Chile Activities

There are so many things to do in Chile it is hard to know where to begin. There is something for everyone here: adventure-seekers, history buffs, art lovers, nature enthusiasts, and even those just looking to relax will find plenty of things to do.

In Chile, you can sit back and sip a glass of vino on a wine tour, admire the granite monoliths at Torres del Paine National Park, sunbath on the beaches of Iquique, or hit world-class slopes at Portillo in the Aconcagua Valley. Some of the most popular things to do in Chile are hiking, birdwatching, horseback riding and climbingâ??but Chile offers so much more.

  • Cerro San Cristobal Funicular
    On a clear day, the view from the top of Cerro San Cristóbal is spectacular, providing the best view in the city of the stunning contrast between Santiago and its surrounding mountains. The hill is a popular ride for bikers on nice days, though the steep incline makes for a strenuous trip. Perhaps
  • Trekking in Torres del Paine
    Featuring spectacular milky lakes and breathtaking mountaintop views, Torres del Paine National Park is Chile's and possibly South America's most famous park. Since it was declared an official Biosphere Reserve in 1978, it has attracted adventurers and nature lovers from all over the world eager to
  • Volcano Osorno
    Volcano Osorno, elevation 2652 meters (8701 feet), is located on the northeast end of Lake Llanquihue, 51 kilometers from Puerto Varas. The pristine drive along the lake eventually leads into the volcano's protected national forest. The mountain is the southerly sister to Mount Fuji and seems like a
  • Magdalena Island penguin colony
    Along with the islet of Marta, Magdalena Island forms the Monumento Natural Los Pingüinos, the natural habitat of over 100,000 thousand Magellanic penguins and one of the largest colonies of Southern Chile. Excursions to the small islands in the middle of the Strait of Megallan, 35km northeast of
  • Plaza de Armas
    The Plaza de Armas dates back to 1541 when Pedro de Valdivia founded Santiago. The square was used as an army training ground, with a protected area in the middle that was used to store arms. The Spanish later built important religious and civic buildings in the surrounding area, including the Cathe
  • Isla de los Lobos
    Walking through the hilly pastures on the way to the Isla de los Lobos, you may think that it's sheep making the cries you hear off in the distance, but it's something far more sinister. It's the lobos—the wolves. Or rather, it is a colony of approximate
  • Muelle Prat
    A walk down to Prat Harbor gives you a sense of what makes the city of Valparaíso tick: huge barges move cargo holds from shipyards around the world to and fro, and hoards of small fishing boats putter through the frigid water. Boat rides around the harbor are quite cheap—a thousand pesos (US$
  • Parinacota
    Twenty kilometers (12 mi) east of Las Cuevas is Parinacota. This indigenous-colonial village, long a rest stop for indigenous and later Spanish travelers, was declared a Monumento Nacional y Zona Típica. Its name derives from the Aymara word Parinaquita, meaning Lagoon of Flamencos. Parinacota is t
  • Isla Quinchao
    Five minutes on a ferry from Dalcahue, and thus within easy striking distance from Castro, Quinchao is one of Chiloé's most visited (and largest) islands, though it maintains a virgin, ‘even further off the already unbeaten path' feel. Visitors arrive first in the town of Curaco de Vélez, fam
  • Fuerte San Antonio
    Fuerte San Antonio, the last Spanish foothold in Chile, fell to local forces in 1826. The site could desperately use some explanatory plaques with historical context, since the area is little more than a manicured lawn and a row of cannons. Nonetheless, what's left of the fort still makes for an int
  • Capitán Haase Settler's Route Sunset Cruise
    If you want to feel like you have stepped back in time and are taking in the surroundings like the first settlers, then check out the Capitán Haase Settler's Route Sunset Cruise. This unique water voyage is set upon a 65-foot long wooden vessel that has all of the trimmings of a boat from the earl
  • Kari Kari
    The folkloric traditional ballet, Kari Kari, is the pride of Easter Island. This spectacular dance is guaranteed to bring out the Polynesian in you, as the dancers twirl and stomp in their grass skirts to the sound of traditional instruments. Tickets are pricey, but worth it. Get there early for a g
  • Parque Japones Kokoro No Niwa
    La Serena's Japanese Garden is a small yet pleasant retreat from the busy plazas and markets in the center of town. The soothing sound of small waterfalls and the carefully landscaped plot, complete with several bridges and pagodas, are intended to settle mind and body. You should note, however, tha
  • Centro Cultural Mapuche — Wenteche Mapu
    Wenteche Mapu is a Mapuche cultural center in the heart of Villarrica. Here visitors can learn about the customs and religious beliefs of this indigenous nation. In the center of the compound is a ruka, or traditional round hut, which shows what this people's homes are like. Presentations are
  • Walking Tour of Arica
    The historical center of Arica is on Bolognesi, between San Marcos and 7 de Junio, near the base of El Morro.This area was destroyed by tidal waves in 1868 and 1877. Many of the buildings are from the late 19th century. On Bolognesi is Iglesia San Marcos de Arica, which looks like a church from a m
  • Plaza Prat and Paseo Baquedano
    Iquique's ruling nitrate families left an indelible print on the city. Social clubs, public monuments and lavish homes built of Oregon pine grace the historic center of the city. Many of the mansions are now home to restaurants, nightclubs, museums and university academic departments. Our exploratio
  • Costanera Walk
    A walk along the costanera (coastal road) opens a window onto the natural and human history of Porvenir. The old wharf at the entrance to town is a favorite hangout for gulls, cormorants and other seabirds. Strolling up Avenida Señoret, you encounter several of the village's first buildings. On the
  • Lobos del Pacifico Escuela de Surf
    Those hippies in old surfing movies were telling the truth. Surfing can be more than a sport - it can be a spiritual experience that changes your entire outlook on life. And there is no better place than Pichilemu to put that theory to the test. Head toward Lobos del Pacifico Escuela de Surf to rent
  • Bicentennial Walking Tours
    One of the biggest draws of the city of Valparaíso is the delightful madness of its design. For this reason, walks around the city will likely be the highlight of the trip. Though some like the idea of letting the city take them where it will, others find the thought of getting lost in Valparaíso
  • Paddling
    Take your pick of how you want to traverse the rivers slicing Pucón's countryside. Of course, whitewater rafting down the Liucura (to Class III rapids) and Trancura (Class III-IV) are a tradition. Kayaking is another way to paddle around these waterways, whether on Río Liucura or Lago Villarrica.
  • Monumento Nacional Cerro Ñielol
    Several hiking trails wind through the 89.5 hectares of forest shrouding Cerro Ñielol (hill with holes). Founded in 1939 to protect native flora and fauna, its the only one of the country's national monuments located in an urban center. From the park entry, Sendero Agua Santa (750 meters / 2437 fee
  • Mamalluca Observatory Tour
    The skies above the Elqui Valley are astoundingly clear for more than 300 days each year. This makes the valley one of the top spots on the globe for astronomical observation. The top observatories offer expensive, technical daytime tours for astronomy aficionados. But, the Mamalluca Observatory ju
  • Capel Piscera
    The largest Pisco producer in Chile, Planta Pisco Capel, offers inexpensive guided tours of its distillery within walking distance from Vicuña. A tour of the distillery gives a behind the scenes, industrial-scale look at how the country's signature drink is produced and a chance to purchase the liq
  • Barraza
    The Limarí valley's tiny town of Barraza, one of the oldest in Chile, is ripe with Chilean political and religious history. The town is in no way a tourist attraction, as an ancient church and small religious museum are its only sites, (Museo Parroquial de Barraza is located to the right of the Igl
  • Activities Overview: Vicuña
    Although Vicuña is a very small town, there is a surprising variety of activities to keep travelers busy. The town is littered with little museums, most notably the Museo Gabriela Mistral. It is the largest museum in the region devoted to the life and work of the Nobel Prize winning poet. There are
  • Rapa Nui National Park
    Once you take a step outside the boundaries of Hanga Roa you are in the national park, since Rapa Nui is a World Heritage site. There are nearly no services in the park, no hotels, no restaurants, not even toilets! The exception is a kiosk at Anakena Beach. Atop Rano Kau at Orongo a Conaf cabin sits
  • Cemeterio Alemán
    Latin American cemeteries are a jumble of tombs, one lying virtually atop another. But Cemeterio Alemán is different. Its graves are laid out in precisely straight rows with pathways between. These family plots planted with ivy and roses, backed by sweeping headstones are a window inside the German
  • Humberstone
    Salitrera Humberstone was one of the most famous—and largest—nitrate mines in northern Chile. Founded in 1872 by the Peruvian Nitrate Company, by 1889 it had a population of over 3000. It later changed its name to Salitrera La Palma in 1894, and again in 1934 to Humberstone, in honor of Sa
  • Iglesia San Francisco
    Near the plaza, its faded yellow and purple-tipped spires dominating the Castro cityscape, Iglesia San Francisco will almost certainly be the first thing to catch your eye when you come in to town. Though not nearly as old as many of the island's churches (it was built in 1906), this is still an arc
  • Palafitos
    Chiloé's answer to Venice, the palafitos, are coastal houses perched on wooden stilts. They are an iconic part of the island's architecture, and there's no better place to see them than in Castro. For a nice vantage point, head down Esmeralda, towards the coast. You'll come across a walkway heading
  • Monasterio Santa Clara
    From the far south end of Calle Ansorena, a narrow road passes through a gate. Bird song and sunlight dapple the woods. The drive curves to the Monasterio Santa Clara atop a hill. Foot travelers, however, can take the flagstone path leading to that final destination. The plain chapel is dramatically
  • Oficina Santa Laura
    Oficina Santa Laura was another one of the many salitre mines on the wind-blasted pampas near Iquique. Founded in 1872 by William Wendell, it was acquired by the Peruvian government in 1878. After Chile's victory in the Guerra del Pacífico, the mine was turned over to the London Nitrate Co., Ltd. B
  • Iglesia San Pedro de Atacama
    Iglesia San Pedro, built in 1744 on the western edge of the Plaza de Armas, is one of the most interesting Andean churches in the region. The bell tower was added in the late nineteenth century, and the adobe walls that surround the church were rebuilt, as well. Admission is free.
