|Total States||54 provinces|
|Airport City||Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport, El Loa Airport, Cerro Moreno International Airport, El Tepual Airport, La Florida Airport|
|Offical Languages||Spanish, Rapa Nui, German, English, Quechua|
|Food||Pastel de choclo, Humita, Empanada|
Autumn : Mar - Jun
Summer : Dec - Mar
Winter : Jun - Sep
Sprint : Sep - Dec
Santiago also known as Santiago de Chile, is the capital and largest city of Chile as well as one of the largest cities in the Americas. It is the center of Chile's largest and most densely populated conurbation, the Santiago Metropolitan Region, whose total population is 7 million. The city is entirely located in the country's central valley. Most of the city lies between 500 m (1,640 ft) and 650 m (2,133 ft) above mean sea level.
Founded in 1541 by the Spanish conqueror Pedro de Valdivia, Santiago has been the capital city of Chile since colonial times. The city has a downtown core of 19th-century neoclassical architecture and winding side-streets, dotted by art deco, neo-gothic, and other styles. Santiago's cityscape is shaped by several stand-alone hills and the fast-flowing Mapocho River, lined by parks such as Parque Forestal. The Andes Mountains can be seen from most points in the city. These mountains contribute to a considerable smog problem, particularly during winter. The city outskirts are surrounded by vineyards and Santiago is within an hour of both the mountains and the Pacific Ocean.
The city of Viña del Mar is one of the most important and popular destinations in Chile, lying in a lovely spot on the Pacific Coast of the country, just an hour's drive away from the capital Santiago.
It is fair to say that the majority of people will be drawn here because of the quality of its beaches, but there is actually a reasonable amount of places to go and things to do during your visit. Planning your first trip to a new destination can leave you at a loose end in terms of booking your accommodation and deciding what to do, so here's a little inspiration to get you going.
The Beaches of Viña Del Mar
The golden sand stretches of Viña del Mar are among the most popular in the country, and on weekends you will often find the area busy, particularly during the peak months from December to February.
The sand stretches for a good distance in each direction away from the city, making it ideal for a gentle walk on the beach, and at the northern end of the beach, there is also an interesting naval museum worth visiting. However, one thing to note is that you will find some strong currents if you intend to go swimming, so be careful if you are thinking of taking a dip in the sea.
Pucón is a small touristy town in the middle of the southern Lake District. The unrivaled location by a beautiful lake and imposing volcano makes it one of the most popular tourist attractions in Chile. Pucón offers a variety of sports and recreational activities including water skiing, snow skiing, white water rafting and kayaking, horseback riding, natural hot springs and climbing the Villarrica volcano.
Villarrica (volcano) is the closest volcano to Pucón and is frequently climbed from the town. Other volcanoes in the area include Mocho-Choshuenco, Quetrupillán and Lanín. Villarrica has had more than 82 eruptions since 1558, the most recent of which occurred on March 3, 2015. It is possible to climb it throughout the year, if weather and volcanic activity permit. During winter, the summit is completely covered by snow, and offers views of at least seven of the surrounding lakes.
El Cañi, meaning “sight that transforms”, is a private protected area of 500 hectares belonging to a non-profit organization. It contains hiking trails through ancient Araucarias, Lengas (Lenga Beech), Coigues, old volcanic craters and lagoons. It is administered by a group of farmers. The park is home to foxes, pumas, pudús (a small kind of deer), wild ducks and condors, among many other species. A view point located at 1,550 meters altitude provides views of four nearby volcanoes: Villarrica, Quetrupillán, Lanín and Llaima.
With its mild climate, water - a rarity in the Atacama Desert - from Río Lluta supporting vegetation, Arica was an inhabited area from at least 6000 BC. The area was inhabited by native tribes, who grew corn, squash, and cotton, made pottery and were later part of the Tihuanaco culture of Bolivia and the Inca Empire which extended as far north as Quito, Ecuador.
Gradually, the native culture rose and developed its own art forms and cultural traditions. In Aymara, the word Arica means new opening, which is significant on various levels. Later, Don Diego de Almagro's expeditionary force came through on its arduous year-long trek to what is now Santiago, the capital of Chile.
Once part of Bolivia and Bolivia's access to the sea to export silver from the mines in Potosí, Arica became Chilean territory in the War of the Pacific, whose naval victories are celebrated annually at the Glorias Navales. Arica still functions as Bolivia's access to the sea, connected to Bolivia by train.
Now, Arica is a developing seaside resort, with golden sand dunes, miles of seashore, duty-free shopping and lively nightlife. Arica is also the gateway to inland ruins of ancient cultures, Lauca National Park with its many animal species including vicuña, alpaca, Nandu, and wild chinchilla, volcanos, and the highest mountain lake in the world.
Chile's Lake District is famous for its spectacular scenery—deep blue mountain lakes, snow-capped volcanoes, and forests. It's also known as a spot for popular resorts, year-round recreation, and traditional folklore, handicrafts, and legends.
