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Top 7 Must-See Places in Chile

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Laguna Torres with the towers at sunrise in Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia, Chile

Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia, Chile

High-altitude desert plateaus, granite towers that pierce the sky, and Andean peaks that create a natural land border embody the diverse allure of Chile’s must-see destinations.

The country’s inherent beauty blends natural splendor and cultural heritage, from the edges of Patagonia to the saline lakes of the Atacama Desert. The long and thin landscape can introduce you to exciting new glaciers or immerse you in charming cities overlooking the Pacific.

Whether finding coastal charm or cosmopolitan delights, Chile can take you on an unforgettable adventure, steeped in the elements of nature and the ambiance of welcoming culture.

1. Atacama Desert

Iconic rock formation in Valle de la Luna in the Atacama Desert, Chile

Valle de la Luna in the Atacama Desert, Chile

Rugged, vast, and remote define the wonder of the Atacama Desert. From dazzling salt lakes with colorful flamingoes to galleries hosting some of the world’s oldest mummies, vibrant ravines to horizons undulating with volcanic peaks, the Atacama Desert can immerse you in an atmosphere that feels like nowhere else on Earth. The extreme environment can give you an adventure along sand dunes, stargazing to view the swirling mist of the Milky Way, or a visit  to erupting geysers at dawn to reveal the endless layers of surprising desert splendor.

Highlights: Valle de la Luna | Dark Sky Sanctuary | Toconao Salt Lake | Cejar Lagoon | Los Flamencos National Reserve

Recommended length of stay: 3-4 days

Best time to visit: September | October | November | March | April

2. Torres del Paine National Park

Surrounding mountains and colorful trees of the French Valley in Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia, Chile

French Valley in Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia, Chile

Whether wandering along the Patagonian steppe or venturing into the subpolar forests, Torres del Paine National Park reflects the natural beauty of Chile and the extreme wonders of the remote corner of the country. From hiking to horseback riding, witnessing the granite pillars of the massif to exploring azure lakes that reflect emerald waters, searching for roaming guanacos to viewing the hanging glaciers, Torres del Paine is an active way to experience Chile’s unparalleled marvels.

Highlights: French Valley | Grey Glacier | Tower base | Grey Lake

Recommended length of stay: 3-4 days

Best time to visit:  September | October | November | March | April | July | August

3. Easter Island

Moai statues in Rano Raraku National Park, Easter Island, Chile

Rano Raraku National Park, Easter Island, Chile

Easter Island is a destination of majesty and mystery. As one of the most remote destinations in the world, the island landscape feels tropical and sparse, Polynesian, yet Chilean. Stunning moai decorate the coastline and the pristine beaches, with their white, coral sands are lapped by crystal-clear water. Whether snorkeling, surfing, enjoying a panoramic view from an extinct volcanic peak, or visiting the famous statues, Easter Island welcomes you to its unparalleled magnetic allure.

Highlights: Rano Raraku National Park | Tongariki | Anakena Beach | Papa Vaka | Terevaka | Tahai

Recommended length of stay: 3-4 days

Best time to visit: September | October | November | March | April

4. Wine Country

Vineyards surrounded by mountains in Colchagua Valley, Chile

Colchagua Valley, Chile

The diverse wine regions in Chile accentuate the natural beauty and charm of the unique topography. With gorgeous landscapes and vines affected by the air and waters from the Andes Mountains to the Pacific Coast, the Atacama Desert to the steppe of Patagonia, Chile embraces its expansive flavors and the remarkable characteristics exemplified in its wine. From exploring colonial plazas to basking in colorful sunsets viewed from secluded vineyards, visiting Chile’s Wine Country brings to light a different perspective of the scenery and culture.

Highlights: Estancias | Cowboy experience | Vineyard visits | Wine tasting | Museo de Colchagua

Recommended length of stay: 3-4 days

Best time to visit: September | October | November | March | April

5. Santiago

Metropolitan park cable car and skyline in Santiago, Chile

Santiago, Chile

As the capital of culture, Santiago represents a faster pace of life and the collective heritage of Chile, spanning museums, galleries, and local markets. With cosmopolitan energy and sophisticated ambiance, Santiago can take you along leafy boulevards or into artistic, bohemian neighborhoods, to sidewalk cafes or eccentric metro stops. You can find colonial grandeur, pre-Columbian art, and stunning panoramic views to experience a city consistently edging into a modern renaissance.

Highlights: Parque Bicentenario | Los Dominicos Village | Santa Lucia Market | Cerro San Cristobal | Barrio Lastarria | Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes

Recommended length of stay: 1-2 days

Best time to visit: September | October | November | March | April

6. Valparaiso

Colorful buildings on the hills of the UNESCO world heritage city of Valparaiso, Chile

Valparaiso, Chile

Valparaiso rises along the Pacific coast, with colorful homes climbing up the hills. The distinctive city feels like culture in bloom, reflecting Chilean gastronomy, heritage, and artistic vibrancy, all captured in the revitalization of Cerro Alegre and Cerro Concepcion. The fun and poetic city embraces the reputation of Pablo Neruda with unexpected charms spread across the maze of hills. With romantic mansions, steep stairs connecting the elevated neighborhoods, and preserved funiculars, Valparaiso is a unique, cobbled city that blends harbor, beaches, and hills.

Highlights: Hector Calvo | Miraflores | Caleta Portales | Cerro Alegre | La Sebastiana

Recommended length of stay: 1-2 days

Best time to visit: January | February | March | April | November | December

7. Vina del Mar

Umbrellas at Renaca Beach in Vina del Mar, Chile

Renaca Beach in Vina del Mar, Chile

The manicured boulevards, lush palm trees, and stately palaces lead to the elegant beaches and verdant parks that create the orderly charm for which the city is known. Colonial architecture, graceful gardens, and cultural galleries bring the city to life with a welcoming contrast to the more bohemian atmosphere of neighboring Vina del Mar. The sands shimmer gold, the cuisine embodies the natural flavors of the sea, and the architecture can take you on a journey through history.

Highlights: Renaca Beach | Wulff Castle | Quinta Vergara | Jardín Botánico Nacional | Museo de Arqueología e Historia Francisco Fonck

Recommended length of stay: 1-2 days

Best time to visit: January | February | March | April | November | December

How many days is enough to see Chile?

Flamingo at the Salt flats in Chile’s Atacama Desert

Salt flats in the Atacama Desert, Chile

10 days is the minimum amount of time you would need to explore Chile. If you had planned on visiting three destinations, you would want at least three days in each, which would already account for nine days. Transfers are often long because of Chile’s topography, so you want to make smart choices. While 10 days is a good amount of time to explore, a comfortable Chile trip would be 2 weeks.

Learn more and plan your trip

Grey Glacier in Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

Grey Glacier in Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

Chile can captivate you with its geographical diversity, from powerful geysers to a horizon blanketed with salt, glistening glacial lakes to soaring granite towers. Whether looking for examples of culture or escapes into the natural world, Chile brims with exciting possibilities with each new activity immersing you in the point at which heritage meets nature. To plan a trip, you can speak with a Chile travel expert free by filling out a Trip Request or by calling our team at 1-888-265-9707.

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