Travel Tales from Argentina and South America
Chile attracts tourists for its culture and its unique landscapes. The northern part of the country is home to the driest desert in the world, Atacama. Central Chile is home to its capital city, Santiago and is also known for its vineyards. The southern region is well known for its fjords and for the Torres del Paine National Park. But… What is Chile known for? A lot more. Let ‘s find out.
From the highlands to the unexplored southern territories at the end of the world, Chile invites you to live adventures. Maybe you’re interested in the driest desert in the world, or in the only temperate rainforest in South America, or maybe you want to learn about the millenary glaciers waiting to be discovered or its vibrating capital, Santiago.
Whatever your interest in Chile, these cultural and climatic contrasts have marked the identity of the country and its people. Warm, energetic, close and friendly, Chileans share a love for their land, which invites you to build links beyond distances, to live unique experiences, to discover Chile.
Santiago de Chile is a modern and competitive city, which also has natural surroundings ideal for outdoor activities and relaxation. It has a dynamic nightlife, offers many restaurants, designer shops and art galleries to visit.
Within Santiago there are also large parks and natural areas. Being located in a valley, it is surrounded by mountains that offer attractive panoramas such as visiting ski centers during winter, trekking, horseback riding, climbing and much more.
This are the highlights in Santiago:
The Atacama Desert is one of the best known postcards of Chile. And it is that the driest place in the world offers a variety of landscapes and attractions that seem taken from another planet. Here we give you a complete list of what to do in San Pedro de Atacama and its surroundings, located in the Antofagasta Region.
The city of San Pedro seems to have been stopped in time. Here you will find little electricity and limited wifi, an authentic place, but well prepared to serve the more than thousands of visitors that arrive each year. In addition, from San Pedro you will be able to visit lagoons, geysers, salt flats and valleys.
One of the most attractive places to visit in Chile is Easter Island, a remote volcanic island in Polynesia. Its native name is Rapa Nui. It is famous for its archaeological sites, including about 900 monumental statues called “moai”, created by the inhabitants between the 13th and 16th centuries.
The best time to visit is February, to witness the Tapati. This is a festival in which teams hold competitions to honor the Rapa Nui culture.
The patrimonial heart of Chile is Valparaíso, declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco. This port was the most important for international trade until the opening of the Panama Canal.
From that era of economic splendor, important buildings of valuable architecture are preserved -some in good condition and others in total abandonment, plus the old elevators, which are still a means of transport for its inhabitants who live in the hills. T
The picturesque houses that seem to be hanging, the narrow passages and stairways, colorful street murals, sailors’ bars and bohemian cafes are the attractions of this old and dilapidated port, which with its beautiful views has become one of the favorite destinations of travelers.
The Elqui Valley, located 500 kilometers from Santiago, forms the northern border of Chile’s wine regions. Here the climatic conditions for growing grapes are excellent: A well-ventilated and dry valley, as annual rainfall reaches only 130 mm.
It also has an integrated irrigation system (large water ponds connected to each other by channels) and heavy soils, rich in nutrients and capable of storing water. All this allows the harvest of ripe and sweet grapes, from which pisco, the Chilean national drink, is produced. The most widely grown vines in this area are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carménère and Chardonnay, as well as a few hectares dedicated to Syrah.
Feel the exquisite sea breeze and contemplate the immensity of the South Pacific sitting in front of the sea in Puerto Montt. Discover its port identity, salmon farming and its rich gastronomy.
Lover of architecture and structural design? Walk the streets of Puerto Montt and be amazed by its cathedral built in larch wood, the Jesuit church, the Diego Rivera Art House and the Juan Pablo II Museum.
One of the most iconic landscapes in Chile are the spectacular granite peaks up to 2,900 meters high that shape the dramatic peaks that give the park its name: the towers. You can explore them on foot through its trails or riding with Patagonian style through the pampas. Marvel at Lake Gray and sail until you reach its impressive glacier, one of the icons of this Biosphere Reserve.
The park only receives a small number of visitors a year, which allows you to enjoy absolute tranquility in front of dazzling lakes. Get in full contact with nature by observing the more than 100 species that inhabit the different ecosystems of the sector.
It is abrupt, vertiginous, almost aggressive; paved at times, of gravel, dirt and mud in its great majority. Like a nocturnal animal, it glides between fjords and glaciers, volcanoes and mountain ranges, lakes with ocean complexes and rivers so blue they would rival any beach in the Philippines.
It’s called the Carretera Austral, it’s 1,240 kilometers long and it’s one of the reasons why Chile could be the most beautiful country on the planet.
In the vineyards located in the surroundings of the capital Santiago and in the different river valleys of the Andes, noble European strains are mainly grown for the production of export wines, as well as good and even very good wines for national consumption.
Regarding red wines, the most important strains are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carménère, while Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay represent the outstanding grapes for white wine. Chilean red wines have a very fruity, but also aromatic note and are characterized, in most cases, rather by a low tannin content.
Chilean pisco is an alcoholic beverage from the brandy family, belonging to a variety of grape brandy, produced by distilling wine from certain grapes (Vitis vinifera), in the Chilean regions of Atacama and Coquimbo. In Chile it is usually taken with Coca Cola, which gives rise to the name of the drink “piscola” or with Canada Dry, in that case its name is “piscola blanca”.
Plated is a cut of beef, which if you know how to prepare it is usually very soft and tasty. It is a very comforting dish, perfect for a lunch. There are different ways to prepare this recipe, some people make it in the oven, this time I wanted to bring this Silver to the pot. It is very usual to accompany this dish with a creamy corn.
The chorrillana or lomo a la chorrillana or Chorrellana is a dish of Chilean and Peruvian gastronomy. It consists of a plate of French fries in which different types of meat, Viennese and other elements such as eggs or fried onion are mixed, seasonings and salt are added.
An empanada is a thin dough of bread, shortcrust or puff pastry filled with a salty or sweet preparation and baked or fried. The filling can include red or white meat, fish, vegetables, or fruit. In the case of the pine pie, the best known in Chile, it is a traditional meat empanada.
The “mote con huesillos” is a traditional Chilean non-alcoholic drink or dessert, which is composed of a mixture of caramelized peach juice, with wheat mote and dehydrated peaches, called huesillos.
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