Chile is a land of extremes, from the world’s driest desert in the north to the icy fjords and glaciers of the south. Squeezed between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes, this long, narrow country stretches nearly 3,000 miles from Peru to the southernmost tip of the Americas.
The iconic Atacama desert, drier than any other on the planet, and Torres del Paine in southern Patagonia - with its sculpted granite peaks, lakes and glaciers - are not to be missed. There are fertile wine regions, temperate rainforests and thousands of volcanoes, many of them active. Clear night skies make for superb star gazing. You can hike, ride, ski and fish; take to the water in a raft or kayak; or skirt the southern ice fields on a remote self-drive adventure. Off the west coast lies Easter Island with its celebrated monolithic figures and Polynesian culture.
Wildlife is equally diverse: flamingos flock to arid salt flats and condors soar at high altitude; you might be lucky enough to spot guanacos or pumas in one of the country’s nature reserves. The cold, nutrient-rich waters around Patagonia are excellent for penguin, seal and whale watching.
Chileans are friendly and welcoming. Their towns and cities are as vibrant as any in South America, yet you are never more than a few hours from pristine wilderness.
Here are some of our Chile highlights
The gem in Patagonia's crown, Torres del Paine National Park is home to some of the country's most dramatic scenery: sheer granite walls, turquoise lakes, glaciers and a sea of ice that stretches far into the distance.
The vast Atacama desert is one of the driest places in the world. The impressive geyser fields at El Tatio, the great Atacama salt lake, and other worldly Moon and Death valleys and just some of the areas highlights.
Driving Chile's southern highway, the Carretera Austral, is quite an adventure. The unpaved road is over 1,200km long and links tiny villages in northern Patagonia. Glaciers, mountains and even marble caves can be seen along the way, making it a spectacular journey.
The mysterious island
More than 2,000 miles off the coast of Chile's mainland, Easter Island is a unique and remote Chilean outpost. First inhabited by Polynesians, this intruiging island is most famous for the Moai giant statues.
We arrived home yesterday from an amazing three weeks in South America visiting Peru, Chile, Argentina and Brazil and wanted to thank you for putting together a fantastic package for us. With 9 different hotels and 6 internal flights we had anticipated a few difficulties but it is fair to say that things all ran very very smoothly. There was someone to meet and greet us at every airport and your local agents were very very helpful. All of our guides were knowledgeable and experienced and although we bonded better with some than others all, without exception, were good with some we would describe as outstanding. All the hotels met our minimum requirements, many were very very good and I'm not sure it was deliberate but if so congratulations - our first hotel and our last two were very high quality which set us up and let us down very nicely indeed. All visits/trips you booked for us were as advertised and very appropriate for us as individuals (it must be difficult for you to judge your clients - we were hungry for knowledge of local culture, history etc. but know when our appetite has been sated). Only once did we feel were were suffering from a slight sensory overload - day 6 of the Inca's - and that may well have been partly the affects of nausea related to altitude.
Before we set off we were slightly anxious about the pace of travel, the packing and unpacking etc. but it was all managed very well - all in all some very happy, well travelled clients. Thank you! - RP