The world’s longest, thinnest nation is also one of its most diverse when it comes to landscapes and adventures. Over the past 20 years, Santiago has morphed from a drowsy capital that travelers largely bypassed into an energetic city with cutting-edge restaurants, nearby wine regions and winter snow resorts, and a high-rise “Sanhattan” district that harbors South America’s tallest building.
Southern Chile is all about the great outdoors. The snowcapped volcanoes, whitewater rivers, and mirror-like waterbodies of the gorgeous Lake District. The colorful fishing villages and pristine shores of giant Chiloe Island. The granite peaks and world-renowned hiking trails of Torres del Paine National Park. And the remote fjords, glaciers and penguin colonies of the Fuegan Archipelago on the far side of the Strait of Magellan.
At Chile’s opposite end (and other extreme) is the Atacama Desert of the far north. Cool little oasis towns like San Pedro de Atacama. The mystical El Tatio Geyser Field. Dozens of ghost towns left over from the region’s epic mining days. And hundreds of miles of untouched, undeveloped beaches where yours are likely the only footprints in the sand.