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the north & the atacama

desert

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tionally prominent astronomy projects as Chile. The tourist route is made up of a series of observatories that turn the

The Atacama Desert is the most arid in the world, truly a fascinating and mysterious land. Over a relatively short distance, it’s possible to see astonishing volcanoes, extensive salt flats, geysers, enormous sand dunes, natural hot springs, fertile valleys, solitary beaches, and

art form, with 340 completely clear nights a year. The oasis of San Pedro de Atacama is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the region, mixing desert landscapes with an extraordinary range of hotel options that create an absolutely unique travel experience.

varied wildlife. In addition, Chile offers one of

The Andean roots and native traditions still live

the clearest skies in the Southern Hemisphere,

on in the small village communities of the high

which has made it a world-class site for

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astronomical observation.

© Ricardo Javier Martínez

experience of stargazing into a highly pleasant

T h e N o r t h a n d t h e Ata c a m a D e s e r t

There is no other country in the world with as many interna-

plateau. Here, ancestral heritage is highly valued, and its legacy can be experienced in many ways, including the local cuisine.

Chile features 360,000 square kilometers of desert.

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Activities in the north and the Atacama Desert heritage adventure sports expeditions

Heritage and Adventure Sports in the

north

Arica, a city that marks Chile’s northern border, is one of Latin America’s surfing capitals and the entrance point to the high plateau, which features highlights like the town of Putre and Chungará Lake. Located 1,850 kilometers north of Santiago, the city of Iquique has

ASTRONOMICAL OBSERVATION

historically been linked to the mining of saltpeter, a mining past that

meditation

Santa Laura, historical monuments and UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

surfing

In the town of the same name, dozens of religious congregations

can be experienced by visiting the saltpeter works of Humberstone and Between July 12th and 18th, the area celebrates “La Tirana” Festival. come together in colorful outfits to dance in honor of our Lady of Mount Carmel.

90°

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53°


T h e N o r t h a n d t h e Ata c a m a D e s e r t

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Natural Inspiration in

SAN PEDRO

Inland valleys, beaches and astronomical

observation

San Pedro has earned international renown thanks to its numerous

Located 470 kilometers north from Santiago, the cities of Coquimbo

tourist attractions and first-class infrastructure, all while maintain-

and La Serena are packed with tourist activities, attracting thousands

ing the essence of an authentic town immersed in an imposing

of visitors with its warm coastal climate and beaches. Towards the

desert landscape.

east, you’ll find Valle de Elqui (Elqui Valley), known for its anti-stress

This northern town is also the place to embark on expeditions to

therapies and its status as a world-class meditation site.

its surrounding areas. A favorite one is a sunrise visit to the Tatio

The city of La Serena is your starting point for enjoying astronomi-

Geysers, located at an altitude of 4,300 meters. Leaving San Pedro

cal tourism, with a circuit that includes a number of observatories

towards the southeast, visitors can enjoy attractions like the Atacama

for star gazing and the clearest skies on the planet.

Salt Flat and the Chaxa Lagoon, a natural habitat for flamingoes and other birds of the high plateau.

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LAkes

Rivers & VOLCANoES

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The south of Chile is a place of great beauty, perfect for enjoying sporting activities and excursions year round. In the winter, it features ski centers in Nevados de Chillán, Pucón, carias, Corralco and Antuco. In the summer, the

the south of Chile. The vegetation and

activities revolve around the lakes and the im-

climate start to change as you head further

posing forests that surround them, with plenty

south, giving rise to dozens of lakes, rivers,

of spots to enjoy water sports, trekking, canopy rides, rafting and volcano climbing.

forests and snow-capped volcanoes, surrounded by ancient tree species such as the araucaria and the alerce.

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Volcán Osorno, Antillanca, Huilo Huilo, Las Arau-

Part of Chile’s ancestral origins lie in the Mapuche culture, and can be experienced throughout the different landscapes that make of the region of

l a k e s , r i v e r s a n d vo lc a n o e s

The Biobío River marks the beginning of

La Araucanía. Ninety kilometers from the city of Temuco, you’ll find a wonderful ethnic tourism circuit that lets visitors sample local cuisine, sleep in a traditional dwelling known as “ruca”, and enjoy rowboat excursions on

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© Cristian Aguirre

Lake Budi, South America’s only saltwater lake.

Chile has 16 million hectares of forest, equivalent to 21.5% of the national territory.