  • Monumentos and Miradores
    On the west side of Coyhaique, along the Río Simpson, are several monuments and miradores (viewpoints) along the bypass, also called the Avenida Norte-Sur. The first one is Mirador Río Simpson, with vistas looking out over the valley. South on the avenue is the turn-off for Piedra del Indio, a nat
  • Parque Cultural Ex-Cárcel
    The ex-prison on top of Cerro Cárcel is perhaps one of the most characteristic sites in the city. Only recently did the space shift from being a place of confinement to being one of liberal expression and literal openness. In 1999 the prison permanently opened its cells and closed its doors, only t
  • Iglesia San Vicente
    The Iglesia San Vincente is a brown- and cream-colored church with a Gothic tower that watches over the town's main square. Erected in 1862, it is the handiwork of English carpenters, and is one of the more appealing landmarks in Caldera.
  • Catedral
    Now the focus point of the Plaza Bernardo O'Higgins, this supposedly earthquake-resistant cathedral was built between 1941 and 1961. It has nine rising arches which permit a vast amount of sunlight to enter the church. Next to the cathedral is a 36-meter high concrete cross erected to honor the memo
  • Iglesia Sagrado Corazón de Jesus
    The Iglesia Sagrado Corazón de Jesus is a great example of the architecture, vibe and serenity you can find in Puerto Varas. Built between 1915 and 1918 by Edmundo Niklitschek, this mainstay of the community is considered the most important Catholic Church by locals. It is based on the Marienkirche
  • Famous 19th Century Houses
    Puerto Varas' architecture is heavily influenced by 19th century German colonization. Intricate colonial buildings, built between 1915 and 1930, can be seen throughout town, but there are some that have been given special care and upkeep. A tour can be taken that wanders through town and into the ou
  • Termas Puyehue
    In a forest clearing on the edge of Parque Nacional Puyuhue is Termas Puyuhue, an exclusive hot spring resort. On the broad verandah around the two open-air pools, bathers sun between dips in the thermal springs. There is also a roofed Olympic-sized basin filled with these 35-36°C (95-97°F) wa
  • Tren de la Araucanía
    The black smoke of the 1940 Baldwin Type 80 steam engine puffs into the sky as it chugs through the forests and over the rivers of the Araucanía. Some of the riders in these passenger cars are reliving memories of long-ago rail journeys. Many others, though, especially the children, are taking thei
  • Parque Saval
    The grounds of Parque Saval come alive on weekends with families picnicking, strolling and just enjoying the outdoors. This 30-hectare park has two major attractions. Across the water lily pond that even Monet would find a challenge to paint, are islets scattered like autumn leaves. There birds rest
  • Surfing in Arica
    Arica is high on the list of surfing hotspots, and one of the southernmost places to practice on South America's Pacific Coast. The El Gringo and El Buey waves off Isla del Alacrán are world-famous challenges, for experts only. Other places for surfing, bodyboarding and windsurfing are Playa El Chi
  • Niebla
    The road west from Valdivia cuts across Isla Teja, then the Puente Cruces bridge, back to the mainland. It passes Cervecería Kunstmann (Km 8) and along marshes. Nearing Niebla, cabañas and camping bloom in summer. Just before town is the dock for boats to Corral and Isla Mancera, as well as to var
  • Corral
    On the south shores of Bahía de Corral is the village of Corral. Here, history and nature are prime attractions, with ruins of Spanish fortresses alongside beaches for swimming and fishing. In town, was one of the major Spanish forts, Castillo San Sebastián de la Cruz, built in 1645 by orders of V
  • Porvenir's Historical Architecture
    Porvenir is a good example of Fuegian architecture. Here, the style was made distinctive by the Croatians and Chilotes who came to colonize this bay. A few of the buildings date from 1900-1905, though most are from the 1920s-30s, when the elite was rolling in the wealth of sheep farming. Several hav
  • Moais Petroglyphs and Caves
    Around 95 percent of the Moai statues found on the island are crafted from the volcanic rock around Rano Raraku. In the crater is a beautiful lake which was formed by volcanic activity on the slopes of the Terevaka volcano. Around the area are some four hundred or so Moai, all in different stages of
  • Zoológico Nacional
    The Zoológico Nacional of Santiago features more than 150 animal species. The park spans 4.8 hectares at the base of Cerro San Cristobal, just beyond the Funicular. The â??Zoocine,â? a small indoor movie theater, is entertaining for the kids. The trails are in a bit of disrepair, so be sure to
  • Isla de Mancera
    In the center of Bahía de Corral at the mouth of the Valdivia River is Isla Mancera, previously called Guiguacabín by the indigenous people. This small island played a big role in the defense systems of the Spanish in repopulating and holding Valdivia. Valdivia had to be abandoned in 1604 due to
  • Bay Tours
    Other attractions of Arica lie offshore, on the open waters of this city's bay. Several companies leaving from the Muelle Pesquero offer boating tours. The more basic trips, which last an hour, take their passengers to know the fishing grounds and other areas important to Arica's economy, past near-
  • Southern Beaches
    Past Isla del Alacrán is chain of beaches draping the coast south of Arica. These have a much different character than the northern chain of beaches. Here, ancient lava flows to the sea, which creates rocky shores cupping small stretches of black sand, also called balnearios. Many birds can be obse
  • Museo a Cielo Abierto
    Though marketed as the centerpiece of Valparaíso's visual art obsession, the Museo a Cielo Abierto is more typical of Valparaíso artwork than it is quintessential. The “museum” isn't really a museum at all, but rather a series of impressive, brilliantly colored paintings commissioned for
  • An Introduction to Iquique's Beaches
    A chain of pale beaches drape southward along Iquique's coast. Starting in the city's center at Calle O'Higgins and Avenida Prat is Bellavista. Here, a broad band of sand is trimmed with ragged rock lace. Although most of the beach is not safe for swimming, adventuresome surfers will take a turn her
  • River Rafting and Kayaking
    Other than fly fishing, rafting and kayaking are two main stays in Puerto Varas adventure sports. With the immense amount of water surrounding the village it is easy to see why. There are multiple tour companies that will take you on a leisurely paddle, or more strenuous escapades. If you don't want
  • Isla del Alacrán
    Isla de Alacrán, or Scorpion Island, was important to the peoples of the Arica area. Before the conquistadors came, indigenous nations knew it to be excellent fishing and guano. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Spanish maintained a fort on it, to protect royal storehouse overflowing with Potosí
  • Cordillera de Darwin
    On this exceptional sailing and trekking expedition through the Darwin Cordillera, sail past villages of the indigenous Yamana people (sea nomads), through narrow fjords and canals always surrounded by a remote glacial landscape. The diversity of the fauna and flora in these latitudes is simply incr
  • Boat Tours of Valdivia's Rivers
    Cruising Valdivia's waterways is another way to explore the area. Bahía, Aramo and Santa María la Blanca boats do one-hour city tours along the Valdivia and Calle-Calle Rivers pointing out the history of the metropolis and vestiges of the 1960 earthquake. They also navigate around Isla Teja. Polux
  • Kayaking at Dead Tree Valley
    Kayaking in the wetlands of the Dead Tree Valley, in Chepu, 35 km south-west of Ancud, is a great way to peacefully navigate the rivers and observe the wildlife. A six-hour trip can be organized by outfitters in the area, and will be finished off with a snack and cold beer. Check Chepu Adventures (w
  • Casa Mirador de Lukas
    This small gallery has an upper-crust air to it, with its dainty outdoor café and beautiful vista. Inside you'll find several rooms devoted to the artwork of the beloved Valparaíso-raised cartoonist and painter Renzo Antonio Giovanni Pecchenino Raggi (aka Lukas). A walk through these small, sunlit
  • Valle del Encanto
    To call the Valle del Encanto an unconventional archaeological museum would be an understatement. Although this national monument (19 kilometers west of Ovalle) has some of the most important petroglyphs, pictographs and piedras tacitas in Chile, some dating back more than 4,000 years, its artifacts
