Chile Tours - A Few Things to Consider Chile is a land of extreme contrasts and stunning natural beauty. From the arid landscapes of the Atacama Desert, to the rugged peaks of Torres del Paine, and from the volcanoes of the Lake District to the glaciers of Patagonia, Chile is an adventure travel mecca. Chile adventure tours often include hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, whitewater rafting, and other outdoor pursuits. However, Chile tours also offers many cultural appeals and is one of the safest, wealthiest, and most stable countries in South America. From the street art and colorful architecture of Valparaiso and the award-winning wineries of the Maipo and Colchagua Valleys, to the enigmatic Moia statues on Easter Island, a tour to Chile has something to offer everyone.
Years ago, many visitors would pass through Santiago, the biggest city in Chile, as quickly as they could. However, today Santiago is a thriving, vibrant city full of art galleries, farm to table restaurants, wine bars, leafy parks, and trendy neighborhoods. A sprawling mass of skyscrapers mixed in with colonial architecture and surrounded by snow-capped mountains, no visit to Santiago would be complete without a climb to the top of Cerro San Cristobal for a view over the city. We can also arrange day trips into the nearby wine valleys (Casablanca, Maipo, Colchagua) to experience firsthand Chile’s signature wines. Our local guides are always checking out new wineries and dining options to keep your Chile tour fresh and unique. Or make a day trip over to the picturesque coastal town of Valparaiso. A former trade port, “Valpo” (as the locals call it) is now a bohemian hillside city of brightly-painted houses, funicular railways, and graffiti art.
North of Santiago, the most popular travel destination in Chile is the Atacama desert, just a two hour flight away. From wide, flat saltpans, to jagged mountains and an extremely-arid atmosphere, there are few matches to Atacama's beauty in South America. Atacama's alien landscape continues for miles and miles in every direction. Its expansiveness allows for tons of activities from hiking to off roading, so despite the huge emptiness of the high plateau, you'll never run out of things to do. Be sure to experience sunset at the Valley of the Moon, plus the steaming fumaroles of the El Tatio geysers, and catch a glimpse of flamingos on a salt lagoon.
Your custom Chile tour could focus on the Lake District, an area in the middle of Chile full of active volcanoes, shimmering lakes, scenic waterfalls and national parks. From Pucon to Puerto Varas, the Lake District is the ideal place to relax in a comfortable lakeside hotel each night after a day of outdoor adventure. We can arrange hiking, rafting, biking, fishing, and kayaking tours in the region and self-drive tours are also an option here as the roads are in good condition. There are also some great ski resorts if you’d like to experience Southern hemisphere July skiing! This region is the historic homeland of Chile’s indigenous Mapuche people, but also has a Bavarian flavor from the more recent Bavarian settlers. The island of Chiloe is another highlight, located in the southern Lake District. The island is dotted with many ornate wooden churches built by the Spanish and boldly-painted overwater stilt houses known as “palafitos.” Sample some curanto, a local dish made with seafood, meat, and potatoes, then covered in the leaves of local wild rhubarb and slow cooked over hot stones.
Working our way down the country, brings us to the most popular destination of most Chile tours, the iconic Patagonia. This rugged,remote, and windswept region at the end of South America is full of extreme beauty. From calving glaciers to the spires of Torres Del Paine, Patagonia is a hiker’s dream. We offer many types of tours into Torres Del Paine National Park, from multi-day trekking and camping tours to multi-sport (kayak, bike, horseback ride) luxury glamping or hotel-based trips. We also work with the best local cruise companies for those wanting to explore Tierra del Fuego by boat, gliding past glaciers and penguin colonies. The grasslands of the Patagonian steppe are also home to herds of guanacos (similar to llamas) and local gauchos (cowboys). No Patagonia tour is complete without a sheep-shearing experience on a local ranch!
Finally, for those with extra time or looking for a truly unique travel destination, the far flung island of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) will not disappoint. Easter Island is a 5-hour flight from mainland Chile and over 1000 miles from the nearest island. A tiny speck in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, isolated from the rest of civilization, the former Polynesian inhabitants thrived. The main attraction are the famous stone statues (moai) with huge sculpted faces that are scattered across the island. Learn about the theories behind their mysterious origins and the complicated history of the Rapa Nui, the aboriginal people of the island.This open air museum is a testament to the capacity of humans to create and adapt.
Our custom tours in Chile include top-notch local guides, unique and authentic experiences, and some of the best eco-friendly lodges on the planet. Tours in Chile South America are known for sophisticated food and wine, a passionate Latin culture, extreme and wild beauty, amazing outdoor adventures, and so much more. Let one of our Global Basecamps Chile travel specialists help you plan a memorable custom trip to Chile today!