From soaring mountains, dry deserts, forest lakes, and fjords, Chile has it all. Chile stretches along South America’s west coast in a narrow strip, which means the coast is never far away.
Here are the 5 popular places to visit in Chile.
Rapa Nui National Park, Easter Island
Easter Island, with its mysterious giant Moai head statues, is Chilean territory and can be reached by plane from Santiago. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it is one of the most beautiful and fascinating Polynesian islands in the world.
The UNESCO-listed Rapa Nui National Park is a must-visit for anyone who goes to Easter Island and is one of the best places to view moai. These statues are representations of deified ancestors and have become known around the world for their distinctive facial features.
Mercado Central, Santiago
Address: San Pablo, Santiago, Región Metropolitana, Chile
The Mercado Central, or Central Market of Santiago, is one of the country’s most celebrated markets and also an eye-opening view into the everyday life of urban Chileans. The market is especially famous for the sale of fish, which is unsurprising given the centrality of the sea in Chile.
You’ll also find fruits, vegetables, pastries, and souvenirs on sale, and be able to sit down to an affordable meal surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the local population. Just avoid the food stalls that are targeted at tourists in the centre of the market in favour of those on the edge.
Chile is a major producer of New World wine, and wine fans should not miss the chance to visit one of the country’s wine valleys.
Colchagua Valley is located in central Chile, about two hours’ drive from Santiago, and is considered one of the best wine-growing regions in the country.
There are many options for exploring the wine valley. You can opt to take a guided tour, rent a car and drive to the wineries independently or even rent a bicycle and explore the area on two wheels, which is probably the most affordable option.
Cajon del Maipo
Chile is known for its mountains, and Cajon del Maipo, which is located just 25km from Santiago, enables you to hike one of the country’s famed mountain reserves without having to travel too far.
Whether you are an adrenaline junkie keen to try bungee-jumping, bouldering, canyoning or rafting, or simply wish to enjoy nature and try some local food at a relaxed pace, you’ll be able to do so in the stunning setting of Cajon del Maipo.
La Sebastiana Museo de Pablo Neruda, Valparaiso
Address: Ferrari 692, Valparaíso
Pablo Neruda, Nobel Prize-winning poet, and a politician is probably Chile’s most famous cultural export. Fans will want to visit the museum dedicated to him in Valparaíso, housed in his delightfully quirky former home. Neruda even wrote a poem about the inauguration of the house, titled “La Sebastiana”.
Even if you are not familiar with his life and work, visiting his house will give you some valuable insight into one of Chile’s most iconic figures, while enabling you to enjoy a fascinating collection of art and artifacts and fantastic views over Valparaíso.
Buy travel insurance
Before travelling to Chile, keep yourself safe with travel insurance from HL Assurance. Check out our website for the latest deals and promotions, and to compare our travel insurance plans.