  • Gigante de Atacama
    On the side of Cerro Unitas, a mosaic-eyed man with upraised hands stares out across the arid plain. Was this a tribute to a ruler or to an extraterrestrial god? We may never know who the Gigante de Atacama represents, but such geoglyphs are common in this region of northern Chile. The Gigante is co
  • Playa Cavancha
    The big beach scene in Iquique is Playa Cavancha. Everyone heads out to these several kilometers of pale grey sand - and not only to bathe in the warm sun or to surf in the brisk water. This perfect, crescent-shaped beach has much more to offer. From Avenida Prat to the sea is a long wooden walkway
  • Iglesia Catedral
    NOTE: Closed until further notice, due to earthquake damage. The highlight of the Plaza de los Heroés is the imposing, canary yellow Iglesia Catedral. The church, which was originally built in 1775, received its Doric columns and double to
  • Bahía Inglesa
    Bahía Inglesa offers a stunning scene thanks to a combination of perfect white beaches and clear blue water with random rock formations that emerge from the sea. It is worth taking the short voyage south of Caldera to enjoy this strip of beach - don't forget to bring a camera to take a few photos t
  • La Serena Beaches
    A walk down Av. Francisco de Aguirre from the center of town leads to a quaint lighthouse, the Avenida del Mar and La Serena's long, popular beach. The beach is not nearly as pristine as others along Chile's coast, but it is an extremely popular destination for Chilenos in January and February. Line
  • Surfing
    Iquique is internationally renowned for its surfing. Every year the city hosts the Juegos Panamericanos de Surf at the beginning of November (www.panamericansurf.com). In the interim, you can get in shape for this Pan-American surfing competition by hitting the local beaches. Beginners should aim f
  • Northern Beaches and the Desembocadura de Lluta
    To the north of Arica are several bathing and surfing beaches. The two-kilometer-long El Chinchorro is the best place to catch a wave or to take a dip. Along the waterfront boardwalk, families ride rented tandem bicycles. An old pier juts out across the platinum-blue sea and, though a sign warns to
  • Fuerte Reina María Luisa
    Manuel Olaguer Felui designed this fortress at the bend of the Río Rahue. Originally called Fuerte de San Luis, its name was later changed to Fuerte Reina María Luisa to honor the wife of Carlos IV. This fortification was to protect the future citizens who came to rebuild the city in 1794. It serv
  • Laguna Chungará
    Lago Chungará, at the east end of Parque Nacional Lauca, is the park's largest lake, covering 21.5 square kilometers (8.3 square mi). Its deepest point is 37 meters (120 ft). At an altitude of 4,517 meters (14,680 ft), this is the world's highest non-navigable lake. Chungará is a major bird habita
  • Río Rubens
    Río Rubens is an idyllic trout stream sandwiched between rolling green shores about halfway between Villa Tehuelches and Puerto Natales. The Hotel Río Rubens (09-640-1583; cabins $20-75) is a popular stop for cyclists and motorists, known for its down-to-earth atmosphere and hearty meals. Riversid
  • Bunker
    Bunker is a the hotspot for travelers looking to find the gay scene in Santiago. The club's disc jockey bounces head-pounding beats off the walls of the renovated theater. Don't worry about being late because the dancing lasts until the early-morning hours, especially on weekends when the place real
  • Baños Colina
    The long dirt road from San Gabriel runs into Baños Colina ($17, Tel: 56-2-6395266). Here you can view the impressive springs that overlook the valley or arrange horseback rides—it's possible to make a trip across the border to Argentina, though it must be arranged well ahead of time. There is
  • Reserva National Río de los Cipreses
    Approximately 15km down the road from the Termas de Cauquenes is 36 square kilometers of protected land called the Reserva Nacional Rio Los Cipreses. Take three or four days here to thoroughly enjoy some multi-day hiking, horseback riding or to catch a glimpse of a condor, fox or burrowing parrot. T
  • Monumento Natural El Morado
    Located approximately 90km from Santiago, Monumento Natural El Morado ($3, closed May - September) is a scenic park with views of the San Francisco glacier and Cerro El Morado. The park is only approximately 3,000 hectares, but it contains the gleaming Laguna El Morado, and the hot springs of Baños
  • Punucapa
    Up the Río Cruces from Valdivia is the small village of Punucapa, which had been founded as a Jesuit mission. Every February 2 faithful followers make a pilgrimage both on foot and by boat to the Santuario de la Virgen de la Candelaria, a 19th-Century wooden church. Punucapa is also famous for its
  • The Performance Arts in Valdivia
    Thanks in large part to the Universidad Austral de Chile (UACh), Valdivia has a full slate of musical concerts, dance, cinema and other performance arts throughout the year. Teatro Municipal Lord Cochrane (Independencia 455, Tel.: 22-0209) - Concerts, dance and other performances. Concervatorio de
  • Guayacán
    Several kilometers north of San José is the town of Guayacán - named after a tree with distinctive streaks in its bark. There are picnic tables, restaurants and cafés in this place.
  • El Melocotón
    Located approximately 5km south of San José is El Melocotón. It is known throughout the country as the site of Pinochet's riverfront home - not the best place to kayak or raft past at the time.
  • Circuito Histórico Cultural
    The Circuito Histórico Cultural is a journey through the many facets of Feugian history, from ancient indigenous sites to modern-day gold prospectors. The road departs Porvenir towards Cordón Baquedano. At this mountain range's highest point, 500 meters (1625 feet), you can view the Straits of Ma
  • Fly Fishing
    The icy turquoise waters of Torres del Paine National Park are home to a variety of fish, including Brown, Steelhead and Rainbow trout, as well as Coho, Chinook, and Atlantic salmon. Sports fishers and anglers need to apply for a license at the National Fishery Department (Servicio Nacional de Pesca
  • El Manzano
    El Manzano is a scenic area with a variety of streams where outdoorsmen can cast a line to do a little fishing. There are also some decent trails for hiking and horseback riding, as well as several campsites. The Italian restaurant Trattoria Calypso located at Camino al Volcán 5247 is also found in
  • Pirque
    Pirque offers the small-town charm impossible to find in nearby bustling Santiago. The village is located on the outskirts of the Cajón. Most famously, the town is home to Viña Concha y Toro, Chile's largest winery. Pirque is also a nice place to find quality leather goods on weekends.
  • Cruise the Southern Waters
    From September through April, Cruceros Australis runs five-day luxury cruises from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia (four days Ushuaia to Punta Arenas; see Things to See and Do in Ushuaia) aboard one of three ships: the M/V Mare Autralis, M/V Via Australis, and, glossy-new for 2010, M/V Stella Austral
  • Piscinas Tupahue and Antilén
    If the hot city is too much to bear, cool off in the huge outdoor swimming pools in Parque Metropolitano. Set on the slopes of Cerro San Cristóbal and surrounded by trees and gardens, Piscinas Tupahue and Antilén provide great views of the city. There is ample space where you can sunbathe, and kio
  • Cementerio Laico
    Cementerio Laico was the first non-Catholic cemetery in the city of Caldera. You can view the elaborate tombs of English, German, Welsh and other European immigrants.
  • Cementerio General
    Cementerio General, Santiago's most famous cemetery, was established in 1820 by Bernardo O'Higgins. All of Chile's Presidents are buried in here, except for Gabriel González Videla and Augusto Pinochet. One of the most visited graves is that of former President Salvador Allende. He was originally b
  • Monumento Natural La Portada
    The temperamental Pacific Ocean has pounded and eroded this gigantic rock formation situated on top of a volcanic base into a natural arch. It is the main attraction of a 31-hectare piece of protected land 25km north of Antofagasta. Pack a lunch and enjoy a meal on the area picnic tables.
  • Juan López
    Slightly north of La Portada there is a paved road that heads west to the charming beach village Juan López. The beach has soft, gray sand and the water can be relatively warm - at least compared to other spots in Chile.
