Dream destinations occupy every inch of Chile’s extended land. Travelers can choose from the dry-bone Atacama Desert in the north, the snow-capped Andes to the east, the wild Patagonia in the south and the vast Pacific Ocean to the west. After reading about Chile’s dramatic features, you will understand why Lonely Planet declared Chile, “The Best Destination for Travel in 2018.”
The Atacama Desert
The “World’s Driest Desert” lie in the Best Destination for Travel this year, as The Atacama Desert intrigues international travelers with its unique terrain. Within the 41,000 square miles of land, guests can experience the spurting geysers (best visited at dawn), surf down the golden dunes, traverse the unique rock formations, wave hello to the flamingos that flock around the brightly colored lagoons and stargaze at night. There’s no shortage of activity here.
Best Time to Visit: For the best stargazing opportunities, visit during April to September. During these months, the Milky Way’s glittering collection of stars makes a special appearance in the nighttime sky.
Cajón del Maipo
Cajón del Maipo is an Andean playground. Rafting tours, trekking tours, and other exciting activities can be found here. Set up camp by the rushing river, and then embark on a trekking adventure to San Francisco Glacier. Then, stop by the geothermal baths of Banos Morales to unwind after a busy day of sightseeing. There’s no better way to end your day.
Best Time to Visit: If snowsports are what you’re looking for, visit Cajón de Maipo during the winter season. It is during this time that guests can ski or snowboard down the side of the mountain!
Another reason Chile is the Best Destinaton for Travel in 2018 is because the Chilean Patagonia is home to dazzling fjords and sharp Andean peaks – a scenic spot where adventurous spirits thrive. Travel to Punta Arenas, a city near the tip of Chile’s Patagonia region. This is where experienced climbers and casual day hikers set forth on the trails in the surrounding area. To best connect with nature, visit Torres del National Park, where you can discover granite peaks, glaciers, and waterfalls. For more information, read Patagonia Travel Tips for Complete Beginners.
Best Time to Visit: Visit Chilean Patagonia during the summer season (November to early March). The weather is ideal for hiking and trekking explorations. Book in advance and stay at the luxurious Tierra Patagonia Lodge or the original Patagonia Camp.
For a unique and colorful experience, visit Valparaíso – a small city and active seaport residing about 70 miles northwest of Santiago on the Pacific Ocean coast. View a panoramic display of Valparaíso from the top of one of the conveniently located funiculars. Then, immerse yourself in Valparaíso’s outdoors art exhibition by simply strolling by the vibrant murals showcased on the sides of buildings and homes. To complete your visit here, opt for a guided boat ride where you can see smiling sea lions sunbathing on the rockery.
Best Time to Visit: Valparaíso’s location, in the central region of Chile, offers guests a warm, Mediterranean climate – ideal for visitors, at any time of the year.
Santiago is a metropolis with a view, set in a valley surrounded by snow-capped Andean peaks and the Chilean coastal range. Head out for a day of sightseeing, taking in the museums, the grand architecture, and the various neighborhoods (each exuding their own unique, flavor). Then engage in an afternoon picnic in one of the gorgeous hillside parks that punctuate the city’s landscape.
Best Time to Visit: Santiago is located in the middle region of Chile, offering a temperate climate year-round.
Chile is a best destination for travel in 2018 because it has become a worldwide producer of wine, catering to ever more sophisticated palates. Sample rich reds, crisp whites and floral rosés on a winery tour in the Colchagua Valley. The Colchagua Valley is host to excellent red wine varieties. Sip on Cabernet Sauvignon, Carménère, and Syrah on a wine tasting tour. Then learn about the history of wine production in the region, which dates back to the 16th-century. Today, there are 14 wineries in the area for guests to tour and taste test.
Best Time to Visit: Wineries in the Colchagua Valley offer tours and tastings year-round, but the best time to go is October – May for both the weather and harvest. For more information, read Why South America is the Hot New Destination, which features helpful tips on wining and dining in Santiago, Chile.