The Lake District covers two of Chile's regions: the Ninth Region, more evocatively known as La Araucanía, and the Tenth Region, Los Lagos. It is anchored at the northern end by the inland city of Temuco, in the middle by Valdivia on the Pacific, and Osorno inland. Puerto Montt on the Bay of Reloncavi is at the southern end. From north to south, the Lake District stretches from the Pacific eastward to the Andes.
Chile's Lake District is aptly named. There are twelve major lakes in the district, with dozens more dotting the landscape. Between the lakes, there are rivers, waterfalls, forests, thermal hot springs, and the Andes, including six volcanos with Villarica being the highest at 9,341 feet (2,847 meters) and one of the most active volcanoes in Latin America.
The Lake District is a major highlight of many tours to and within Chile. The scenery has been likened to Switzerland, and with the early emigrations from Germany and the resultant German feel to farms, towns, and traditions, it is cosmopolitan, yet entirely Chilean.
San Pedro de Atacama is a Chilean town and commune in El Loa Province, Antofagasta Region. It is located east of Antofagasta, some 106 km (60 mi) southeast of Calama and the Chuquicamata copper mine, overlooking the Licancabur volcano. It features a significant archeological museum, the R. P. Gustavo Le Paige Archaeological Museum, with a large collection of relics and artifacts from the region. Native ruins nearby now attract increasing numbers of tourists interested in learning about pre-Columbian cultures.
Chile is a land of extremes and while it's most often known for Patagonia in the south, it also has a vast desert in the north.
Here you can find unique regions like Valle de la Luna, flamingo populations, and sand dunes. For one of the most spectacular places to spend a sunset, do not skip the desert.
If death-defying feats are more up your alley you may want to try sandboarding in San Pedro's Death Valley. It seems quite easy to slide down the steep sand slopes but falling off into the hot sand can be quite unpleasant.
San Pedro de Atacama is a popular tourist destination.There are various activities for adventurers in the San Pedro de Atacama area: trekking, climbing, archaeological sightings, amateur astronomy, exploration tours in natural landscapes and even sand boarding in the desert. Because of its altitude, a brief period of acclimatization may be required.
Valparaíso is a major city, seaport, and educational centre in the commune of Valparaíso, Chile. "Greater Valparaíso" is the third largest metropolitan area in the country. Valparaíso is located about 120 kilometres (75 mi) northwest of Santiago by road and is one of the South Pacific's most important seaports. Valparaíso is the capital of Chile's second most populated administrative region and has been the headquarters for the Chilean National Congress since 1990. Valparaíso has seven universities.
Located on the Pacific coast of the central region of Chile, Valparaíso is known for its brightly colored houses, bohemian culture and beautiful seaside views. Built upon dozens of steep hillsides overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Valparaíso boasts a labyrinth of streets and cobblestone alleyways, embodying a rich architectural and cultural legacy.
Major industries include tourism, culture, shipping and freight transport.
Approximately 50 international cruise ships call on Valparaíso during the 4-month Chilean summer. The port of Valparaíso is also an important hub for container freight and exports many products, including wine, copper, and fresh fruit.
This last entry is a bit of a stretch as Torres del Paine isn't a city in Chile but a national park.
Torres del Paine is a Chilean commune located in the inland of Última Esperanza Province and Magallanes Region. The commune is administered by the municipality in Cerro Castillo, the major settlement in the commune. Torres del Paine National Park lies within the commune. Paine means "blue" in the native Tehuelche (Aonikenk) language and is pronounced PIE-nay.
Torres del Paine National Park (Spanish: Parque Nacional Torres del Paine) is a national park encompassing mountains, glaciers, lakes, and rivers in southern Chilean Patagonia. The Cordillera del Paine is the centerpiece of the park. It lies in a transition area between the Magellanic subpolar forests and the Patagonian Steppes. The park is located 112 km (70 mi) north of Puerto Natales and 312 km (194 mi) north of Punta Arenas. The park borders Bernardo O'Higgins National Park to the west and the Los Glaciares National Park to the north in Argentine territory. Paine means "blue" in the native Tehuelche (Aonikenk) language and is pronounced PIE-nay.
Torres del Paine National Park is part of the Sistema Nacional de Áreas Silvestres Protegidas del Estado de Chile (National System of Protected Forested Areas of Chile). In 2013, it measured approximately 181,414 hectares.It is one of the largest and most visited parks in Chile. The park averages around 252,000 visitors a year, of which 54% are foreign tourists,who come from many countries all over the world. It is also part of the End of the World Route, a tourist scenic route.
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1 ) Vina del Mar Music Festival
Festival Month - February
If you are a music lover, then you would have heard about this mega scale music festival that features prominent international artists. It is held in Vina del Mar, which is an upscale resort town just a couple of hours away from Santiago.
2 ) Santiago a Mil
Festival Month - January
Santiago a Mil International Theatre Festival is an annual performing arts festival that takes place in January in Santiago, Chile.
3 ) Fiesta Tapati
Festival Month - February
This is a unique festival that celebrates body painting (Takona) and is held on Easter Island. The festival goers will paint their bodies with natural pigments, creating symbols on their bodies that depict certain mythic elements.