  • Cementerio
    Often overlooked, the cemetery is definitely worth visiting during a coastal wander. Islanders believed in death the soul is returned to the ocean. Accordingly, graves face inland, so that grieving relatives can gaze over the Pacific to view their loved ones. Gravestones are small and traditional,
  • Teleférico
    The Teleférico is a cable-car that runs from downtown Providencia to the top of Santiago's highest hill, Cerro San Cristóbal. The ride takes about 20 minutes and on a clear day provides great views of Parque Metropolitano and the city. Get off at Tupahue / San Cristóbal Station to enjoy the M
  • Observatorio Cerro Paranal
    Observatorio Cerro Paranal has four 8.2-meter telescopes and is one of the highest-powered telescopes in the world. It is located approximately 120km south of Antofagasta on Cerro Paranal at 2,664m above sea level. It is necessary to schedule visits in advance and to arrange personal transportation
  • Maño de Desierto
    A huge, 11 meter-high granite hand emerges from the sand with its fingers stretched toward the sky at the junction of Ruta 28 and Panamericana 75km south of Antofagasta. This attraction was built in 1992 by sculptor Mario Irarrázaval.
  • Sanctuario de la Naturaleza El Arrayán
    The El Arrayán nature reserve is less than an hour from downtown Santiago in the Cajón del Mapocho. The reserve offers activities such as trekking, fly-fishing, mountaineering, cycling and horse-riding and there's plenty of spectacular scenery if you just want to enjoy the view. There are picnic a
  • La Obra
    La Obra used to be a stop on the military railroad that once climbed from Puente Alto to El Volcán. Located approximately 800 meters from Las Vizcachas, its Estación La Obra is now a national monument.
  • Reserva Nacional Río Clarillo
    Continue 23km southeast from Pirque to find the 13,000-hectare Reserva Nacional Río Clarillo. This tributary canyon of the Cajón boasts a beautiful river, forest and wildlife - including the endangered Chilean iguana. Hiking the reserve's trails and picnicking are popular activities at this locale
  • San Alfonso
    Located 15km past San José, the relaxed mountain atmosphere of San Alfonso is a fantastic place to clear one's head. The area also offers excellent rafting, kayaking, horseback riding and breathtaking views of the Andes. The best time to head here is on weekdays or out of season to avoid large crow
  • Adventure Travel
    The combination of well-developed tourism industry and diverse geography means Chile has a wide range of adventure travel opportunities to offer adrenaline junkies. There's skiing in the winter, as well as parachuting, paragliding and kayaking when the weather's right. There are a number of rivers i
  • Virgen de la Immaculada Concepción
    The Virgen de la Immaculada Concepción is a 14-meter high statue of the Virgin Mary that sits atop Santiago's highest hill, Cerro San Cristobal. The gleaming white statue with outstretched arms is visible from most parts of the city, especially when illumintated at night. Although it can't compete
  • Sanctuario de la Naturaleza Yerba Loca
    Sanctuario de la Naturaleza Yerba Loca is a 39,000-hectare nature reserve about one hour from downtown Santiago. It's run by Conaf (National Forestry Corporation) and has trekking paths that take in several glaciers including La Paloma and El Altar and a campsite with picnic and BBQ areas. More adve
  • Catedral Metropolitana
    The Cathedral Metropolitana, also known as the Catedral de Santiago, sits on the west side of the Plaza de Armas and stretches for almost a block. There have been five cathedrals on the site, but the previous structures were destroyed by earthquakes. The present building was begun in 1745 and comple
  • Palacio de la Moneda
    The Palacio de la Moneda was originally the National Mint of Chile. Designed by Italian architect Joaquin Toesca at the end of the 18th century, it's now viewed as one of the best examples of neoclassical architecture in Latin America, and easily ranks as one of the most beautiful buildings in the c
  • Cerro Santa Lucia
    Cerro Santa Lucia is a national monument and one of Santiago's main tourist attractions, thanks to its pleasant gardens and panoramic view of the city (best after a rainstorm). Legend goes that the Spanish conquistador Pedro de Valdivia founded Santiago at the bottom of the hill in 1541 and used the
  • Santuario Immaculada Concepción
    Just below the statue of the Virgen de la Immaculada Concepción, on Cerro San Cristobal, is a wide amphitheater. This is Santuario Immaculada Concepción, an open-air church, set in the lovely gardens of Parque Metropoliano. The area offers great views of the city and an opportunity to say a quick
  • Reserva Forestal Cañi
    The 500-hectare Cañi park, owned by the foundation Lahuén and managed by a community organization, is a sanctuary for the giant conifer Auracaria, or monkey-puzzle tree, one the oldest trees on earth. The Foundation operates the Hostel Ecole, with a very comfortable lounge area, and functions as a
  • Chapa Verde
    Hit the slopes approximately 58 km east of Rancagua at the Chapa Verde Ski Resort. It was originally built for employees by Codelco, a government-owned copper corporation that runs nearby mines called El Teniente, but is now open to the public July to September. There are more than seven square kilo
  • Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory
    Perched 2200 meters atop a hill 88 km southeast of La Serena lies an impressive cluster of futuristic domes otherwise known as the Observatorio Cerro Tololo. Bought in 1967 by Asociation of Universities for the Research in Astronomy Incorporation (AURA), this astronomical observatory has five workin
  • El Rincón
    The hostel of El Rincón is located 20 km north of Los Angeles in the heart of the countryside of the southern Chilean Central Valley. There are beautiful gardens and flowers among wooded grounds with fruit trees. It is a fantastic place to relax and forget the rest of the world for several days. Ro
  • Santuario de la Naturaleza Granito Orbicular
    This area located approximately 11km north of town near Playa Roller is littered with weird, and often times absurd, rock formations with inner circular formations of granite. It became a protected area in 1981.
  • Parque Nacional Llanos de Challe
    Parque Nacional Llanos de Challe is the finest place to view the desierto florido, a natural occurrence which only takes place in random years when there is sufficient rainfall. The flowers burst from apparent barren dirt. A wide variety of flowers spring up from the ground, but this area is of part
  • Cueva del Milodon
    Monumento Nacional Cueva del Milodón is a massive cave where, in 1895, the remains of a three meter ground sloth were discovered. The slow-moving milodón now resides in London, but a cheesy plastic replica serves as a reminder of this prehistoric marvel. The Cueva became a national monume
  • Museo Arqueológico and Etnológico
    Located in well-trimmed Parque El Loa is the natural history museum. The Museo Arqueológico and Etnológico displays exhibits from the local culture and relies on dioramas to emphasize the area's pre-Colombian history.
  • Parque El Loa
    The main draws of Parque El Loa are a riverside swimming pool and a replica of Chiu Chiu's famous church. The Museo Arqueológico and Etnológico is also located in the park, and there is some interesting flora.
  • Catedral San Juan Bautista
    Not even the church is immune from the constant reminder of the importance of copper in Calama. The Catedral San Juan Bautista, located on the main square, cannot be missed with its shimmering roof constructed of the valuable metal.
  • Windsurfing
    The strong winds that sweep across the blue sea along the coast of Caldera make it one of the prime windsurfing spots in Chile. It is tough to do but once you get the hang of it the experience is exhilarating if nothing else. Domo Chango Chile at El Morro 610 (Tel: 52-316168) can organize an excursi
  • Acuario Los Vilos
    The small Los Vilos Aquarium, on Avenida Costanera, has a modest display of marine life native to the bay area, including various species of fish, snails and starfish, crabs and algae. The museum's stated purpose is to educate the public about the local marine life so that they'll treat the sea crit
  • Things to See and Do
    The main reason people go to Viña del Mar is to enjoy the sun and the beach. But the food is also worth noting. Viña has excellent restaurants that offer international cuisine including Mexican, Italian, Japanese and Argentine. Viña is also home to several parks, including Quita Vergera and the
  • K-Nopy
    This zip line over the beach offers a cheap thrill to adventure seekers. Soar 350 meters over the heads of fellow beach bums at the main beach along Calle Costanera. If you're not in the mood to attempt the feat, put down a towel on the beach to watch other brave souls glide overhead while you work
  • Chilean Cuisine Cooking Classes In Valparaiso
    Our Chilean Cuisine Cooking Classes are fun and absolutely "hands on".
