©Istock/Padchas
©Istock/Padchas

Chile: the jewel of South America

5 minutes to read

Do you want to make a trip you will cherish in your heart forever? Then Chile is the jewel you are looking for. It is a beautiful country where you can find nearly every experience your heart desires. Big roaring cities, nature beyond your wildest dreams, shimmering beaches and mystical islands are some of the things you can visit here in Chile. You will marvel at this country of contrasts, the clash between modern and ancient you can see nearly everywhere. The country is located in South America and holds the title of the southernmost country in the world. The people of Chile are warm and welcoming, eager to help and please you. 

Hidden jewels in the north of Chile

The north of Chile feels like a place outside Earth. No wonder so many movies and series have used our landscapes to film, for instance - "The Mandalorian". The Valle de la Luna feels like Mars on Earth. Have you ever wondered about the roaring insides of our planet? Then you should visit the Geiseres del Tatio, the biggest geothermal field in South America. Another thing to do in the north of Chile is going to the observatories - we have the clearest skies for stargazing. Visit San Pedro de Atacama if you want to have adventures in the middle of the desert and be amazed by the prettiest hidden lagoons you have ever seen. And if you are lucky, see the desert blossom in an explosion of colors as the dryest non-polar desert gets filled with flowers.

© istock/Catherine Scotton
© istock/Catherine Scotton
Church of San Francisco of Chiu-Chiu
Church of San Francisco of Chiu-Chiu
21, Calama, Antofagasta, Chile
Caspana, Calama
Caspana, Calama
Caspana, Calama, Región de Antofagasta, Chile
Paranal Observatory, Antofagasta
Paranal Observatory, Antofagasta
Cerro Paranal, Antofagasta, Región de Antofagasta, Χιλή
Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA)
Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA)
San Pedro de Atacama, Región de Antofagasta, Chile
El Tatio Geysers, Calama
El Tatio Geysers, Calama
Geiser del Tatio, Calama, Región de Antofagasta, Chile
San Pedro de Atacama
San Pedro de Atacama
San Pedro de Atacama, Región de Antofagasta, Chile

Big cultural cities

If you like urban tourism, Chile is also the place for you. I strongly believe that every city in Chile has something interesting to see while you are there. Among the must-sees are Santiago de Chile, where you can not miss the chance to tour through the city, visit the Cerro San Cristobal or some of the city's museums. Valparaiso is a place you will not ever forget! Art and culture are everywhere in the seaport city. You can walk through the city and hills, getting surprised by graffiti and its deep connection to modern Chilean society or visit one of Pablo Neruda's homes. If you want to feel the warmth of the Chilean people, visit Concepción or Valdivia, both well-known for their cultural vibes and amazing food. 

© istock/Delpixart
© istock/Delpixart
Mercado Fluvial, Valdivia
Mercado Fluvial, Valdivia
Libertad 28, Valdivia, Los Ríos, Chile
Museum of contemporary art, Valdivia
Museum of contemporary art, Valdivia
Los Laureles s/n, Valdivia, Los Ríos, Chile
Museo a Cielo Abierto, Valparaíso
Museo a Cielo Abierto, Valparaíso
Labruyere 284, Valparaíso, Región de Valparaíso, Chile
Cerro Concepción, Valparaíso
Cerro Concepción, Valparaíso
Cerro Concepción - Abtao 675, Valparaíso, Región de Valparaíso, Chile
Cerro Alegre, Valparaíso
Cerro Alegre, Valparaíso
Urriola 678, Valparaíso, Región de Valparaíso, Chile
Paseo Dimalow, Valparaíso
Paseo Dimalow, Valparaíso
Paseo Dimalow, Valparaíso, Región de Valparaíso, Chile
Gallery of the history of Concepción
Gallery of the history of Concepción
Calle Hospicio Nº40, Intersección Lincoyán - Víctor Lamas Parque Ecuador, Concepción, Bío Bío, Chile
Ecuador Park, Concepción
Ecuador Park, Concepción
Parque Ecuador - Víctor Lamas 567, Concepción, Bío Bío, Chile
Museum of Memory and Human Rights, Santiago
Museum of Memory and Human Rights, Santiago
Matucana 501, Santiago, Región Metropolitana, Chile
Museum of Contemporary Arts, Santiago
Museum of Contemporary Arts, Santiago
Matucana 464, Santiago, Región Metropolitana, Chile
Museum of Visual Arts (MAVI), Santiago
Museum of Visual Arts (MAVI), Santiago
José Victorino Lastarria 307, Santiago, Región Metropolitana, Chile
Pre-Columbian Museum, Santiago
Pre-Columbian Museum, Santiago
Bandera 361, Santiago, Región Metropolitana, Chile

Beautiful beaches 

Chile has some of the nicest coastal cities you can visit. There, you can enjoy a perfect day at the beach, have a nice lunch and a nice walk afterwards. All of these beautiful cities have amazing landscapes and places of historical importance. If you want to have a perfect summer day, your destination should be La Serena or Coquimbo, from where you can also visit Totoralillo, a clear blue beach. If you happen to be by the north and want to visit a marvelous city with great food and a magnificent beach, Iquique is the place for you, you can also visit Antofagasta and get amazed by La Portada, a natural monument in the middle of the ocean. Another city with a great beach to enjoy is Viña del Mar, a summer city par excellence (also named the garden city) and a hotspot to take pictures.

