From the North Atacama desert to the extreme landscapes of Southern Patagonia, Chile offers a unique spectacle of contrasts. For history lovers, we will remember that, in 1519, Ferdinand Magellan navigators discovered the strait that bears his name located on the southern border between Chile and Argentina. Magellan believed that there was a small sea beyond the strait, and he ventured into the Pacific Ocean. Currently, this is the most important natural passage between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.
Desert of Atacama
The great northern Atacama desert covers the Parinacota, Tarapaca and Antofagasta regions. The Atacama desert, one of the most arid land in the world, contrasts with the fertile Azapa Valley and the oasis of Pica. Mysterious geological formations will surprise you in the Valley of the Moon or the saline of Atacama. The waters are also part of this unique landscape, where your can alternate the spectacular geysers of Tatio and the relaxing space in the Mamiña hot springs. A whole set of natural, archaeological, and cultural riches that we will try to discover.
The Easter Island, in the region of Valparaiso, navigates between two different worlds. Located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, it serves as a bridge between Chile and Polynesia. This magic settlement inspired the novel of Robinson Crusoe, and it is regarded as one of the most beautiful places on the planet. The islanders still preserve the traditions of their ancestors, and feel protected by te moais, those mysterious and centenary sculptures. The so-called Rapa Nui island was declared world heritage in 1995.
The Antarctic peninsula
The Antarctic is a landscape of ice and sea located in the southern city of Punta Arenas. Chilean sovereignty is recognized through the presence of numerous bases like the President Frei Base, President Frei Meteorological Center and the Village Stars, all dedicated to scientific research. The Village Stars is the most populated place of the Antarctic core, although it welcomes only 1,200 people throughout the year, mostly tourists. Despite its predominant climate of tundra, there are numerous marine species, as well as birds. The region also has important mineral resources.
Humberstone saltpeter works
Lovers of mystery and adventure will want to visit the Humberstone saltpeter works. This is definitely a very special place. The region of Tarapacá, -name that means hidden and mysterious in quetchua-, encloses the mythical Humberstone and Santa Laura saltpeter works plants. Visiting them is a daunting journey, which takes you back to the past. The main plaza of Humberstone brought together society of saltpeter. You can still see the hotel, Church, theatre, swimming pool and the grocery store over there. All they seem to be ghosts. Perhaps the workers who were killed for protesting at the “massacre of Santa María of Iquique”, are still roaming around.
The southern part of “Los Lagos” region includes the archipelago of Chiloé and Palena province. You can find a wide range of wild animal species and exuberant forests going from the coast to the interior of Chiloé Island. This place is the cradle of the Huilliche culture, whose folklore and legends charm the visitors. The wooden Jesuit churches of Chiloé, built in the 17th and 18th centuries are a clear example of indigenous an European cultural fusion.
Santiago, the capital
Walking the streets and neighborhoods of Santiago, we realize that it has a unique style that makes it different from other Latin American cities. The Bohemian spirit of the Plaza de Armas, colonial architecture and a beautiful landscape come together in this multicultural city. You must not forget to visit the Chascona, house built by Pablo Neruda where he lived with his her secret lover, Matilde Urrutia. Today it is a museum that shows the personal belonging of this legendary couple. You can also enjoy a fantastic view of the city from Santa Lucía hill.