    You particpate in menu selection, buy the ingredients at the local marke
  • Cañete
    Approximately 92km south of Lota, above the Río Tucapel, is the agricultural town of Cañete, site of a famous battle between the indigenous and the Spanish in the 16th century and still today a Mapuche stronghold. Meander to the northern end of the main street to visit Fuerte Tucapel, the remains
  • Lota
    A relatively easy and quick day-trip from Concepción is to the former coal mining town of Lota. It is one of the poorer cities in Chile, though Lota is beginning to tap into the tourism industry. There are more modern hotels, a casino and, of course, visits to the coal mine complete with an ex-mine
  • Chinchilla Safari
    A favorite pet for some, and an endangered species for others, the wild chinchilla can be found in only one place on earth - Chile. Travel north for 15 km from Illapel (287 km north of Santiago), you'll see the "Caution Chinchillas" signs adorning the sides of the road. After a while, you'll find T
  • Cruz Del Sur Observatory
    Although the Cruz del Sur Observatory is over 100 kilometers from Ovalle, it can be visited as a day or weekend tour if staying overnight in Combarbalá, the closest town. The observatory opened in 2009 for visitors to gaze at the heavens through its 14-inch and 16-inch telescopes. Their guided tou
  • Termas de Socos
    Far removed from the rest of the world, the hot springs in the tiny town of Socos annually attracts families, retirees and other travelers. Though the hot springs are natural, they have been channeled into small private baths at two neighboring sitesâ??a resort hotel and a nearby campground. The ho
  • Cloud Forest
    Parque Nacional Bosque de Fray Jorge is a cloud forest odyssey set high atop the cliffs of the Chilean coast. The park is essentially a mountain with two faces, one dry and one which is misted daily by the clouds rolling in from the Pacific Ocean. In the lush forest looking out across the baron dese
  • Museo de Historia Natural y Cultural del Desierto
    Located within the Museo Arqueológico and Etnológico, the Museo de Historia Natural y Cultural de Desierto del Atacama focuses on local paleontology and ecology. There are interesting displays of flora, fauna and pre-Colombian items from the region. And, of course, there is a room dedicated to the
  • Chug Chug
    The Chug Chug geoglyphs are 300 images spread over a hillside 50km west of Chuquicamata. There are circles, human faces and geometric designs and some date from Tiwanaku culture in 1000 AD. Follow the paved highway toward Tocopilla for 20km, then follow the sign for Chug Chug that leads you north do
  • Termas de Chillán
    Termas de Chillán is a poor man's Portillo or Valle Nevado. The slopes of the 3,122-meter Volcán Chillán might not draw the national ski teams but the area generally receives greater snowfall than the more famous mountains to the north and the skiing is still fantastic. The ski area also has the
  • Pinguinera Puñihuil
    There are other places in Chile to see penguins (further south, and also near La Serena), but the Puñihuil islands, off of Chiloé's west coast, are home to both Magellanic and Humboldt species. A plethora of tour agencies offer several daily outings to Puñihuil, with little (or no) variation in t
  • Reserva Nacional Tamango
    Reserva Nacional (RN) Tamango, formerly known as RN Lago Cochrane, protects 6925 hectares of lenga beech-covered landscape carved and polished by retreated glaciers. The main resident is the endangered South Andean deer (huemul). The park is also a major bird habitat. Nine trails lace the park. Some
  • Viu Manent Vineyards
    Don't miss the beautiful vineyards that surround Santa Cruz. The vineyards at Viu Manent are slightly north of the town itself on the Carretera del Vino, but worth a visit. Tour the grounds for an admission fee of approximately $20, sample some wine and grab lunch in the on-site restaurant. Its cuis
  • Sail Through the Patagonian Archipelago
    Navimag Ferries operates a four-day ferry trip south from Puerto Montt to Puerto Natales, the portal city to Parque Nacional Torres del Paine. Aboard either the Puerto Edén or the Evangelistas, passengers are treated to comfortable, hotel-style cabins, onboard entertainment and three meals a day wh
  • Wineries
    Ruta del Vino del Maule Wine connoisseurs will be delighted because there are 15 wineries open to the public within close proximity to Talca. Tours of these wineries, as well as local vineyards, have been dubbed the Ruta del Vino del Maule - there is additional information available at the Sernatur
  • Milla Ruka
    The Mapuche lonko (leader) Millapán led the last battle against the invading Chilean army on November 5-6, 1881 at Wallmapu. In the midst of those blood-soaked fields, the descendents of the defeated Millapán have brought forth their traditions, nourished b
  • Mercado Central
    Talca boasts one of the best markets in middle Chile. On the Mercado Central located on 1 Sur between 5 Oriente and 4 Oriente, locals hawk a wide assorment of knick-knacks, handicrafts, fruit, veggies, meat, used books and clothes. The interior of the market is lined with various cafés, some with o
  • Reserva Nacional Altos de Lircay
    The Altos del Lircay, just 6km past the mountain village of Vilches, is an amazing sight in the central cordillera. The native forest still is intact here, and in the distance there are awe-inspiring views of mountains and volcanoes. Hikers will be in heaven with the multiple backcountry hiking opti
  • Valle Chacabuco
    Conservación Patagonia, a non-profit organization, is working to protect 173,000 acres of Patagonian steppe in Valle Chacabuco. With the help of biologists, the environment is being restored to its original balance so the significant South Andean deer, (huemul) population can rebound. This former s
  • Biblioteca Regional
    Coyhaique's Biblioteca Regional is a beautiful new building with all the usual services of a library: books and free internet use (20 minutes). But the one in Coyhaique have some special features. One is the Rincón de Andinismo Gino Buscaini. This multi-lingual collection specializes in books on cl
  • Salto del Laja
    Salto del Laja surely is not Chile's most imposing waterfall, but the cascade is impressive nonetheless. The Río Laja emerges from the Andes and tumbles more than 50 meters down a cliff before it makes its way 40 kilometers west toward the Bio bío at La Laja. It is located near the highway so it i
  • Termas de Puritama
    Approximately 28km from San Pedro de Atacama are the volcanic hot springs Termas de Puritama. These falls and pools of hot water that reach 30 degrees Celsius, produced by the hot water of the Río Puritama, are located in a small canyon. Hotel Explora is in charge of administration of the springs b
  • La Tirana
    In another pampas oasis is La Tirana. This small village is most well-known for its Feast of the Virgen del Carmen, one of the most important in Chile. Every year, over 80,000 faithful come July 12-18. Dances with pre-Hispanic roots are part of the celebration. Iglesia de La Tirana faces the plaza.
  • Tarapacá
    There are three crossings to continue from San Pedro de Atacama into Argentina. The best is the more northern one at Paso de Jama, located approximately 165 kilometers (102 mi) southeast of town and reached via a road through the Salar de Tara. This part is also a sector of the Reserva Nacional de l
  • Geisers del Tatio
    The trip to the world-famous Geisers del Tatio, the world's highest geothermal field (4,300m above sea level) is a once in a lifetime experience. That is, assuming that you watch your step to avoid a fall into scalding waters through the portion of the earth's crust that is too thin to sustain the w
  • Fishing
    Snap, plunk. The fly hits the stream glittering in the summer sun. Cold waters flow around the legs of the fisher meditating on the rod, awaiting that slight tug. Soon a brown or rainbow trout, perhaps a salmon will be hooked, its body bending in mid-air, droplets falling back to the river. These
  • Parque Monumental Bernardo O'Higgins
    Take the short bus ride south along Av. O'Higgins to visit this well-manicured park built in tribute to the famous Chilean liberator. The 60-meter long tiled mural that depicts O'Higgins' life is an impressive, though faded, sight. The mother and sister of O'Higgins are buried at a nearby chapel.
  • To Do and See in the Carretera Austral and Northern Patagonia
    Chile's Carretera Austral and Northern Patagonia is a magical land full of natural and cultural uniqueness. Almost half of the region is protected by national parks and reserves, providing endless opportunities for hiking. The Sendero de Chile extends from the north to the south, allowing for days-l
  • Valle Las Trancas
    Several kilometers before the entrance to Las Termas is a group of more affordable cabins, restaurants and bars with live music set in this small mountain village. And while your room will not be situated directly next to the slopes, the cash savings are considerable and worth it. Las Cabras
  • Catedral
    The architecture of the cathedral built in 1856 by Matias Doggenweiler and August Trauttmann was inspired by the simple lines of the Parthenon in Athens. The church is built of alerce (fitzroya cupressoide) wood and topped with a copper cupola. Rectangular blocks of stained glass form the front wal
  • Parque por la Paz Villa Grimaldi
    This park is a place of great historical importance in Chile. Once a symbol of independence, it is where the founding fathers of Chile came to draw up ideas for freedom from Spain. In the late 1800s and mid 1900s it was used as a meeting place for intellectuals, artists and politicians. Then, durin
  • Rafting
    The Cajón del Maipo area is a popular spot for rafters looking for some action near the capital. The top destinations in the country are found on the Río Futaleufú and the Río Bío Bío, first-class destinations which attract top rafters from around the world.
  • Horseback riding excursions
    Located just 3 km northwest of Puerto Natales in Puerto Bories, Estancia Travel offers "horse riding at the end of the world" packages, ranging from a short 2-hour afternoon rides to a ten-day Patagonian adventure. All trips include transfers, a bilingual guide, equipment, and most include meals as
  • Vista Paine Horseback Tours
    Vista Paine Horseback Tours organizes multi-day horseback rides in and around Torres del Paine from 35 usd (2 hours) to 350 usd (2 days and nights) all inclusive. English speaking staff can organize transportation, cabins and custom programs.
