Patagonia Park, Aysen, Chile holidays

Holidays to Chile

From the moment you step off the plane, Chile has a warm European feel which is instantly reassuring and a great start to your holiday in Chile. The streets of Santiago have a familiar atmosphere until you look up and see the snow-capped peaks of the Andes. Travel outside Santiago and you are transported into a world of stark contrasts which cannot fail to stimulate the senses, the scenery is incredible. It is a joy to travel from the Atacama desert in the north to Torres del Paine National Park in the south and admire the vast diversity of the country’s landscapes and wild remote scenery. Accommodation and food is far from wild, there are some fantastic options even in isolated areas.

WHAT TO EXPECT ON YOUR CHILEAN HOLIDAY

At 2,670 miles long Chile is the longest country in the world, stretching from the harsh environment of the Atacama Desert at the top, some parts of which have not seen rain for years, to the dramatic peaks, fjords and windswept wilderness of Patagonia at the bottom. In between you can find dense forests, crystal clear lakes, superb fishing and vineyards – a trip to Chile offers nothing if not variety.

Valparaiso, once the most important port on the west coast of South America, has re-emerged as a chic, slightly bohemian art centre which is fun to visit. Don’t forget that Easter Island belongs to Chile and, despite the four hour flight west out over the Pacific, the reward is worth every minute.

SOME IDEAS FOR A CHILE HOLIDAY

  • Drive the Carretera Austral highway in Aysen Region, one the world’s great road journeys.
  • Fly north and explore the dramatic red landscape of the Atacama Desert, the highest and driest desert in the world.
  • Explore the windswept wilderness of Patagonia, search and photograph puma in the Torres Del Paine National Park.
  • The wine district, between Santiago and the coast, is an opportunity to sample some excellent wine.
  • Chile is the perfect destination for self-drive. Have an adventure through the Chilean Lake District with its sparkling lakes, imposing volcanoes and green forests.
  • Fly west for a few days on Easter Island, one of the most remote spots on earth with an incredible history.
  • For enthusiasts, Chile has superb fishing in a variety of locations.

BEYOND THE ORDINARY

  • Take a hot air balloon ride over the Valley of the Moons, Atacama, a wonderful way to watch the sunrise.
  • Star gazing in the Atacama or the Elqui Valley is a must, some of the best places in the world to look at the night sky.
  • Make a dramatic crossing over the Andes into Argentina.

OUR CHILE HOLIDAYS EXPERTISE

James and Paul have travelled the enormous length of Chile on holiday and for work, including some of the more unusual destinations. James recently made the fascinating journey to the Aisen region of Chilean Patagonia, exploring the glaciers, forests, lakes and rivers along the Carretera Austral, a magnificent road stretching some 600 miles from north to south. However, Patagonia impressed James most, due to its wild landscapes and extreme beauty. Paul loves Atacama with the stark landscapes and amazing array of activities.

Call James on 01285 885333 to start planning your Chile holiday.

Chile FAQs

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When is the rainy season in Chile?
Generally May to October sees the rainy season and during this time it is possible to ski in The Andes outside Santiago. The south is generally cold with high rainfall throughout the year. The far north has a slightly different climate receiving some rain from December to March.
What can I expect travelling in Chile?
Travelling involves large distances due to the length of the country therefore flights route though the hub of Santiago regularly. Chile offers great food, fantastic wines and spectacular scenery.
What about the altitude in Chile?
Most of Chile is at sea level but in San Pedro de Atacama you will find high altiplano varying from 2,000 – 4,500 metres and a visit to the El Tatio Geysers should not be attempted on your first full day of arrival. Some people experience symptoms, whilst others have none at all and we advise visiting or contacting your GP before travel if you have any concerns.
What is the typical food and drink in Chile?
Seafood is very much on the menu in Chile due to its enormous coastline. Stew, mashed corn (humitas) and chicken pie also feature highly on the specials board. As with Peru, Pisco Sour is the national drink along with some fine Chilean wines.
Are there any festivals I can see during my trip, or spend time with ‘real’ locals?
Most festivals are held to mark religious occasions to honour saints or the Virgin Mary and usually centre on dancing, music and parading the cross or a statue of Christ or a saint.
What clothing should I take to Chile?
It is always best to pack light and while casual dress has become more acceptable in recent years, Latin Americans tend to devote great care to their clothes and appearance. A laundry service is available at most if not all hotels but when you are on the move quickly there is not always the time for laundry and you pay a premium for same day delivery.
Depending upon where you are travelling to in Chile this will dictate what is best to wear and you may find you need to pack for all eventualities weather wise. We find that a good fleece, waterproof jacket, layers and zip-off trousers work well for the chilly south and warm north. Shoes with ankle support such as hiking boots or cross trainers are also good for trekking.
Aside from clothing a high factor suncream, insect repellent, hat, sunglasses, photocopy of your passport and swimming costume are good things to include.
Is it possible to travel over the Andes?

