By: Elisa Leonard of Brown Eyed Ella
About two years ago my boyfriend and I found ourselves at a crossroads; I was living in NYC and he was in Santiago, Chile. Long story short, I took a leap of faith, packed my bags and moved to Chile to live with him. It was the best decision I have ever made. Chile is a breathtakingly beautiful country, full of rich culture, natural diversity, friendly people and exciting adventure.
There are very few places in the world as diverse as Chile. So, if you’re looking for a place for your next adventure, then Chile should be on your list.
Here are 10 reasons why there is no better time than the present to visit Chile!
- Let’s start with Chile’s capital; Santiago. Having lived here for almost two years, this city has become a part of me and it is a city I have come to love very much. Every morning I wake up and I can see the Andes Mountains from my window; it’s breathtaking. I must say I’m very lucky and happy to have had the chance to live in this city. And the best part is that there are so many things to do in the city and nearby. From vineyards to hiking, the options are endless.
San Pedro De Atacama. This is the driest non-polar place on Earth. Located in Northern Chile, the desert spans over 600 miles from southern Peru to Chile’s central Pacific Coast and perhaps the most renowned town to visit lies somewhere in the middle of all this (aka in the middle of nowhere). It’s a little town called San Pedro De Atacama. And it has some of the clearest skies in the world. So, for all you astronomers, this is a trip you should make.
Valparaiso. This is one of South America’s most underrated destinations; one you should be adding to your Chile bucket list. Valpo, as the locals call it, is only an hour and a half drive from downtown Santiago—which also makes for the perfect day trip. Known as the San Francisco of South America, this port city is built into the hillside creating a chaotic cluster of graffiti lined streets that somehow works beautifully.
Wine country. Chileans have been growing wine for a very long time, but it wasn’t until the 1990s that their wines entered the international wine scene. And thank god they did! Chile is home to some of the best wines I’ve ever had. Chilean wine has everything from New World freshness to layers of complexity. The extreme geography of this country gives it the fertile ground for winemaking. And the vineyards have some of the most beautiful landscapes, spanning from the coast to the Andes and everywhere in between.
Patagonia. I have not had the privilege of making my way here yet, but my boyfriend and I are making our way there in December and I cannot wait. From the things I have read online to the stories my friends have told me from their visits, Patagonia is one of the most beautiful destinations in the world. Check out Traveling Jackie’s amazing review of her Patagonian adventure here
- Yes, Chile has some incredible wine, but don’t forget about Pisco; Chile’s other product produced by grapes. It’s kind of like tequila, but SO much better. Technically it’s a brandy, but that’s only because it’s made from fermented grapes. Anyways, make sure to treat yourself to a pisco sour when you visit Chile; you will not be disappointed!
- For all your adventurers, Chile should be at the top of your bucket list; it is one of the world’s top adventure travel destinations. The variety of adventure activates the country offers is overwhelming. Trekking in the Andes, climbing volcanoes, white water rafting, surfing, fly-fishing, sand boarding in the desert just to name a few. So, for all you adventure loving, adrenaline junkies, Chile is waiting for you!
The Andes Mountains are the longest and one of the tallest mountain ranges on Earth. These beautiful mountains can be seen from most points throughout Santiago; including my bedroom window. Also, the Andes is home to the world’s highest volcanoes, including the Ojos del Salado which sits on the Chile-Argentina border.
Terremoto. Chile is one of the most earthquake-prone countries in the world. But there are two kinds of earthquakes in Chile. La Piojera is the best place in Santiago to find the second, “safer” kind. La piojera is home to the infamous Chilean drink; the ‘terremoto’ (which is the Spanish word for earthquake). This drink is a concoction of pipeño (a fermented white wine), pisco, pineapple ice cream and sugar that is likely to leave the ground feeling wobbly after the first round.
- Stretching over 4,300 km (2,670 mi) from north to south, Chile is one of the Longest Countries in the world. Amazing! This length allows the country to have a wide variety of climates and landscapes. In the north you have deserts, the east is mountain ranges, the south there are oceanic climates, and in the center, you’ll find a Mediterranean climate. With such diversity, there are so many incredible places to visit.