We were in Santiago last year before and after our Antarctica cruise, and just from walking around the area it felt welcoming, with very nice people and wonderful food – we stopped at a sidewalk café for tapas, and I had a pisco sour to celebrate being there.
Chile is probably not an obvious destination to include on your list, but our time in Santiago inspires this week’s article…
Four Must-See Destinations in Chile
Chile is the narrowest nation throughout the world, yet its borders provide some of the most diverse terrains.
From waterfalls to mountains, hot springs to volcanoes… you never know what you might come across next.
It’s no secret that the country provides a vast array of exciting things to do and see for people of all ages.
As a foreigner entering the nation, you will find that the rich culture, fantastic cuisine, lively nightlife, and sightseeing can keep you busy for a lifetime, so we’ve created a list of four of Chile’s best destination spots that you must-see first.
Santiago is the capital of this majestic country, and it certainly doesn’t lack character.
As the largest city in Chile, you will find that residents and tourists favor it for many reasons. Each neighborhood nestled within the city’s borders is distinctly different from the next. For instance, as you enter Bellavista, you are introduced to historical European homes and free-spirited energy that you can’t ignore.
Key sights to see in Santiago, Chile include the historic Plaza de Armas, the bustling Mercado Central, and the stunning views from San Cristóbal Hill.
With colorful buildings, marketplaces, and street art around nearly every corner, your eyes could wander each crevice and still find new details while your ears get to hear the pleasant sounds of live music filling the air.
If you find delight in the street art of Santiago, just wait until you immerse yourself in the vibrant art scene of Valparaiso.
Protest art in Valparaíso is often a form of street art. It frequently takes the shape of murals, graffiti, stencils, and other visual expressions found in public spaces such as streets, walls, and buildings. Protest art in Valparaíso has been created over several decades, with its roots tracing back to the city’s long history of social and political activism.
However, a significant surge in protest art emerged during the latter half of the 20th century and continues to evolve in response to contemporary issues and events.
This city is one of the most desirable places for tourists due to its bountiful amount of cafes, art galleries, and coffee shops.
Don’t miss the chance to explore the lively streets adorned with colorful hillside homes, wander through the captivating alleys of Cerro Concepción adorned with vibrant street art, and ascend the iconic funiculars for breathtaking vistas of the Pacific Ocean.
Isla Grande de Chiloé
The beautiful beaches and thick forested areas of Isla Grande de Chiloe seem to go on forever with their beauty. As you explore, you will find waterfalls, wildlife, and empty beaches no matter where you go on the island.
The top sightseeing sights on Isla Grande de Chiloé, Chile, include the iconic wooden churches, such as the UNESCO World Heritage site Iglesia de San Francisco in Castro, the picturesque Palafitos (stilt houses) in Castro and Chonchi, the enchanting Chiloé National Park with its lush forests and coastal landscapes, and the charming fishing villages like Dalcahue and Ancud, where visitors can experience the island’s rich cultural heritage and traditional way of life.
The winter months in Chiloe may not allow for residents and tourists to take advantage of the many water activities there are to enjoy, but that certainly doesn’t stop the penguins.
San Pedro de Atacama
San Pedro de Atacama is located in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile, near the borders with Bolivia and Argentina.
Known as one of the driest desert regions on this planet, San Pedro de Atacama isn’t meant for everyone crossing through. Nevertheless, the area provides some of the best night skies and exciting hiking adventures.
Don’t miss the mesmerizing landscapes of the Atacama Desert, the awe-inspiring salt flats of Salar de Atacama, and the unparalleled stargazing opportunities beneath some of the world’s clearest and darkest skies.
Make sure to check out the volcano Lascar which is situated at the arc connecting three countries before you head to the geyser field of El Tatio for a soak in its hot springs.