Stretching up the western coast of South America, Chile is tall, skinny, and home to a huge diversity of terrain. There are a lot of reasons to fall in love with this country, but it’s the unique and exciting geography that gets us every time. Deserts, mountains, coast, salt plains, glaciers, forests, islands, lakes, volcanoes – the list of natural wonders is as long as the country itself.
To get to grips with the extraordinarily varied landscape in this beautiful bit of the world, here’s a little intro to the sort of terrain that could provide you with your next adventure.
The Atacama Desert is the driest of its kind. Imagine standing in the middle of a great expanse of barren sand and stone terrain, with nothing but miles of deserts landscape as far as the eye can see? It’s almost otherworldly, and the list of sandy adventures you can have here are endless. Hike through the Valle de la Luna to see the weird and wonderful salt, sand and stone formations that decorate the desert, or hop on a bike and explore little towns such as San Pedro de Atacama before heading out into the Wilderness. There are many ways to see this unique desert, so there’s really no excuse not to.
The southernmost tip of South America is shared by Argentina and Chile. To reach the end of its Chilean counterpart is like finding yourself at the end of the earth; next stop Antarctica. Dramatic, jagged snow-capped mountains reach out of a lush carpet of deep green and blue. Explore Chilean Patagonia by horseback and you will feel the full force of this ethereal experience, with its breath-taking views everywhere you go. Remote, vast and untameable. Three words that suit the buccaneer perfectly.
The Andes is the longest mountain range in the world. Incredibly long and incredibly high, yes, it is as spectacular as it sounds. What’s more, the Andes offer as much a diversity of experience as Chile itself. Seeing as the mountains stretch from north to south, depending on which part of the country you’re in, you could be gazing upon frozen lakes 4000 meters above sea level, traversing ancient sand dunes, heli skiing down otherwise inaccessible slopes or hiking to incredible peaks. What more could an adventurer want from a natural phenomenon, really?