The long, skinny, volcanic neighbour of Argentina has some of the craziest geography in the world, making it ideal for adventure lovers and outdoor trips of every sort. With massive millennial glaciers, active volcanoes and the driest desert on the planet all in one country there is no end to the scope for serious activities. But get in there fast! The world is waking up to the wonders of Chile and it was voted “Leading Adventure Tourism Destination” in the World Travel Awards 2015.
Here’s ten things that make Chile a seriously good contender for an adventure trip.
Patagonia is the huge region spanning across the bottom of Chile and Argentina that looks a bit like a supersize Jurassic Park. You’ll be hard pushed to find so many amazing things to look at anywhere else in the world. There’s huge potential for activities here, from hiking to Stand-up Paddle boarding through glaciers.
2. The Surf
Whether you like catching a wave yourself or just like watching others fall in, the beaches of Chile are an impressive place to check out. Chile has been increasingly in the surf spotlight these last few years for its consistency, infinity of spots and huge, huge waves. The biggest spot is Pichilemu, near Rancagua, which is the site of the annual National Surfing Championships.
3. The Hiking in Torres Del Paine National Park
This is one of the wildest, untouched National Parks in the world, and the photos really speak for themselves. Lakes, waterfalls, glaciers, rivers and forests are home to all kinds of wildlife and the perfect place for hiking and exploring. There are endless well known and guided routes you can take, some of which involve staying overnight in amazing mountain huts.
4. The Food
If you’ve spent all day eating squashed sandwiches in your rucksack you’re going to want a good meal. The perfect excuse to eat twice as much. Chilean restaurants are known for their seafood, grilled meat, exotic tropical fruit and tasty wine. Alternatively grab food from a local market and get right into the wild with a campfire!
5. The Glacier Spotting
Brüggen Glacier (also known as Pío XI Glacier) is in Southern Chile and is the longest glacier in the Southern Hemisphere outside Antarctica. This glacier has apparently defied global warming by continuing to grow as others shrink! You can see this up close by hopping on one of the boat tours of the area.
6. You Can Climb up a Volcano!
Blogger Robin Esrock described climbing to the top of Villarica Volcano as ‘like being a warrior on your way to slay orcs on Mount Doom.’ Sounds like a perfect day out! This volcano is very much alive, and is one of only a small number to have an active lava lake in its crater (don’t fall in.) Guides take tours to the top most days depending on the weather, and you can even sneak on to a chairlift for part of the climb if you’re feeling lazy.
If you visit Chile from mid-June to September, you can catch the Southern Hemisphere ski season. The Andes are the second highest mountain range in the world, so unsurprisingly the resorts here offer steep slopes and often pretty great snow. If you are able to push the boat out a little, some companies offer Heli skiing and cat skiing to really make the most of the terrain. Most popular resorts are El Colorado, La Parva, Valle Nevado and Portillo.
Chile has some of the most diverse geography in the world, with pretty much every feature you can imagine besides flatlands. Perfect climbing country! While many spots are more suited to experienced climbers, whether you’re a beginner or a pro there will be guides to help and places to explore.
9. The Hot Springs and Geysers
As a volcanically active country nestled in the ‘Pacific Ring of Fire,’ there is no surprise that Chile is host to over 270 hot springs and geysers all over the country. After a long hard day of activities you can jump in the spring and let nature soothe your legs. Can’t get much better than that!
10. There’s hardly anyone else there! (for now…)
Chile’s population of fifteen million mainly stick to the larger cities, meaning there are huge areas of peace and quiet where you can really get into the wild. Time to grab your tent, pack your bag and get out there!
So all in all Chile looks like a pretty good time! If this hasn’t got you checking Flights to Santiago now …then here’s a little link to help you out!
Still not convinced this is the one?
Look out for next week’s Adventure Destination : Why Everyone Loves Iceland!