Chile is the longest and thinnest country in the world, stretching from the Andes to the Pacific, bordering Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east and the Drake Passage in the far south.
Both cultural and climatic contrasts make Chile a fascinating country to visit, from the high Andean Plateau and rainy temperate forest; to the world’s driest desert and the buzzing capital of Santiago. Such contrasts mean that the wildlife diversity of Chile is substantial. Along its coasts we find whales, dolphins, sea lions, penguins and abundant pelagic birdlife. On land we can hope to observe mammals including guanacos, native deer species and pumas.
The range of activities and adventure options available within Chile is vast. The mountains of Torres del Paine offer fantastic hiking opportunities, whilst the fjords and lakes provide dramatic locations for sea kayaking. The dry yet fascinating scenery of Atacama Desert offers an experience unlike anywhere else on planet, meanwhile the central valleys are a popular choice for wine lovers, ski enthusiasts, culture and history seekers as well as those keen on watersports.
Whether you are seeking a standalone holiday or an extension to an Antarctic Voyage, rest assured you will be dealing with an Aqua-Firma team member that knows Chile first-hand. With our specialist knowledge, we would be delighted to plan a tailored itinerary based on your interests, time constraints and budget.
Being such a large and diverse country, it can be difficult deciding which areas to focus your exploration, therefore we have summarised the main areas we offer below to help inspire your senses and give you a taste of what type of experience each can provide.
Torres del Paine
The towering peaks of the magnificent Torres del Paine offer some of the World’s best trekking, amidst unforgettable landscapes of glaciers, waterfalls, forests and vast valleys. Depending on your capabilities and time constraints, you can enjoy guided nature walks, treks or bike rides through the most scenically dramatic areas of the National Park. If the W Trek is on your bucket list, we have several options, whether you simply for enjoying sections of it or want to conquer entire circuit on one of our privately guided treks. For those with more specialist interests, we can take you kayaking and horse riding.
Aside from the scenery, wildlife is also here in abundance, from the soaring condors which can often be spotted circling overhead, the vast amounts of guanacos which roam freely throughout, Darwin’s rheas and if you’re lucky - the elusive puma!
Despite being the driest desert in the world, Atacama is far from being a desolate, arid wilderness. It is in fact abundant in life and awash with things to see and do. Atacma’s extraordinary landscapes of vast salt flats, spurting geysers, steaming hot springs and intense blue lagoons are just some of its attractions. Warm water beaches are ideal for watersports, whilst the towns are steeped in history and tradition, serving local food that shouldn’t be missed. Boasting some of the clearest skies in the world, Atacama is a fantastic location for observing constellations, planets and shooting stars.
One of the most isolated places on Earth, Easter Island is famous for the mysterious archaeological sites and hand carved statues. Aside from the history, Easter Island also offers great trekking, horse riding and cycling trails, as well as beautiful sandy beaches, surfing, diving and snorkelling opportunities.
An island shrouded in myths, legends and folklore, Chiloe possesses its own unique charm. Chiloe is brimming with colour - characterised by colourful houses on stilts and its colourful wooden churches, (16 of which have been declared as UNESCO World Heritage Sites). Aside from its rich traditions and culinary delights, Chiloe also harbours a variety of wildlife, including Magellanic and Humboldt Penguins, South American sea lions, pelicans, albatrosses and other seabirds. Offshore boat navigations offer opportunities to spot blue whales.
Chile’s Central Valley extends south from Santiago to Río Bío Bío, hemmed in by the Andes to the East and the coastal range to the West. Enjoying some of the most fertile land in Chile, the Central Valleys boast huge orchards, vineyards and pastures and is therefore an attractive area for wine lovers. Meanwhile, if you head west to the coastal hills, a few notable lakes make way for excellent watersport facilities and further west for beaches and surfing hangouts. Heading East will bring you to an area of dusty trails ideal for hore sriding and hiking.