  • Horseback riding
    All hiking routes can also be accessed on horseback. Highly recommended are Cabalgatas Pantu (Located in Hotel Pikera Uri, Tel: 56-32-2100577, URL: www.rapanuitourismopantu.cl). They cater to groups only (minimum 3 people), have well-kept horses and run full- and half-day tours all around the island
  • Cerro Carlos Condell
    This little hill on the eastern side of town offers decent views at almost 100 meters high, which makes it a nice spot to take pictures. There is also a picnic area to spend a few hours relaxing while eating a packed lunch with the family. And while here, do not forget to check out the interesting s
  • Costanera Walking Tour
    From the bus terminal, a broad malecón hugs the sound's coast. Westward, it ends at the dock for Isla Tenglo boats. Walking East, the promenade passes many places of interest, before arriving to downtown Puerto Montt. Next to the bus terminal is an ochre-colored building trimmed in brick. This is
  • Beaches
    Vacationers from around South America and the world flock to Viña beaches during summer months (late December to late March). Put on a bathing suit and soak up rays on one of the many Viña beaches, or walk or take a bus to Reñaca (about three miles away) and Concón for more beautiful beaches. I
  • Punta De Lobos
    On two rock towers just off cactus-studded Punta de Lobos, pelicans rest between fishing jaunts. The sea rises in high waves before foaming around the stone outcroppings. Atop the heights of the point, spectators watch surfers bobbing in the platinum-blue water, waiting to hang on one of the ol
  • Surfing and Kite surfing in Chile
    With its consistently powerful surf, world-class swells and minimal chances of shark attacks, Chile is a great destination to ride the waves. There are ideal spots in the northern and central regions. It is possible to surf practically all year round but April to October is generally thought to b
  • Surfing on Easter Island
    If you fancy donning your wetsuit and hitting the surf, Make Make is the best option. Two hour lessons start at $60, while experts can hire boards for $30-40 per half day with or without wetsuit. Waves are good all year round, but true thrill seekers might find them a little tame. The rocky coast m
  • Horseback Riding
    In the saddle, swaying with the rhythm of your horse is another way to take in the spectacular scenery at a slower pace. It is also a wonderful way to meet the huasos (cowboys), campesinos and Mapuche indigenous villages of the Pucón region. Some common destinations are Liucura and Quelhue. It is a
  • Horseback Riding
    Horseback riding (cabalgatas) is another way to delve into the countryside surrounding Futaleufú. Some favorite destinations are Laguna Espejo, Valle de los Reyes, Lago Espolón, Valle del Noroeste and Reserva Nacional Futaleufú. When Volcán Chaitén erupt
  • Ciénagasa de Parinacota
    Bofedal de Parinacota, also called Ciénagasa de Parinacota, is a major wetland on the northern Chilean altiplano. The principal flora are paja brava (festus, Festuca spp) and evergreen mosses like llareta (Azorella compacta). Alpaca (Lama pacos), llama (Lama glama) and other animals water at the la
  • Las Cuevas
    A 1.3 kilometer (0.8 mi) path from Las Cuevas ranger station passes through bofedales (wetlands) where the vizcacha (Lagidium viscacia), the Pato Jergón Chico (Brown Pintail, Anas georgica spinicauda), the
  • Mirador
    One way to get yourself ready to climb and trek in Parque Nacional Lauca and the other reserves is to take a hike up to the mirador, or lookout point just northeast of Putre's town center. From atop you'll have tremendous vistas of the whitewashed village squatting on the plain below. Immediately be
  • Parque Nacional Fray Jorge
    Declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1977, the nearly 10,000 hectares of land comprising Fray Jorge National Park are best known for 400 hectares of dense temperate rain forest along the coast. This Valdivian forest (so-called because of the Valdivia province in southern Chile where these
  • Hiking
    Several day hikes can be made from Futaleufú. The shortest one is around Laguna Espejo on the eastside of town. Off this path is one that goes up to Cerro Mirador. Another viewpoint is Mirador de la Virgen, a 131-meter (426-ft) knoll southeast of town. Following Calle Aguirre Cerda west out of the
  • Mirador Canela
    Villarrica's hustling main drag can get to be a bit too much at times. Make a great escape to the natural lookout point Mirador Canela. From this vantage point, premium views of Volcán Villarrica, the lake and the headwaters of the Río Toltén can be seen. The hill gets its name from Villarrica's
  • Horseback Riding around Santiago
    The best options for horseback riding around Santiago are in the Central Valley. Riding has long been part of the culture here and there are plenty of pastures, peaks and rivers for wanna-be cowboys or cowgirls to explore. Guided trips generally last from several days to a week. Plan to be riding ap
  • Ice Hike
    Rutas Patagonia guides ice hiking and climbing on Glacier Grey inside Torres del Paine National Park, twice daily. Leaving by boat from Refugio Grey or Hosteria Grey, these half day ice programs cost $140 usd per person and includes climbing equipment.
  • Trekking the Dientes Circuit
    The Isla Navarino Dientes Circuit, the southernmost trekking opportunity in the world, is miles beyond any ordinary trekking experience. For the serious hiker, the five-day Dientes Circuit is a chance to experience unique terrain at what is literally the last scrap of land before the legendary Cape
  • Hiking around Rapa Nui
    Rapa Nui offers a number of interesting day hikes. There are three main routes out of Hanga Roa, all easy to find, taking you to different parts of the island. To hike independently, pick up a trail map from Sernatur (Av. Policarpo Toro, Open 8:30 am - 6 pm. Closed weekends), the island's main tou
  • Isla Tenglo
    Where do Puertomontinos go to relax come weekends and holidays? They head right across the narrow channel, Canal de Tenglo, that separates Isla Tenglo from the mainland by only 100-150 meters (325-488 feet). Its broad dark-grey sand is perfect for sunning or beachcombing. Hike up to the giant cross
  • Puerto Deportivo
    If you want to go diving, take a windsurfing class, kayak around the bay, or try your hand at sailing, this is definitely the place to go. Situated at LAT 33° 02' 08'' LON 071° 36' 26' (for those without a GPS, this is on Paseo Muelle Baron), Puerto Deportivo was the first public nautical center t
  • Rafting and Kayaking
    Chile is a great destination for whitewater sports, attracting enthusiasts from around the world. Whether you are interested in rafting or kayaking, Chile offers first-class spots. Where to go? Central region There are some good rafting options around Santiago. Th
  • Whitewater Rafting and Kayaking
    From around the world experts come to dip the paddle into Río Futaleufú and take the ride of their lives from the Entrada Rapids through the "Throne Room", the "Infierno" (22 km/14 miles, Class III-IV) and the "Terminator" (7 km/4.2 miles, Class V) which earned its name when the first rafters cras
  • Birdwatching in Chile
    Chile, with its wide variety of ecological zones and climates, is a birdwatching hotspot. And how could it not be? On one side, you've got the mighty Pacific Ocean, rich feeding ground for sea birds of all sorts. On the other side, you have the majestic Andes Mountains, home to the condor as well as
  • Seno Otway Penguin Colony
    The large inland sound of Seno Otway, just 65 km (40 miles) north from Punta Arenas, offers visitors a chance to watch the charming 8,000 or so Magellanic penguins (also called Jackass penguins) march from their burrows and dive into ocean. The viewing platforms offer vistas of the mountains across
  • Mountain Biking near Pucón
    In the countryside around Pucón are many natural wonders. Some are only accessible in private vehicleâ??or by bike. Popular day outings are the waterfalls Ojos de Caburgua, the Cuevas Volcánicas, a series of cascades on the road to Palguín and the hot springs that steam across the landscape. Spi
  • Bicycling Rapa Nui
    Cycling is an excellent way to discover the island. Bikes can be rented at numerous outlets along Av. Atamu Tekena. Make Make (Av. Atamu Tekena, www.makemakerapanui.com, open 9am - 1pm and 4 pm - 8 pm) has the best selection and offers
  • Ferries and Boat Trips
    Puerto Natales is a popular launch point for boats and ferries that head into the icy waters of Southern Chile to explore the fjords, glaciers, channels, mountains, indigenous lake-shore forests, and historic towns of the Patagonia region. Many companies offer chances to sportfish, cross-country tre
  • Glacier Grey
    Glacier Grey is a 270 km2 (168m2) glacier located at the north end of Lago Grey. The easiest way to experience Glacier Grey is aboard the Grey II, which takes travelers from Hosteria Lago Grey, through a field of house-sized chunks of neon blue ice, to the 40-meter-high face of the glacier. The boat
  • Lago Pehoé
    Lago Pehoé, though acting as a serene foreground to the jagged Cuernos del Paine, offers little in the way of activity; mostly, it is a starting (or ending) point for various excursions through Torres del Paine National Park. Hikers on the W and Circuit trails will have to cross it via a 45-minute
  • Lago Grey Navigation
    This four hour navigation tour over Lago Grey is a great way to see the 40 meter head wall of ice on Glacier Grey in Torres del Paine National Park. This 'sight seeing' tour costs roughly $75 usd and tickets can be purchased from any of the booking agencies in Puerto Natales of directly from Hosteri
  • Monumento Nacional de los Cisnes
    Just five kilometers (3 miles) north of Porvenir is Monumento Nacional de los Cisnes, a 25-hectare reserve. This lagoon is an important spot for diverse aquatic and shore birds, such as the Flamenco Chileno (Chilean flamingo, Phoenicopterus chilensis) and the Cisne de Cuello Negro (black-necked swa
  • Laguna de Cotacotani
    Lagunas de Cotacotani is a mosaic of turquoise-blue lakes scattering the altiplano northeast of the pueblo of Parinacota. Lago Cotacotani, the centerpiece of the group, is one of Parque Nacional Lauca's largest lakes. It is fed by infiltration from Lago Chungará. Cotacotani is a major avifauna habi
  • Chañarcillo
    The ruins of the mining town of Chañarcillo can be visited on a day trip from Copiapó. When silver was found in Chañarcillo in the 1800s, the population of the whole area boomed.
