Top 10 Reasons to Visit Chile
VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
WRITTEN BY: Spencer Sher
The longest country in the world has a long list of reasons to visit. Welcome to MojoTravels, and today we'll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Reasons to Visit Chile.
For this list, we'll be looking at all the fantastic and fascinating reasons why your next trip should be to the South American nation of Chile!
Top 10 Reasons to Visit Chile
The longest country in the world has a long list of reasons to visit. Welcome to MojoTravels, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Reasons to Visit Chile.
For this list, we’ll be looking at all the fantastic and fascinating reasons why your next trip should be to the South American nation of Chile!
#10: Street Eats
Home to some of the best short eats this side of the equator, Chilean food has charms all its own; something visitors will quickly discover. The first thing you’ll want to try is the Chilean version of the Central- and South American standard empanada, a pastry filled with meat, cheese, fish or vegetables, which is on offer on many street corners. Next you’ll want to belly up to some Chilean ceviche, featuring amazing fresh “cured” seafood from that incredibly long coastline. Finish off your culinary adventure with a steak-and-cheese barros luco sandwich, some sopaipillas (a.k.a pumpkin fritters) and a completo (an oversized hot dog loaded with toppings such as avocado and sauerkraut).
#9: Hiking & Trekking
Chile is home to a whopping three dozen national parks with each being more breathtaking than the last. This makes it the ideal place to hike to your heart’s content Highlights include Lauca National Park in the north, a protected Global Biosphere Reserve in the Andes which includes volcanoes and amazing wildlife! On the opposite end of the country is Torres del Paine National Park in the southern Patagonia region. There you’ll be greeted by some of the most stunning vistas in the world as you make your way across the vast, towering terrain This is a bucket-list destination for truly passionate hikers.
#8: You Can Visit the End of the World
Speaking of southern Chile, if you’ve ever dreamt of standing on the edge of the world then Cape Horn is the place for you! Apart from a small cluster of islands to the south, Cape Horn in Tierra Del Fuego marks the southernmost tip of South America (well, plus Antarctica, of course). As such, it provides anyone who visits with the unique distinction of being able to say they’ve seen the literal end of the world! Now there’s something to brag about and marvel at. The area is also where the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans meet and sailing around Cape Horn is widely considered to be one of the most difficult seafaring endeavors on the planet.
#7: Adventure Tourism
Adrenaline junkies rejoice! Chile was voted the World’s Leading Adventure Tourism Destination in 2016 and 2017, and is primed for a three-peat. It is one of the few places on earth where you can hit the slopes during the summer; and we aren’t just talking about snow. Grab a board and trek out to the desert to shred scenic sand dunes. Not into sandboarding? Are you more of a water person? The beaches in the resort city of Pichilemu boast some of the best waves on the planet. Really want to get your heart pumping? Craving more action? Hop in a raft and go head-to-head with some class 5 rapids. Chile’s got it all.
#6: World Heritage Sites
Chile is home to 6 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, with many more more currently listed as potential candidates for future inclusion. Some of these sites include the magnificent Churches of Chiloé, built primarily from the 15th to the 19th century, and the Qhapaq Ñan Andean Road System, a network of roads built by the Inca for the purpose of trade and communication, that stretches for almost 20,000 miles through some of the country’s harshest terrain. Other sites include the Rapa Nui National Park and the Historic Quarter of the seaport city of Valparaíso… more on them shortly.
You know your country is loaded with incredible things to do when the capital and largest city lands at number 5! With that being said Santiago is a must-see for anyone planning a trip to Chile. Home to a population of roughly 7 million people, this bustling metropolis is overflowing with picturesque sites, top-notch restaurants and vibrant nightlife. Despite the fact that earthquakes regularly hit Chile, buildings from the Spanish colonial period can still be found in Santiago, including the San Francisco Church and Convent, which was built in 1554. Take a stroll around Santiago Metropolitan Park or hike up Santa Lucía Hill. It is a truly a city with no shortage of things to do!
#4: Glaciers to Explore
Remember how we said that Chile is the adventure tourism capital of the world? Well part of the reason why is because it’s one of the few countries on earth where you can walk on a glacier! There are glaciers in the north, south and center of the country and many are open to the public’s enjoyment. Glacier Grey, located in Puerto Natales in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, is arguably the most popular, but there are plenty of others to choose from. Grab a guide and some crampons and get out there! Perhaps only Iceland matches the astonishing ice fields of this magnificent country.
One of the most beautiful cities in all of South America, Valparaíso can be found about 75 miles northwest of the aforementioned Santiago. One of the country’s most important port cities, Valparaíso is best known for its wide range of colorful buildings as well as for the numerous and varied funiculars that dot the surrounding hillside. In 2003 Valparaíso’s historic quarter joined the illustrious ranks of the UNESCO World Heritage sites due to its cultural significance to the city and country. The city is also home to sun-soaked beaches and a thriving art scene; making it a prime destination for tourists of all ages and dispositions.
#2: Easter Island
No trip to Chile would be complete without a trip thousands of miles out to mysterious Easter Island. A world-famous tourist destination, the island is home to 887 massive moai statues that were erected by the Rapa Nui people many hundreds of years ago. These incredible monolithic historical relics can found all over the island and posing with them will make you the envy of your friends for years to come. Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, Easter Island remains one of the most unique travel spots on earth and is a crucial landmark in human history.
#1: Incredible Landscapes
Last but certainly not least is simply the totality of the stunning array of breathtaking landscapes that make up such a large portion of Chile. From the snow-capped peaks of the immortal Andes to the undulating, towering dunes of the Atacama Desert, Chile has no shortage of spectacular vistas for you (and your camera) to enjoy. The colors of the Moon and Mars Valley (Valle de la Luna) will simply blow you away, and the mountains of Patagonia are guaranteed to leave you speechless. Oh, and did we mention that Chile is also, due to volcanic activity, home to hundreds of thermal hot springs that are perfect for relaxing in after a long day of sightseeing? The mic has officially been dropped.