TAKE ME TO...
Chile stretches along 4300km of South America’s western coast, bordering the wild Pacific Ocean. It’s a land of stark contrasts, with the immense arid deserts of the north to the frigid, glowing expanse of Patagonia. Resorts like Portillo and Valle Nevado are easily accessible from Santiago. It's easy to be awestruck by Chile's beauty in pictures, but it's nothing close to the admiration you feel for it in person.Chile’s great outdoors is unusually tempting, and there are many ways to enjoy it, whether on skis, on a surfboard, in a boat, or on foot.
With over one third of the nation’s population living in the capital Santiago, it is easy to find somewhere in Chile to get away from it all. But Chile offers more than remote and pristine wilderness. Its dramatic, untamed, and highly varied landscape makes it a land of adventure.
The options are as varied as the country’s many geographical zones. In the north, the vast empty desert can only be crossed in a four-wheel drive. The heart of the Andes must be reached either on foot or on horseback. There are volcanoes to be climbed and rivers to be rafted, while the glacier-riddled islands of the southern archipelago can often only be visited on organized boat trips.
The season for adventure tourism is summer: November to March. This is when the weather stabilizes, save on the Andean high plain at the northeastern border with Bolivia, where electric storms are common. Do not expect rain in the Atacama Desert, even in the foothills – some parts only see rain every 30 to 50 years. From there to Santiago, rain rarely falls between October and March.