Yes, cross between Chile & Argentina, it’s a great way to get close to some incredible mountain scenery. There are several different parts of the country where this is possible including from the Atacama Desert over to the North West of Argentina, from Santiago to Mendoza in the wine region of Argentina, across the lakes in the Lake District and from Torres del Paine National Park to El Calafate in Patagonia.

Is it easy to self-drive in Chile?

Self-drive is a great option in many parts of Chile and we can suggest some fantastic routes to explore the lesser known parts of the Central Valleys, the Lakes or the Aisen region. Most of the roads are in fairly good condition and it’s difficult to get lost in such a long thin country.

Holidays

Chile - Patagonia and Atacama Desert in Style

Chile - Patagonia and Atacama Desert in Style

This itinerary combines two of the most scenically stunning areas of Chile, the lunar like landsc...

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CHILE - Puma Tracking

wildlife group tour

CHILE - Puma Tracking

This is the ultimate trip for those interested in photography, mountain scenery and wildlife, in ...

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Chile - Lake District and Atacama with balloon

Chilean Lake District and Atacama Desert

Visit the beautiful Chilean Lake District, an area of snow-capped volcanoes, hot springs and glac...

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Chile - Highlights of Chile

Highlights of Chile

Chile is a country of vast and varied landscapes, this Chile holiday takes in some of the highlig...

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Chile - Northern Patagonia Self-Drive

Northern Patagonia Self-Drive, Chile

A self-drive adventure on the Carretera Austral, a remote road through the stunning mountainous s...

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Chile - Patagonia by air, land & water -Nomads of the Seas

Chilean Patagonia Holiday by Air, Land & Water

This is the the ultimate wow voyage. A thrilling adventure in the wilderness of Chilean...

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Argentina - Adventures in remote Argentina, Chile and Antarctica

Holiday to Argentina, Chile & Antarctica

A journey starting in northern Argentina travelling south through the spectacular mountain scener...

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Chile - Atacama and Uyuni Salt Flat

Atacama Desert and Uyuni Salt Flat Adventure

Visit two of the most impressive landscapes in South America, the Atacama desert in Chile and the...

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Peru - A Superlative Journey Across Peru, Bolivia and Chile

Peru, Bolivia and Chile Holiday

A journey through the communities of the Andes in Peru, Bolivia and Chile, visually and culturall...

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Inspiration

Condor, Santiago, Chile

Five New National Parks

The Chilean government have signed an agreement to create five new national parks, following the donation of one million privately owned acres. 

Owned by the Tompkins family who fought to preserve the land for many years, Pumalin Park combined with other federal land will equate to over 10 million acres of protected terrain. This huge network of parks will range from volcanic landscapes to wild coastline and pristine forests and will be placed under strict environmental protection. 


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Alpaca, Chile

The World's Top Ten Ethical Destinations

Chile features in an annual list of the top 10 countries to stand out as the most ethical travel destinations for 2017.
Standing out in part due to its expanding solar industry in places like the Atacama Desert.
"Travellers have enormous power. Where we put our footprints has reverberations reaching far beyond our personal experience. By "voting with our wings" - choosing our destinations well and cultivating our roles as citizen diplomats we can help to change the world for the better."  Pioneer of the concept of 'ethical travel'
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Mountain And Lake Reflections, Torres Del Paine, Patagonia, Chile

Patagonian International Marathon 2017

Set to take place on 9th September 2017 for the 6th year running, choose between a 10km, 21km or 42km race and join thousands of runners from across the globe to run a marathon in one of the most scenically stunning and pristine landscapes in the world - Torres del Paine National Park.
Volcanoes Licancabur And Juriques, Moon Valley, Atacama, Chile

Hot Air Ballooning over the Atacama Desert

View the Atacama Desert from a new perspective.

Float over the Atacama Desert from a hot air balloon, a wonderful way to experience the surreal scenery this area has to offer. Flights will operate daily at sunrise from any hotel in San Pedro de Atacama.

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Swimming Pool, Explora in Atacama, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

Explora Atacama will reopen after remodelling, in January 2017

Client Reviews

Alpaca, Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile
''The trip was like a polished crystal...
all pre-arranged transportation was right on time and the accommodations were excellent.''
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Thomas Markey

Chile
View from Valle De La Muerte, Atacama Desert, Chile
Steppes really seemed genuinely interested in my requirements...
...and did their utmost to ensure that they were met.  I couldn't praise them highly enough.''
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Sarah Keeley

Chile

FLIGHT INFORMATION

17.5 hours from UK
Madrid

Holiday Ideas in Chile

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