From the heart of the Andean high plateau to the rugged landscapes of Patagonia, Chile offers an incredible diversity of destinations. From north to south, this South American country spans more than 4,200 km (more than 2,600 miles) and it is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the east by the Andes Mountains. Given its enormous extent, there is no end to the incredible sights and things to do in Chile. Check out our list of our favorite Chile Destinations below, and get inspired for an incredible vacation to Chile!
Top 5 Chile Destinations
1. Santiago de Chile
Dynamic and cosmopolitan, the capital of Chile is a city of contrasts. Walking around Santiago, you will see both historic, colonial buildings and modern skyscrapers. Look to the east, and you will see the snow-capped mountains of the Andes, while just a few hours to the west you’ll find the Pacific Ocean. Home to many events showcasing the very best of Chilean culture, the city’s character also shines through in its many distinctive neighborhoods. No visit to Chile would be complete without a few days of Santiago de Chile Tours.
2. Valparaiso & Viña del Mar
While visiting Santiago de Chile, be sure to leave at least a day to travel to Valparaiso and Viña del Mar. These vibrant cities make for the perfect escape out of the city to the Pacific coast. Once an important port city, today Valparaiso is known for its bohemian style and colorful street art. Spend some time exploring the colorful, cobblestoned streets before visiting the neighboring city of Viña del Mar. Literally meaning “vineyard of the sea”, this city is known for its resorts and major cultural festivals.
3. Torres del Paine
Now it’s time to escape the big city and head deep into the Chilean Patagonia, where you will discover the beauty of Torres del Paine National Park. This is the perfect destination for the adventurous traveler. Climb mountains, visit glaciers, and spot exotic wildlife. Torres del Paine hiking is challenging, but you will be rewarded by stunning views of the natural landscape. Be sure to plan ahead if you plan to visit Torres del Paine, as the park is becoming a very popular hiking destination, and accommodations fill up fast.
4. San Pedro de Atacama
Outside of the North and South Poles, the Atacama Desert is the driest desert in the world. Departing from the desert town of San Pedro de Atacama, you will have the chance to explore the otherworldly landscapes, from salt flats to geysers. Perhaps the most amazing attraction at all can be seen at night. Given the desert’s remote location and the lack of artificial light, this is one of the most incredible places for stargazing. Don’t miss out on a trip to the incomparable Atacama Desert.
5. Isla de Pascua (Easter Island)
This remote island, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995, is known for its famous stone Maoi statues. The island is located more than 3,500 km (2,100 miles) away from mainland Chile, but it is well worth the trip. Discover the culture of the native Rapa Nui people, and enjoy the pristine beaches, volcanoes, prairies, and caverns of the island.
Written by Michelle Lenze