Chile is Climbing High
Top of the range
The longest exposed mountain range on the planet, the Andes extend some 4,300 miles through seven countries. The Chilean Andes run almost Chile’s entire length and separate it from the rest of South America. In the middle of its capital Santiago is San Cristobal Hill, and the far-reaching views of this city cradled by the Andes are simply incredible.
No umbrella needed
Sick of the rain in the UK? Well, you need to head to the Atacama Desert, which sits at 7,500 feet in the Chilean Andes and is the driest place on Earth. Some parts of the region have not seen a single drop of rain in more than 400 years!
Chile’s landscape of extremes provides a home to a diverse assortment of wildlife. And thanks to the natural barriers of the Pacific, the Atacama Desert and the Andes, many species are endemic, such as the pudú. Four types of camelid – llama, alpaca, guanaco and vicuña – roam the land, and almost 500 species of bird are found here. Look for hummingbirds and condors, flamingos and even king penguins on your travels.
If you like wine you’ll love Chile, it’s the ninth largest producer of wine in the world and the fifth largest exporter. With the Andes to the east, the Pacific to the west, desert to the north and Antarctica to the south, this is the perfect climate for grape-growing.
One of Chile’s five UNESCO-listed sites is Rapa Nui National Park on mysterious Easter Island. Famous for its 887 stone statues known as moai, you can see these monolithic human figures believed to have been created around 300 AD, on our Easter Island add-on.
‘Best in Travel’
We’ve had the hots for Chile for a while now, escorting many an intrepid traveller to this long sliver of land. But if that’s not enough for you, travel guide expert Lonely Planet has placed it at the top of its Best in Travel list 2018. And what better time to go than the very year that it celebrates its 200th year of independence.