Chile Travel Guide
Chile is a huge country and extends across plenty of cultural and geographical areas. The best plan for visiting, if you have a short amount of time, is to pick two areas you'd like to see and enjoy them in-depth. Our guide suggests the best things to do in Chile to help travelers discover authentic, local experiences.
Some of the best things to do in Chile include the great outdoors, no matter the season. In winter, hike through the ice fields and glaciers, go skiing in the Andes or bathe in the hot springs. See the mineral-streaked volcanoes of Parque Nacional Nevado de Tres Cruces and the turquoise waters of Laguna Verde. During warmer months, you can take a Jeep ride in the Atacama Desert, go sea kayaking and whitewater rafting, or even take a hot air balloon and drop in on a winery.
For city life experiences, Santiago’s monuments, museums, and restaurants are worth the trip. Visit Valparaíso with its meandering alleyways decorated by local street artists. The beach resort of Viña del Mar makes a relaxing spot to vacation in Chile. Check out the UFO Route, a mountainous strip within the southern Maule region where more than 100 UFO sightings have been reported since 1993.
Travel across the Magellan Strait to Tierra del Fuego and visit the unique flora and fauna in Easter Island and Isla Robinson Crusoe.
After 111 years, porteños of all ages still seek refuge here come nightfall. It's familiar, friendly, and lively, with a long, low bar, a few primitive refrigerators, and creaky crooked floorboards.
The massive preserve covers 8,000 acres of forest and has six pristine miles of oceanfront. Guides lead guests to see the old-growth forests, giant 4,000-year-old Andean alerce trees, and wildlife like the Humboldt and Magellanic penguins.
See relics of Chile's maritime heritage: there's a room dedicated to Bernardo O'Higgins, the principal leader in Chile's fight for independence, and founder of the navy; and sections of the Esmeralda, the infamous wooden galleon that stood up to Peru's iron battleships in the War of the Pacific (
Showcasing the work of more than 300 local artists, the Museo de Artes Visuales, or MAVI, serves as a center for Chilean contemporary art.
Here, French owner Alexandra Marnier Lapostolle (heiress to the Grand Marnier fortune) produces Clos Apalta, the premium line of Casa Lapostolle, in a spectacular state- of-the-art winery, carved six stories deep into solid granite.
Vendors hawk remnants of the city's glory days amid the crooning of tango singers every Sunday. Score flea-market finds (rare Condorito comics depicting Chile's beloved flip-flop–wearing condor) and antiques (like a 1918 stand-up Victrola).
The winery give lessons on biodynamic winemaking.
The city's most talked-about gallery is in a narrow building that resembles the bow of a ship.
You'll find an array of costume jewelry, books, and antiques.
The store carries avant-garde clothing sold in the parlor of a 20th-century mansion.