Chile

Where to go

Chile’s geography is one of a kind!  It is 5,302 kilometres (3,313 miles) long and has an average width of 200 km (120 miles).  Situated on the south western coast of South America, the Pacific Ocean forms its western border and the Andes mountains form its border with Argentina and Bolivia. 

Highlights include:

  • Santiago – a very pretty capital city with elegant parks, walkways and colonial architecture.
  • Atacama Desert in the north – the driest desert on earth.
  • Easter Island in the Pacific Ocean, a spectacular outdoor museum, one of the most isolated inhabited places on the planet, 3,700 km west of Chile’s mainland, famous for its Moai (giant statues of carved heads) set in a remote and unspoilt landscape.
  • Chile’s Lake District and Patagonia in the south boasting some of the biggest active glaciers in the world as well as crystalline lakes, fjords, bays, volcanoes and  snow-capped peaks.

 

What to do

  • Relax in Santiago, a modern and attractive city with fantastic seafood restaurants, the perfect base to explore the nearby vineyards and countryside. Take a wine-tasting tour en route to Viña del Mar, the “Garden City”, and Valparaíso, one of the most picturesque ports, beloved by artists, just 1½ hours’ drive from Santiago.
  • Enjoy hot springs and a catamaran trip to San Rafael Lagoon in Patagonia and see the ice floes break away from a thousand year old glacier.
  • Hike the trails of southern Patagonia’s most famous attraction, Torres del Paine, with its impressive peaks, lagoons and Grey Glacier.
  • Enjoy a vast array of outdoor pursuits in the Lake District from fishing to horse riding and exploring the surrounding waterfalls and forests.  Or simply relax, take in the wonderful pure air and enjoy the views!
  • Explore the spectacular geysers, hot springs, amazing rock formations and Paleolithic ruins from your hotel base  in the remote oasis town of San Pedro de Atacama surrounded by snow-capped volcanoes.
  • Go skiing in August!  Chile’s ski season runs from May to October and one of the country’s best resorts is just 60 km (37 miles) from Santiago.



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When to go

The seasons are opposite to those in the Northern hemisphere with a Mediterranean climate in Santiago’s central valley with hot summer days and cool nights from November to March and mild winters.  In the south in Patagonia, winters are harsh and windy (mid-May to mid-September) whilst the summer is mild with temperatures around 20°C and long sunny days (with more than 20 hours of sunlight per day!).  The best time to visit the lake district is in the summer from November to March which also coincides with the fishing season.  Bear in mind that it is rainy in the lake district from April to October.  The Atacama Desert is a year-long destination with temperatures ranging between 15°C to 24°C, blue skies and sunshine and no rainfall.  Easter Island has a subtropical, very pleasant climate with temperatures ranging between 17°C and 25°C.

 

Currency and money

Chilean peso.  ATMs are easily available.  Eating out is good value and the local wines are   excellent.

 

Cuisine

Great range of restaurants offering Chilean and international food.   Excellent fish and seafood dishes.  Local parillas serve delicious barbecued steak.

 

Hotels

Good choice of international hotels, locally-run smaller hotels, eco-lodges and country hotels.  Some superb hotels have opened in recent years in the Atacama Desert and also in Patagonia and the Lake District.

 

Where to go next

Combine Chile with Argentina crossing the border in Patagonia or in the Lake District (crossing the expansive shimmering lakes between Argentina and Chile is a popular way to cross between the two countries).   You can also cross the Andes from Mendoza in Argentina to Santiago – a scenic full day’s bus drive.  Also, the award-winning Lan Airlines provides great connections in South America with direct flights from Peru´s capital city Lima to Easter Island and from Lima to Iguazu Falls.

 

Links

Saspo’s partner office in Chile is DMC.  For further information please see their website at www.dmcchile.cl

Contact:    TEL: +44 20 8123 1827   Mobile: +44 7989 982 210   Email: Info@saspoUK.com