Overlong and narrow like a towel, the country spans 38 degrees latitude with over 4300 km of Pacific coast - in the heart Mediterranean, at the southern end ice-cold and at the head glowing hot.
In the valleys around the modern capital Santiago grows the excellent Chilean wine, in the north some of the best observatories of the world open their gates for visitors and the Atacama desert fascinates with wild and colourful landscapes along the Andes chain. You feel you are in another world, exploring the driest desert of the world, the bizarre moon valley, colourful lagoons and bubbling geysers.
A leap to the south: In the lake region, the "Chilean Switzerland" and on the island of Chiloé, visitors can expect a picture-book landscape and picturesque colourful villages, before 1000 km further south Patagonia fascinates with its glaciers and fjords. Magellanic penguins cavort here "at the end of the world" and vicunas graze in front of the windy rock panorama in Torres del Paine National Park.
Easter Island, Isla Negra (residence of Pablo Neruda on the Pacific coast), historic town centre of Valparaiso (UNESCO World Heritage Site), wooden churches on the island of Chiloé
Atacama Desert, Observatories near La Serena, Torres del Paine National Park, Chiloé Island
hiking, trekking, climbing, horse riding, kitesurfing, rafting, skiing
"Tapati" festival on Easter Island, Fiesta de la Vendimia (vintage festival) in Santa Cruz, "Fiestas Patrias" (national holiday celebrations) throughout the country.
"Chile - Land at the End of the World" by Hubert Stadler and Susanne Asal; "In Patagonia" by Bruce Chatwin, "The Ghost House" by Isabel Allende
The Chilean wines enjoy world fame, Chile is also characterized by the variety and high quality of its seafood.
Visit one of the outstanding wineries in the Colchagua Valley (e.g. Emiliana and Viu Manent) and taste the excellent wines, or experience the variety of Chilean cuisine at a cooking course in the Mercado Central (market hall) in Santiago, in Valparaiso we recommend the restaurant "Espiritu Santo" with freshly caught fish and seafood.
DATES AND FACTS
Country and people:
On 757.000 sqkm live 18 million people (approx. 75% mestizos, 10% indigenous); capital is Santiago with 6.5 million inhabitants, highest mountain of the country and highest volcano of the earth is the Ojos del Salado (6893 m). The Easter Island lies 3800 km off the Pacific coast.
Chilean Peso (CLP)
Passport valid for at least 6 months for stays of up to 90 days.
Climate and travel time:
From deserts in the north to Mediterranean and polar zones in the south. Best travel time: North, Middle, Easter Island all year round, South October to to March.