© istock/xeni4ka
© istock/xeni4ka
Wulff Castle, Valparaíso
Wulff Castle, Valparaíso
Viña del Mar, Valparaíso, Chile
Emerald Corvette Museum, Iquique
Emerald Corvette Museum, Iquique
Avenida Arturo Prat, Iquique, Tarapacá, Chile
Totoralillo, Coquimbo
Totoralillo, Coquimbo
La Herradura, Coquimbo
La Herradura, Coquimbo
La Herradura, Coquimbo, Chile
Monumental Lighthouse, La Serena
Monumental Lighthouse, La Serena
Avda. Fco de Aguirre, La Serena, Coquimbo, Chile

Adventures in nature and wildlife paradises

Nature at its finest is what you will encounter in beautiful Chile. Wild and breathtaking are not strong enough to describe the natural landscapes and adventures you can live in the country. Some of the highlights are the National Park Radal Siete Tazas (a place that invites you to hike and wonder how perfect can nature be) and National Reserve Fray Jorge (a place that protects a forest located in a place it should not exist). If you are adventurous, pay a visit to Pucón, and visit different National Parks, practice rafting or visit the Geometric Hotsprings. Another place you can not miss is the Torres del Paine, one of the finest National Parks in Chile. If you like outdoors with a twist, camp at the Elqui Valley and enjoy the clearest sky, you have ever seen. Finally, Chile has many wildlife paradises, I recommend you visit Punta de Choros.

© istock/MarcelStrelow
© istock/MarcelStrelow
Punta de Choros, Coquimbo
Punta de Choros, Coquimbo
Punta Choros, La Higuera, Región de Coquimbo, Chile
Torres del Paine National Park
Torres del Paine National Park
Torres del Paine National Park, Magallanes y la Antártica Chilena, Chile
Termas Geométricas, Los Ríos
Termas Geométricas, Los Ríos
Coñaripe, Panguipulli, Los Ríos, Chile
Ojos del Caburgua, Pucón
Ojos del Caburgua, Pucón
Ojos Del Caburgua, Pucon, Pucón, Araucanía, Chile
Parque Nacional Villarrica, Pucón
Parque Nacional Villarrica, Pucón
Villarrica National Park, Chile
Fray Jorge Forest National Park, Coquimbo
Fray Jorge Forest National Park, Coquimbo
Fray Jorge National Park - Ruta D-540, Coquimbo, Chile
Siete tazas, Maule
Siete tazas, Maule
Siete Tazas, Curicó, Maule, Chile
Salto de la Leona, Maule
Salto de la Leona, Maule
Calle Rio Claro, Molina, Maule, Chile
Salto velo de la Novia, Chile
Salto velo de la Novia, Chile
Molina, Maule, Chile

Ghost towns and religious celebrations

Have you heard about ghost towns around the world? Those are empty cities filled with memories of those who lived there, and the only things in the place are the buildings, as memories of a better time. In Chile, there are quite a few of these towns where you can see how people lived in the good old days of mining. Most of the Chilean ghost towns are well preserved, hence you can see the exploitation plants and the abandoned houses, once the home of so many families. Among the empty towns you can visit are Humberstone, Santa Laura, Chuquicamata and Sewell!

© istock/cicloco
© istock/cicloco
Sewell, Machalí
Sewell, Machalí
Sewell, Machalí, Región del Libertador Gral. Bernardo O’Higgins, Chile
Chuquicamata, Calama
Chuquicamata, Calama
Chuquicamata, Calama, Región de Antofagasta, Chile
Humberstone and Santa Laura, Tarapacá
Humberstone and Santa Laura, Tarapacá
km 47 A-16, Pozo Almonte, Región de Tarapacá, Chile

Faith is an important part of most Latin American cultures. A must-see when visiting Chile is to attend a religious celebration. Joining colorful cultural events that usually celebrate the Virgin Mary and visiting small towns during the "Fiesta Time" is truly an unforgettable experience. Trust me, there are not as many things as exciting and moving as seeing so many people dancing with happiness and hope for days, a true proof of devotion and faith. My favourite one is the Andacollo Virgin Celebration, but there are some others even bigger ones, such as the Celebration of Ayquina.

Minor Basilica of Andacollo, Coquimbo
Minor Basilica of Andacollo, Coquimbo
Plaza Videla, Andacollo, Coquimbo, Chile

Mystical Easter Island

The highlight of Chile and most likely the first place that comes to your mind when deciding where to travel is Easter Island. The Island is as mystical and mysterious as it sounds! The experiences you can live in this place are beyond description. The most famous attraction of Isla de Pascua (its name in Spanish) is the Moai, ancient sacred statues built so long ago no one understands how they were made and placed in the Ahus. Traditions are different here, and it feels as a different place even though it is part of Chile! 

© istock/RachelKramer
© istock/RachelKramer

Chile is a place of wonders, whether they are natural, cultural or even a wildlife paradise, they are all worth a visit. I cannot fit in this story all of the amazing things you can do and live in Chile, but I hope this small glimpse motivates you to visit this small country at the end of the world. Visit the jewel of South America and fall in love with its places and people.


The author

Francisca Pizarro

Francisca Pizarro

Hi, I am Francisca. From the north of Chile and south of the world, obsessed with natural landscapes and museums, I will take you through Chile as if you were a local, hoping you fall in love with this country as much as I am.

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