With more than 2,672 miles of beautiful coastline, the South American country Chile is counted as the longest nation in the whole wide world. The country is sandwiched by the Andes Mountains on one side, while being surrounded by the Pacific Ocean from the other. Famous for its wild landscapes, beautiful deserts, gorgeous fjords and shimmering glaciers, Chile is a touristic place. Lets take a look at the 21 top tourist attractions in Chile to blow your minds!
1. Los Pinguinos Natural Monument
What would you do if you got a chance to view many colonies of penguins under one big roof? You would make a beeline towards Los Pinguinos Natural Monument, located in southern part of Chile on an island called Magdalena where over 1,20,000 penguins breed and live in the most natural surroundings. The island has a lighthouse to offer panoramic views of the ocean and is famous for its penguins that gather here during the month of October for nesting.
2. Torres del Paine
With a beautiful landscape dotted with gorgeous lakes and rivulets, scintillating peaks of mountains covered with snow and shining glaciers, the Torres del Paine is a national Park nestled in the southern most fringes of Chile. Tourists come here to see three peaks that are made of granite and look fabulous and are worthy of being photographed. Of the three peaks, one has a height of 8200 feet and is the highest of the lot.
3. Easter Island
Among the top tourist attractions in Chile, Easter Islands cannot be forgotten as its surrounded with mystery that no human on earth has been able to solve! Its the worlds most desolate island and is well known for its gigantic Moai statues that are believed to have been built by aliens, though the other theory says that these were made by Rapanui Tribesmen. The island is also a hub for divers and surfers.
Counted as one of the most visited attractions in Chile, Pucon spellbinds you with its varied entertainment options that range from visiting natural springs of hot water, to horse riding, to trekking programs that take you to a famous volcano called Villarrica. Apart from these, there are chances for indulging in sports like skiing, both on the snowy slopes of the mountains as well as on water of the lake at Pucon.
5. San Rafael Glacier
Extending to almost 9 miles, the San Rafael Glacier is Chile’s most popular touristic spot where tourists get a scope to see the spectacular shining glacier that eventually flows into a lagoon called San Rafael. Its located right inside the famous San Rafael National Park and can be reached by a plane or boat as needed. If taking a boat, you would fall in love as you go past, criss crossing the tapered watery channels of the region known as Aisén, a desolate destination with pure fresh air to breathe.
6. Lauca National Park
If you are wondering where the famous Lago Chungará Lake is located, it is none other than in the pristine environs of the northern corners of Chile that houses this lake that is also counted as one of the highest lakes around the world. Its located inside the Lauca National Park nestled amidst the serene ranges of Andes. From the lake, you can get to see the two dormant volcanoes overshadowing it- Volcan Pomerape and Parinacota.
7. Valle de la Luna
In this list of most popular tourist attractions, Chile is perhaps known best for its ‘Valley of the Moon’ or Valle de la Luna, a valley landscaped with vast expanses of dunes and rocky formations that make it appear like the moon. The valley is a popular spot inside the Atacama Desert and most come here to click beautiful pictures of the terrain, specially the Valley of Death where no vegetation grows.
Central Chile is well known for its colorful city of Valparaiso on the pacific coastline. The myriad colorful houses in this city reflect a Bohemian feel and culture that is vibrant here. The terrain is hilly with slanting slopes, each dotted with varying shapes of houses painted in bright colors. The city’s labyrinthine streets and paths built of cobblestone take visitors into the rich historical past associated with it.
9. Lago Llanquihue
Lago Llanquihue is a beautiful lake overlooking the majestic Volcano Osorno and enthralls visitors with its direct view. Also, towards the right is located another volcano by the name of Puntiagudo. This lake is counted as Chile’s second most largest lake and is nestled in the region of Los Lagos. Most tourists visit this lake that is close to a few charming hamlets and towns like Puerto Octay and Puerto Varas.
10. Cerro San Cristobal
The summit of Cerro San Cristobal, a hill located in northern part of the city of Santiago is visited for its huge statue of Mother Mary standing tall at 72 feet and also for a beautiful church. You can access the summit by hiking the trails of this hill or by a cable car. Also famous is the city’s most popular weekend picnic spot called Parque Metropolitano, a botanical park. It houses swimming pools and a zoo for kids.
11. Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos
When we think of Chile, an attraction like Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos definitely comes to mind after glaciers and volcanoes. Why? Well, Chile is a historical treasure trove of many a military coups and lost cultures. This museum of human rights must be visited if you are keen to know about Chile’s turbulent past that was ruled by Pinochet, a dictator who brought much unrest into the country. You can get both audio and video material for understanding the past era of Chile.
12. Capillas de Marmol
With every rock, stone and cave made of marble, Capillas de Marmol is both a beautiful as well as a spiritual place in Chile. The crystal clear blue waters can be traversed using a kayak wherein you come across some of the world’s most breathtaking vistas in blue and contrasting white. Its the most visited place if you happen to be in Puerto Rio Tranquilo.
There are more than a few reasons why you must visit Santiago. Firstly, the city is landscaped beautifully, second, its the capital and the largest of all cities in Chile and lastly, it is a hub of all entertainment like museums, bars, pubs, cafeterias, restaurants and fun zones like zoo and parks. For the wine connoisseurs, there are wine tours conducted by various tour operators that are very popular among tourists.
If you love nature, then you have to see the Andes, considered to be South America’s longest mountain range dotted with alpine forests, curvaceous rivulets and streams, volcanoes, green hamlets, and prehistoric ruins. The Andes starts from Venezuela and ends at the southern most point of Chile. It is home to some of the world’s most beautiful spas and resorts.
15. Atacama Desert
The Atacama Desert is regarded as the driest place on the planet and is abundantly dotted with geysers of El Tatio that are natural producers of steam. The desert is also the highest in the world and is covered with snow and sand. Other elements found on the terrain include rocks, mountains and gorgeous lagoons. The sun never sets here for 330 days and this makes visiting this place unique.
It would be wrong not to mention Magallanes when speaking of top tourist attractions in Chile as the province is an isolated bit of land inhabited by Magallanicos, the locals and is known for its untouched natural beauty. The entire region is dotted with lush green surroundings whose beauty seems to get enhanced with the presence of many streams and lakes, and wildlife, specially penguins. The icy cold breeze flows all year round.
17. Isla Navarino
After naming so many places in the list of top tourist attractions, Chile’s Isla Navarino has to be mentioned now since it was a former naval base that was established way back in the year 1953 and is located in Puerto Williams, the southernmost region to house a human settlement. The countryside is untamed and is adorned with green rolling fields and rivers. The Yaghan Natives inhabit this region. There is a museum called Museo Martin Gusinde where you can get a glimpse of the culture of this race.
18. Volcán Villarrica
An active volcano that spurts out hot lava every now and then, Volcan Villarrica is Chile’s most popular tourist destination. The town Volcan lies just below the volcano that is also called “House of the spirit”. Volcan Villarrica is nestled inside Villarrica National Park and houses a crater that is filled with a lake whose main component is lava. Most adventure seekers come here to hike the trails leading up towards the volcano.
19. The Colchagua Wine Valley
Wine lovers can gather at The Colchagua Wine Valley, a valley where Chile’s best varieties of red wines are processed. There are a number of wineries around the valley that is famous for its wine tours conducted specially for visitors. Other activities to be done include nature walks and hill climbing. The Wine Enthusiast named The Colchagua Wine Valley the best wine region of the world in the year 2005.
20. Palacio de la Moneda
The President of Chile sits inside the famous palace known as Palacio de la Moneda apart from housing cabinets for ministers. Its a popular tourist spot and houses many rooms and galleries that are absolutely grand and opulent. There are patios of which the Patio de los Cañones is used for various official ceremonies and functions. The white color of this palace looks very pleasant and has to be visited if you are in downtown Santiago.
21. Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino
The cultural diversity of Chile can be best discovered at the famous Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino, a center where the diverse cultural treasure troves of Latin America are well preserved for humanity. There are various galleries and sections, each of which display exhibits related to Chile and its people, its textiles and Pre Columbian artifacts.
When speaking of Chile, attractions like those listed above have to be mentioned without a fail as these are hidden gems, treasures that offer us a glimpse of the rich historical past of this great land. Attractions in Chile are varied and diverse, ranging from vast expanses of the Andes, to the virgin valleys dotted with lakes and glaciers, to the driest desert on this planet. You must shortlist one such attraction and become a true traveler!
Source: Ultimate Places