There is no place on Earth that is quite like Chile! For those who are unaware of its geographical uniqueness, do a quick Google search! Situated on the western edge of South America, the continent’s thinnest nation boasts nearly 3,000 miles of Pacific coastlines, but at its widest point east-west, it notches just over 200 miles. It really is quite remarkable. Due to its unique shape — specifically the extreme longitudinal coverage — Chile is home to an incredibly varied climate. This, naturally, makes it a wonderful place to visit.
This is a country that truly has it all — deserts, mountains, forests, lakes, and tundra… the list is seemingly endless. Indeed, the technical specifications of the various climates of Chile include the warm desert climate, the cold semi-arid climate, the warm Mediterranean climate, and the cool oceanic climate. There are nine in total, but we won’t list them all here. Simply put, this is a country with a geographical variety that is normally found across an entire continent! Setting aside the dilemma of packing (thermals or swimming trunks, sandals, or walking boots), there is no question that this is a place that offers plenty for travelers!
The capital city of Santiago is perhaps the perfect example of what Chile is all about! Nestled in the central valley of the country, visitors may easily access both the Andes and the Pacific beaches — both are just hours away. With a drive the Andes are ever-present, looming over the city and visible from nearly anywhere within the sprawl of Santiago. If you are a mountaineer and a surfer, then this place could very well be your paradise. If you’re a casual rambler and a beach walker, then this destination could just as easily be your paradise. From sea level to lofty heights, the views are truly breathtaking.
But Santiago is not just about hiking and heading to the beach. The city’s outskirts are lined with vineyards and the countryside of the valley. For those who prefer the more mellow side of life, a gorgeous glass of Chilean red and a famous South American steak is never too far away. Chilean wines are famous all around the world, so if you enjoy a tipple, why not sample it at the source?
Don’t hurry to get out of the city though — having been the capital of Chile for hundreds of years, Santiago is packed full of heritage and culture. For those who enjoy a spot of architecture, the variety of building styles will have you captivated.
Of course, there is plenty of reason to head out into the less-populated areas of the country too – and not just for hiking, surfing, or wine-tasting. Chile’s smaller towns and communities are just as breathtaking as the capital. Traditional towns on lakesides and communities nestled in forests will give you an insight into life outside of the country’s major conurbation, and if you have the time, are well worth seeing.
With vast distances to cover, you will get a brief feel of the vast variety of this travel destination. Chile is likely a country that most travelers will likely need to visit several times — or do it in one extended trip. Ultimately, if you are an admirer of the natural world and its extreme environments, this is a country that needs to be at the top of your list!
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