Stargaze in some of the clearest skies in the world. Here in the Atacama, a combination of high altitudes, very little rainfall and minimal to non-existent light pollution results in crystal clear, star-filled skies which are unrivalled elsewhere on the planet.Stargaze in San Pedro de Atacama
The W Trek is often the very reason to come to Chile. If you are an avid hiker, this route around the Torres del Paine mountains has to be on your bucket list.Hike the WTrek
Known as ‘the nursery,’ the volcano of Rano Raraku, about 18km from Hanga Roa, is the quarry for the hard tuff from which the moai were cut.Explore archaeological site Rano Raraku
Easter Island, a Chilean territory, is a remote volcanic island in Polynesia. Its native name is Rapa Nui. It’s famed for archaeological sites, including nearly 900 monumental statues called moai, created by inhabitants during the 13th–16th centuries. The moai are carved human figures with oversize heads, often resting on massive stone pedestals called ahus. Ahu Tongariki has the largest group of upright moai.
Santiago, Chile’s capital and largest city, sits in a valley surrounded by the snow-capped Andes and the Chilean Coast Range. Plaza de Armas, the grand heart of the city’s old colonial core, is home to 2 neoclassical landmarks: the 1808 Palacio de la Real Audiencia, housing the National History Museum, and the 18th-century Metropolitan Cathedral. La Chascona is the home-turned-museum of poet Pablo Neruda.
Iquique is a coastal city in northern Chile, to the west of the Atacama Desert. A prosperous saltpeter mining town in the 19th century, today it’s a popular holiday destination with a tax-free port area, Pacific beaches and a seafront casino. In its historic district, an iconic 19th-century clock tower stands in Arturo Prat Square, the city’s main plaza.
The Magallanes Region, officially the Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica Region, is one of Chile’s 16 first-order administrative divisions. It is the southernmost, largest, and second least populated region of Chile. It comprises four provinces: Última Esperanza, Magallanes, Tierra del Fuego, and Antártica Chilena.
Punta Arenas is a city near the tip of Chile’s southernmost Patagonia region. Located on the Strait of Magellan, which connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, it’s often used as base for excursions to the surrounding wilderness and Antarctica. The Plaza Muñoz Gamero has a memorial to explorer Ferdinand Magellan, and the Museo Nao Victoria features a replica of one of his galleons.
Patagonia is a region encompassing the vast southernmost tip of South America, shared by Argentina and Chile, with the Andes Mountains as its dividing line. The Argentine side features arid steppes, grasslands and deserts, while the Chilean has glacial fjords and temperate rainforest. Argentina’s famed RN-40 highway passes the pinnacles of Monte Fitz Roy and Perito Moreno Glacier in Los Glaciares National Park.
January and February are busy times to visit Chile, it being the peak of the country’s summer. The best time to visit Chile depends on the region you’re traveling to. October to March are the warmest and most accessible months for visitors heading to Patagonia, in the south of the country. Meanwhile, Santiago, the Central Valleys, and the Atacama Desert are truly year-round destinations.