  • The Q Circuit Trek
    Everyone knows about 'The W' in Torres del Paine. Then there's the full Circuit. Starting with The W, then around the backside
  • The W Trek
    The most highly trekked route in Torres del Paine National Park is called the ‘W', which earns its name after its trail system that zig-zags up and down the mountain valleys: from Campamento Grey, on the west side of the park, down and around into Valle Frances, then down and around again, thro
  • The Sendero de Chile in Parque Nacional Puyehue
    An important part of the Sendero de Chile connects with a trail in Parque Nacional Pérez Rosales, bordering PN Puyehue to the south. The trail covers 75 kilometers (45 miles) and is divided into two legs: Anticura - Antillanca (Distance: 50 kilometers / 30 miles, Difficulty: medium to high): This
  • Pictografías de Vilacaurani
    For millennia indigenous peoples have lived and traveled in the area, wending trails between the altiplano and the coast. Wherever they went, they left behind artwork. These pinturas rupestres (rock paintings) served to help guide journeyers or were created for religious reasons. West of Putre are t
  • Ruinas de Huanchaca
    The hillside at the southern end of Av. Argentina was once the foundation of a 19th-century British-Bolivian silver refinery. Take colectivo 3 from downtown, ask to be dropped at the Minas de Plata, to take in some spectacular views of the city.
  • Cerro Guane Guane
    Cerro GuaneGuane is one of the several volcanoes that you can see from the village of Parinacota. This 5,097-meter (3,058 ft) tall mountain is a non-demanding all-day hike from the pueblo below. Once atop the hill, you'll be awarded with incredible views of snowy volcanoes and jewel lagoons strewn a
  • Paragliding in Iquique
    Like Icarus, visitors to the city can strap on wings and go soaring above the bay of Iquique. Paragliding, or parapentismo, gives flyers a bird's eye view of the nitrate flats and geoglyphs decorating the landscape. At Alto Hospicio upon the heights of Iquique, before the road plunges down to the p
  • Puerto Hambre (Port Famine)
    Though the area around Puerto Hambre (Port Famine) is beautiful, the story of the area is bleak. All that remains of the Spanish outpost of Rey Don Felipe is the ruins of a church, which was originally built in 1584 by Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa and his 300 Spanish colonists, who arrived in Chile aft
  • Tambo de Catarpe
    Travel an additional 4km past Pukará de Quitor and find the ruins of Catarpe - an interesting place, though most believe it is not worth the trip as they pale in comparison to the closer Pukará de Quitor.
  • Pukará de Quitor
    Pukará de Quitor are the ruins of a 12th-century fortress originally built on a steep hillside on the Río San Pedro to protect locals. Indigenous forces attempted to repel Pedro de Valdivia's conquest but succumbed to the attack and lost the battle in 1540.
  • Ojos del Salado
    Though it is not part of Parque Nacional Nevado Tres Cruces, Ojos del Salado forms the highest peak in Chile and highest active volcano in the world at 6,893 meters. Do not worry too much about being buried in lava because the last two eruptions occurred in 1937 and 1956. The ascent of Ojos del Sala
  • Parque Metropolitano
    Covering 728 hectares, Parque Metropolitano is one of the largest parks in Chile. It is spread over several hills, including Cerros San Cristóbal, Chacarillas, Gemelos and Pirámide. The summit at Cerro San Cristóbal is 860 meters above sea level and crowned with a 14-meter-high statue of the Virg
  • Iglesia de los Jesuitas
    Walking down Gallardo Street, most people just pass by this yellow church next to a school. Take a step back, though, and Iglesia de los Jesuitas' architecture becomes more interesting. Upon the knoll behind is a campanario, or bell tower. Built in 1872, this hidden treasure of Puerto Montt has somb
  • Funicular
    On a clear day, the view from the top of Cerro San Cristóbal is spectacular, providing the best view of the stunning contrast between Santiago and its surrounding mountains. The hill is a popular ride for bikers on nice days, though the steep incline makes for a strenuous trip. Perhaps the easiest
  • Iglesia San Pedro
    Iglesia San Pedro built in 1744 on the western edge of the Plaza de Armas is one of the most interesting Andean churches in the region. The bell tower was added in the late 19th century, and the adobe walls that surround the church were rebuilt, as well.
  • Católica del Norte
    There are a variety of artifacts and items relating to the Norte Grande on display here from the Catholic University.
  • Iglesia Hanga Roa
    The island's Catholic Church overlooks Hanga Roa from a small hill on the northern side of town. Inside, intricate wood carvings combine Rapa Nui culture and Christian traditions. There's also a particularly interesting Sunday morning service in the Rapa Nui language. Everyone's invited and it has b
  • Onaisín and Estancia Caleta Josefina
    Onaisín was the town associated with Estancia Caleta Josefina and part of its extensive holdings, which also included Pueblo Nuevo. The estancia was founded by the Sociedad Explotadora de Tierra del Fuego as a sheep ranch in 1893. Caleta Josefina was one of the most successful ranches in Tierra del
  • Parque Nacional Nevado Tres Cruces
    Parque Nacional Nevado Tres Cruces hosts some incredible sights. It includes two separate sectors of the high Andes which total approximately 60,000 hectares about 4,500 meters above sea level. Both protect wetlands and surrounding areas, home to a variety of wildlife. Flamingos that summer here sco
  • Estancia San Gregorio
    Estancia San Gregorio is a relic of the 19th-century Menéndez wool empire in Chilean Patagonia, a nearly-abandoned compound of yellow buildings lining Ruta 255 about 125km (78mi) northeast of Punta Arenas. San Gregorio reached its peak between 1910 and 1930 producing, along with wool, mutton, hides
  • Posada Hostería Río Verde
    Posada Hostería Río Verde sits about 60km (37.3mi) northwest of Punta Arenas on an estancia dating to the 1800s, where many of the historic buildings still stand. Guests can enjoy the frozen-in-time feel of the lodge by riding horseback over the grounds, learning the ins and outs of sheep and catt
  • Fuerte Bulnes
    Located approximately 56 kilometers south of Punta Arenas, the original Fuerte Bulnes fort was the first Patagonian settlement in the area. Built in 1843 by the crew of the Ancud, a Chilean vessel was sent to the area to claim & occupy the territory. The modern fort, reconstructed 100 years later i
  • Train Station
    This dark green train station, which was once a stop on the Antofagasta-La Paz railway, has been restored, though it is not open to the public. Its floor dates from1887 and the upper floor from 1900. Freight trains now run through here but it is possible to catch a glimpse of some older trains throu
  • Torre Reloj
    No, you have not just been teleported to London if you spot Big Ben in Chile - you are looking at Torre Reloj in Antofagasta. British residents erected this replica of London's Big Ben in 1910.
  • Templo Votivo de Maipú
    Templo Votivo de Maipú, built between 1944 and 1974, is a huge Catholic temple erected on a historical site that dates back to the early 1800s. Bernardo O'Higgins commissioned a church dedicated the Virgen del Carmen to commemorate Chile's success in the Maipú battlefields and the country's progre
  • Palacio Cousiño
    Palacio Cousiño was built between 1870 and 1878 by French architect Paul Lathoud. It was originally the family home of Santiago's richest family, the Cousiño-Goyenecheas, who made their fortune from coal and silver mines and the Cousiño-Macul Vineyard, which they still own. In 1940, the property
  • Palacio de la Alhambra
    Palacio de la Alhambra is a Moorish-style palace designed and built by Manuel Aldunate between 1860 and 1862. Like most of Santiago's architecture from this period, it was heavily influenced by European style. In this case, the original Palacio de la Alhambra in Granada provided inspiration, right d
  • Iglesia de los Sacramentinos
    The huge Iglesia de los Sacramentinos (The Church of the Blessed Sacrament) overlooks Parque Diego de Almagro and makes for a good photo opportunity. Work started on the Roman Byzantine basilica in 1912 under the command of architect Ricardo Larrain Bravo and was completed in 1931. The church was de
  • Escuela México
    Chillán endured a devastating earthquake in 1939 so the Mexican government donated money to build Escuela México. However, the generosity did not stop there. Pablo Neruda directed two famous Mexican artists - David Alfaro Siqueiros and Xavier Guerrero - to decorate the main staircase and library w
  • Estación de Ferrocarril
    The Estación de Ferrocarril is noteworthy because of modernist architect Luis Herreros' columns on the façade. Another appealing feature of this train station is Gregorio de la Fuente's striking mural Latidos y Rutas de Concepción, which depicts natural disasters that have ravaged the city over
  • Estación de ferrocarril
    This train station was originally built in 1850 - and shows the wear and tear to prove it. This unique piece of architecture was the terminus for South America's first railroad.
