One of the most fascinating countries of South America, Chile is a geographically diverse country. Though it is a small country, it is power packed with natural wonders. It has everything from vast stretches of deserts to snow capped volcanic peaks and huge glaciers. The capital city of Santiago is another treat to the travelers. It packs in everything that fits in your travel itinerary. In Santiago, you can begin with sightseeing and continue to enjoy water sports, haggle at the local markets, taste exquisite wine and fall in love with local food.
Here Are The 8 Fantastic Things To Do In Chile:
1. Enjoy The Brilliant Views In Santiago
Santiago, the capital city of Chile, is often the first destination visited by a tourist. The city is surrounded by mountains and hills, offering some of the finest views from above. Whether you wish to hike up a hill to take in the sights and sounds of the city beneath or ride on a bike to explore the city, it is a real treat to your senses. Cerro Santa Lucia is a famous vantage point that offers 360 degree panoramic views of the city and is one of the most unbelievable places in Chile. Besides, you can enjoy brilliant views of Santiago from the 300 meter high Sky Costanera.
Chile’s Lake District is a favourite spot for outdoor lovers. It has plenty of opportunities for trekking, watersports and fishing. The Llanada Grande Valley is the ideal place to enjoy with the entire family and here you can easily go fishing. The temperate rainforests of Patagonia, the huge nature reserve of Pumalin Park and the fantastic biological reserve of Huilo Huilo are other great attractions of this region.
For adventure seekers, hiking up an active volcano can be the perfect adrenaline pumper. Local tour operators arrange hiking tours along one of the world’s most active volcanoes, Volcan Villarrica. Hike up to the top of this volcano to enjoy the surreal beauty of the surrounding areas. While walking down you can choose a thrilling toboggan ride.
While Chile has no dearth of world class shopping malls, there is a completely different feel to bargain shopping. The local La Vega Central Market in Santiago is the finest place to get the best deals. It has a wonderful collection of local items ranging from figs, peaches, custard apples, spices and raspberries to clothing and accessories. Over 500 vendors sell different types of local products at the chaotic market. Do not hesitate to haggle and bargain with the shopkeepers and pick up a few authentic Chilean products from this crowded market in Santiago.
Another outdoor activity that is most preferred by adventure seekers, rafting is a truly enjoyable pastime. It is one of the most popular ways to enjoy nature’s bounty and brilliance. Contact a local tour operator for a guided rafting tour. Many of them arrange week long tours from various places such as Maipo near Santiago, Bio-Bio River in Region VIII and Trancura near Pucon. For hardcore rafters or adrenaline junkies, rafting trips on the Futaleufu River is the ultimate challenge.
Chilean wine is renowned all over the world and if you are in the country, make time to visit its wineries. At a short distance from the country’s capital of Santiago lies one of Chile’s leading wine producing areas. The Rapel Valley has a number of wine producers and tasting tours are offered to visitors. The Curico and Maule Valleys are also famous for its wine and have some of the finest vineyards in the country. The Carmenere and Syrah wines of Chile are quite popular and you must try these.
Chile’s southernmost city of Punta Arenas is the abode of penguins from Antarctica. A picturesque place, it looks like a fairy land with huge icebergs and penguins moving around them. It is a true treat to your eyes and can be one of the finest experiences of your trip. Local tour operators arrange different types of trips and you can also indulge in mountain climbing or skiing.
Like all countries, Chile too has its own delicacies and no trip to a country is complete unless you taste its local cuisine. So head to the local eateries and try the great variety of seafood on offer. Try everything from oysters and clams to sea bass. Also do not forget to sample exotic fruits like pepino dulce, cherimoya or tuna fruit.