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Activities lakes, rivers and volcanoes

Ski casinos hot springs

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53°

CHILLÁN

490 kilometers southeast from Santiago, you’ll find the Termas de Chillán and Nevados de Chillán ski centers, which in addition to snow activities, offer thermal pools, wintertime canopy rides, spas, casinos, and the comfort of first-class hotels. You can enjoy the area without the hassle of big crowds and skiing in the midst of the native forest near the volcanoes has proven

kayaking

to be an experience like no other in Chile. The total skiing area

trekking

especially well known since its chairlift ascends up to a thousand

rafting 90°

Ski the Mountains of

sums a total of 32 tracks and among its lifts Don Otto is a classic, vertical meters above ground. The resort Nevados de Chillán offers a broad span of activities, such as catskiing, snowmobiles and a winter canopy.


l a k e s , r i v e r s a n d vo lc a n o e s

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Sports, Adventure and Entertainment in

PUCÓN

Total Relaxation on

LLANQUIHUE

Pucón is a popular lakeside resort town, and one of the top des-

Llanquihue is surrounded by the picturesque cities of Puerto Varas,

tinations in southern Chile. Here you’ll find activities for lovers of

Frutillar, Ensenada and Puerto Octay. It’s the second-biggest lake

nightlife, shopping and the outdoors, with casinos, restaurants, fairs,

in Chile, featuring an enormous variety of scenery and activities,

markets, hot spring circuits and national parks. You can kayak on

from solitary walks along forest trails to playing the slot machines

Villarrica Lake, raft on the Trancura River, trek in the Huerquehue

at casinos.

and Villarrica parks, and climb the Villarrica Volcano.

This area was colonized in the 19th century by German immigrants, lending it a distinct character in terms of its architecture, baked goods, cured meats and artisanal beers. Known as the “City of Roses,” Puerto Varas offers boutique hotels, fine crafts shops and gourmet chocolate.

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PATAGONIA

& the extreme

south

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From one end to the other, you’ll find landscapes containing endless wonders, including its majestic mountains, Campos de Hielo (the Ice Fields), Torres del Paine and Cerro Castillo

places on the planet unaffected by man, with some truly impressive measurements:

(Mount Castillo). You’ll also be dazzled by the color and enormity of its lakes, like General Carrera and the Baker, Palena and Futaleufú.

240,000 square kilometers of surface

Torres del Paine National Park is one of the most

area, a population density of less than

impressive destinations that Chile has to offer.

one inhabitant per square kilometer, and

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O’Higgins, and the length of its rivers, including

Declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1978, this 242,000-hectare protected space features

more than 50 percent of the wildlife areas

lakes, glaciers, rivers, waterfalls, forests, and

protected by the State.

its unique granite towers, all of which have contributed to Chile’s status as one of the best

nature destinations on the planet.

pata g o n i a a n d t h e e x t r e m e s o u t h

Patagonia is one of the few remaining

A favorite among fly fishing experts, the Aysén area offers luxury hotels, mountain cabins and eco-resorts, which offer all the amenities you’ll need to explore, among other attractions, Queulat National Park, the Ventisquero, and the San Rafael Lagoon, as well as hot springs complexes in

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Puyuhuapi, and the Carretera Austral (Southern Highway).

3% of Chile’s surface area is covered by more than 1,750 glaciers.

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Activities in Patagonia and the extreme south

FLY FISHING kayaking

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The Carretera Austral (Southern Highway) runs a total of 1,200 kilometers, from Puerto Montt to Villa O’Higgins. Its spectacular geography offers a wide variety of routes and points of interest. Essential stops include trekking in Cochamó, visiting the Pumalín private park, or rafting along the mighty Futaleufú River.

rafting

in marble, features several navigable routes. Both the Northern and

CLIMBING 53°

Highway

SAILING trekking 90°

Discover the Southern

General Carrera Lake, whose waters have hewn caves and grottos Southern Ice Fields offer breathtaking view of glaciers. Thanks to its abundance of rainbow and brown trout, the Baker River is known for its excellent fly-fishing.


Explore Torres del Paine National

Park

Visit the White

Continent

Torres del Paine National Park is renowned for its horn-like moun-

Between mid-November and mid-March, a number of ships offer

taintops, which have made it a favorite among climbers.

transportation to Antarctica, taking advantage of a time of year that

The area features a variety of circuits for trekking, with varying

offers optimal weather conditions for traveling at the southernmost

degrees of difficulty. If you want to explore the park by bike, there

part of the planet. Its landscapes are truly unique and magnificent,

are mountain paths that offer gorgeous panoramic views. Kayaking

with a variety of wildlife to observe, photograph and film. Their abil-

is another option, navigating the Serrano River and exploring pristine

ity to adapt and survive in an inhospitable environment is nothing

areas surrounded by impressive vegetation and glaciers.

short of remarkable. The cruise ships feature programs ranging from

Excursion options include walking along the beach to Grey Lake to see enormous icebergs, or taking a boat out to the Grey Glacier.

pata g o n i a a n d t h e e x t r e m e s o u t h

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five to eleven days, navigating the Chilean Antarctic peninsula and including attractions like the South Shetland Islands.

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Chile: North South & Patagonia  
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