  • Iglesia Catedral
    Iglesia Catedral is an English-designed church perched on the southwest corner of the Plaza Prat. It was given a three-tiered tower and a tiered wooden steeple by British architect William Rogers.
  • Palacete Viña de Cristo
    Although now it belongs to the Universidad de Atacama, this palace once was the premier place to live in Copiapó. It was built in 1860 by Apolinario Soto - who made his fortune as the owner of Tres Puntas silver mine. The mansion is made of Old-World materials from Europe with a mix of classical an
  • Museo Palacio Rioja
    Museo Palacio Rioja is a French neoclassical mansion that was once home to rich Spanish banker Fernando Rioja. The ornate house was built between 1906 and 1910. It features Corinthian style columns, a grand double staircase and stone carvings. The original gardens spread over four blocks. The buildi
  • Escuela de Minas
    The Escuela de Minas (School of Mines) located west of town is now home to the Universidad de Atacama. Railroad enthusiasts cannot miss the attention-grabbing black-and-yellow Locomotion Copiapó that rests at the school.
  • Cerro San Cristobal
    For a spectacular view of the city of Santiago, take the teleférico up to the top of Cerro San Cristóbal. There you will find the large statue of the Virgin Mary, which can be seen from most of the city, but not this close up. The Cerro San Cristobal hill is situated in Metropolitan Park, which is
  • Havana Salsa
    This might be about as close to Cuba as a traveler from the United States can get legally. The Havana-themed décor culminates in a dance floor where veteran and amateur salsa dancer congregate. The club also schedules some impressive live shows, so check ahead.
  • Club de Jazz
    Club de Jazz is a nice spot to relax and listen to live jazz music in Ñuñoa. The atmosphere is relaxed and the drink service is quick. The bar often has international musicians who jam in the small, intimate, and usually packed, space. Local jazz artists also put on a pretty good show at this club
  • Farinelli
    At Farinelli, waiters serve drinks in G-strings for the gay crowd, which also hosts ensemble drag shows. Should you go there and find that the service is not exactly to your taste, try one of the good ice creams instead.
  • Jardín Botánico Mapulemu
    Set in Parque Metropolitano, Jardín Botánico Mapulemu covers an area of about four hectares and has more than 80 species of native plants and trees. There is also a waterfall, duck pond and medicinal plant garden. The sculpted gardens offer great views of the city and are a peaceful spot to recove
  • Casino
    The casino in Viña was opened in 1930 and is the oldest and most popular in the country. The impressive building is set among lovely gardens. The casino is open 24 hours and features 1,500 gaming machines and ninety game tables. The casino also has a bar, a nightclub and three restaurants. In 2002
  • Casino Puerto Varas
    Each Chilean region is allowed one casino and Puerto Varas is the Lakes Region's choice for gambling. This classy, stylish, modern building is a stone's throw away from the lake. It offers over 300 slot machines, roulette, black jack, crap tables, royal 21, bingo, and anything else that would be fo
  • Hiking around Santiago
    Being so close to the Andes, Santiago offers some decent hiking options just outside the city. Portillo, along with numerous ski resorts, offers travelers fine hiking oportunities when it is not ski season. The Cajón del Maipo area, in particular San Alfonso, is a good hiking destination. Another f
  • Plaza de Armas
    The Plaza de Armas is a must-see as it is one of the best central plazas in the country with its towering Canary Island palm trees planted throughout the square. Residents of the â??Big Easyâ? will feel at home with on the northern side of the plaza where there is a green, wrought-iron bandstand
  • Plaza de los Heroes
    Named to commemorate the town's patriot soldiers led by Bernardo O'Higgins, the Plaza de los Heroés is the center of Rancagua. Cafés offering helados line the east side of the square. Browse for handicrafts, jewelry, used books and hand-knit sweaters at the small market adjacent to Iglesia Catedra
  • Plaza Italia
    Plaza Italia is literally the center of downtown Santiago. It's a meeting point for people from all over the city and is where Santiaguinos gather to support national sporting events or make political protests. The plaza is quite inappropriately named, since it's actually not a plaza but more of a h
  • 777
    This is probably not the most comfortable place to drink for gringos over 25. It is truly a youthful scene where beer crates double as seats and the majority of the college-aged patrons don red-streaked hair or heavy metal T-shirts. But the beer is cheap, so if you're feeling carefree swing in for a
  • Miradores
    On the highlands of the city are two miradores giving views of the city rolling down to the shores of the Straits and across the Estrecho de Magallanes to the mythical land of Tierra del Fuego. Mirador de los Soñadores is a small park on the median of Avenida Colón. The second look-out point, Cerr
  • Jardin Botánico Nacional
    Jardin Botánico Nacional is Chile's national botanical garden. It covers an area of 40 hectares and is home to over 3,000 native and exotic plants species. The park is a great place to enjoy a relaxing walk and picnic. The gardens were badly damaged by wildfires a few years ago so barbecues and ope
  • Laberinto
    A crowd of Santiago's hippest and stylish often gathers at this club in Ñuñoa. Laberinto has several dance floors with varying sounds such as indie, rock, techno or house music. While it is the cool place to be, entrance is not cheap.
  • Parque O'Higgins
    Parque O'Higgins, named after Chile's liberator, covers an area of 77 hectares and is Santiago's second largest park. It used to be the playground for the rich, but is now popular with the working class, especially on the weekends and holidays. There is plenty of green space where you can walk, cycl
  • Parque Quinta Normal
    Quinta Normal is one of Santiago's most popular parks, covering an area of 40 hectares in the west part of the city. It has several walkways, a small boating lake, a skate park and go-karts to rent. It's also home to four museums, including the Natural History Museum, Artequin Museum (that features
  • Quinta Vergara
    Quinta Vergera, originally the estate of the prosperous Vergara family, is a public park in the centre of Viña del Mar. It features several acres of lovely landscaped gardens, as well as the Palacio Vergera, which was rebuilt after the 1906 earthquake. Palacio Vergera is now the Museo Municipal de
  • Maestra Vida
    alseros looking to get their salsa fix while in Santiago should try out Maestra Vida, located on the busy Pio Nono strip. DJs play primarily salsa music (with a bit of traditional Cueca and Vallenato thrown in as the night progresses), and the local crowd is glad to show newcomers the ropes. The dan
  • Las Vizcachas
    There is a shrine to the folk saint Difunta Correa located past the Carabineros police station at Las Vizcachas. Also, as a throwback to 1960s United States pop culture, there is also a drive-in movie theater called the Autocine.
  • Vineyards around Santiago
    Viña Concha y Toro Viña Concha y Toro is the largest and best-known winery in Chile. The grapevines here originally came from France when local politician and businessman Don Melchor Concha y Toro planted the Bordeaux product on these beautiful grounds in Pirque. The tour includes a coup
  • Hipódromo
    Founded in 1904, the Hipódromo is the other horse racing track in Santiago. Live racing takes place on Saturdays and Thursdays. Located in Independencia, it isn't as romantic a location as Club Hípico, but many punters prefer the dirt track.
  • Club Hípico
    Opened in 1870, Club Hípico was Santiago's first horseback riding club. The original building, inspired by the Long Champs Riding Club in France, was destroyed in a fire in 1892. It was subsequently rebuilt and reopened in 1923. In its heyday, Club Hípico was considered the playground of the elite
  • Diving and snorkeling
    Once you've conquered the land-based activities, there's a vast underwater world to explore. Mike Rapu Diving Centre organizes dives four times daily to the south-west of the island ($60-70) and rents high-quality, modern equipment (included in the price). They also run night dives ($90) and PADI co
  • Centro de Ski El Fraile
    Casa Mawenko is an adorable hostel perfect for young travelers looking for budget accommodation. The owner, who speak English, have put their heart and soul into the multiple rooms, giving it an artsy, eclectic appeal. Casa Mawenko is more like staying at a good friend's house than a hostel. The own
  • Skiing
    Portillo boasts the best reputation for international skiing in Chile. The United States, Italian and Austrian Olympic teams come to these magnificent hills next to the alpine lake Laguna del Inca near the Argentine border for summer training on slopes with altitudes that range from 2590m - 3310m,