areas (Portillo, Valle Nevado and Termas de Chillán) and the seaside resorts of the center of the country. Among the latter, how can we forget Valparaíso and Viña del Mar.
The country does not fail to attract lovers of good wine with the vineyards cultivated in the valleys of Casablanca and Colchagua. Mountains, lakes, glaciers and volcanoes are the attractions of the south of the country and of Chilean Patagonia. Finally exclusive but beautiful destinations are the remote Chilean islands in the Pacific Ocean, among them the mysterious Easter Island.
Chile has some sites declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Chile’s UNESCO sites are all cultural sites. The first Chilean site to be included in the UNESCO list was Easter Island (1995). Then there were the Churches of Chiloé (2000), the historic district of the port city of Valparaíso (2003). Following by the saltpeter cities of Humberstone and Santa Laura (2005) and the mining town of Sewell (2006). Finally the system road of the Andes (Qhapaq Ñan) (2014).
THE NATURE OF CHILE
TORRES DEL PAINE NATIONAL PARK
Torres del Paine National Park is one of the largest and most important Chilean parks. The park is located in southern Chile about 100 km from Puerto Natales. The park has a great variety of natural environments: mountains – including the famous Torres del Paine -, valleys, rivers, lakes and glaciers. Torres del Paine —>
The Atacama Desert, a desert plateau of rocks and stones in northern Chile, is one of the driest areas on planet Earth, the desert terrain is rich in saltpetre. The plateau is dominated by the imposing volcanoes of the Andes, the variety of natural landscapes is great, there are salt marshes, volcanoes, lakes and geysers. Atacama desert —>
Easter Island, also known by the name of Rapa Nui, is a Chilean island lost in the Pacific ocean. The island is at the eastern end of Polynesia and is famous for being the place where the Moai were built, huge human-shaped stone statues, on the island there are over 600. Since 1995 UNESCO has included the Easter Island among the World Heritage Sites. Easter Island —>
HOLIDAY DESTINATIONS IN CHILE
VIÑA DEL MAR
Viña del Mar is one of the most exclusive tourist resorts in Chile, it is located along the Chilean coast of the Pacific Ocean, a few kilometers north of Valparaiso. This town is known for its long beaches which attract tourists from Chile and other South American countries. Viña del Mar —>
Valle Nevado is one of the most recent and modern ski centers in Chile. Founded in 1988, it is located over three thousand meters high and less than 50 km from Santiago. Valle Nevado has 37 km of ski slopes, the skiing season begins in June and ends in October.
Port city largely rebuilt after the catastrophic earthquake of 1906, without doubt, the main attraction of Valparaíso is the original architecture. This city is one of the few places in Latin America where Victorian architecture has been adapted to the site topography with such success. Since 2003 the historical part of Valparaíso has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
THE LESS KNOWN ATTRACTIONS OF CHILE
JUAN FERNÁNDEZ ISLANDS
The Juan Fernández islands are a group of three main islands and some smaller islets located in the Pacific ocean more than 600 km west of the Chilean coast. These islands are of volcanic formation and are characterized by unspoiled and spectacular nature.
LAUCA NATIONAL PARK
Lauca National Park (Parque Nacional Lauca), is located at the northern end of the country near the border with Bolivia and not far from that with Peru. The territory of the park is a semi-desert plateau rich in volcanoes and lakes, and has an important fauna of mammals and birds. The park is known for its spectacular landscapes made of volcanoes and lagoons.