Chile, with one of the world’s most diversified landscapes, has become a popular holiday destination in recent years, particularly among nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. Travellers will find an array of great sightseeing options in this long, thin country on the west coast of South America, from the tall peaks of the Andes and countless beaches to rich temperate forests, historic volcanoes, and a dramatic coastline like that found at Cape Horn.

Chile is also home to a plethora of magnificent national parks and conservation areas, many of which are popular destinations for hikers and climbers, as well as those who enjoy more risky activities like climbing, river rafting, mountain biking, and horseback riding.

Chile also has its share of cultural attractions, with places like Santiago, the capital, boasting a plethora of superb museums and art galleries, as well as the gorgeous Easter Island, home to the world’s most famous stone figures. Whatever your travel inclinations, Chile has a plethora of stunning locations to see and photograph.

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1. Rapa Nui National Park & Easter Island

Rapa Nui National Park & Easter Island

The majestic yet secluded Easter Island, first discovered by Europeans in 1722 and named after a Dutch adventurer who first saw it on Easter Sunday, has been inhabited by Polynesians for thousands of years. Despite being much more than 3,500 kilometres from Chile’s mainland, this unique island with its amazing stone sculptures is the country’s most well-known destination.

There are 887 of these statues known as Moai, which were erected by the island’s early Rapa Nui population and are now preserved by Rapa Nui National Park (The entire island has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site). Ahu Tongariki has the most remarkable collection, with 15 of them re-erected on the island’s largest Moai platform, or “ahu.”

Anakena, one of the nicest beaches in the country, is located on Rapa Nui. This lovely but small stretch of white coral beach is the ideal place to unwind after a day of hiking.

2. Santiago: Chile’s Cultural Capital

Santiago: Chile’s Cultural Capital

Santiago is not only Chile’s financial and business capital, but it is also the nation’s cultural and entertainment hub. As a result, it provides a wide range of fun things, such as visiting the city’s best galleries and museums, as well as excellent shopping, dining, and hotel options.

Most travellers begin their Chilean journeys in Santiago, which is centrally positioned and serves as the country’s primary transit centre, before going to the Andes or other regions of remarkable stunning features, such as Easter Island. The most astute travellers, on the other hand, will schedule time in their Chile itinerary to get to know Santiago.

The Centro Cultural Palacio La Moneda, a state-of-the-art cultural institution occupying part of the spectacular Palacio de la Moneda, and the Chilean National Museum of Fine Arts are two places of interest in the city, which was founded in 1541 and is largely crowd-free (Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes). It concentrates on Chilean artists and has a substantially continuous collection of paintings, sculptures, and photographs. It was founded in the 1880s.

3. Cape Horn

Cape Horn

Cape Horn is something of a Holy Grail for tourists – and the yachting equivalent of Mount Everest – and is well worth the time and effort, if not the bragging rights if you can get here.

Cape Horn, the last stop before Antarctica and the world’s southernmost tip, has long been known as a sailor’s graveyard due to its remoteness, perilous shoreline, and severe waves. While the Panama Canal has made it less essential as a trading route, it has increased in popularity among professional sailors and is featured in a number of interesting races.

It can still be visited by the rest of us with careful planning. However, there are just a few options for getting to Cape Horn (apart from having your own yacht, of course). Perhaps the greatest alternative is to travel by cruise liner. A number of cruises pass via Cape Horn on their way to Antarctica and will halt here for an hour, weather and seas allowing. Passengers disembark on inflatable boats, so this phase of the journey might be challenging as well.

Passengers can make a short cliff-top trek to the Cape Horn Memorial Sculpture, which is possibly the ultimate tourist selfie site. This magnificent structure, with its amazing vistas, welcomes you to the bottom of the world.

4. Torres Del Paine National Park

Torres Del Paine National Park

The beautiful Torres del Paine National Park is one of Chile’s most important natural sites and a growingly popular tourist destination. This wonderfully gorgeous location, located more than 100 kilometres north of the city of Puerto Natales in southern Patagonia, comprises mountains, glaciers, and innumerable lakes and rivers.

The Cordillera del Paine is the park’s most important region, marking the transition from the Patagonia grassland to the northern subpolar forests. The three 2,850-meter-tall granite peaks of the Paine Massif, which dominate this already spectacular terrain, are perhaps the most prominent of its many wonderful features.

Hiking is one of the most popular activities in the park, with numerous well-marked paths and many providing overnight shelters (refugios) with the essentials for longer excursions around the mountains. Professional guides are suggested and, in certain locations, required if you plan on hiking for more than a day.

5. The Chilean Lake District

The Chilean Lake District

The Chilean Lake District (Zona Sur), which stretches over 330 kilometres from Temuco to Puerto Montt and resembles the alpine regions of Europe, is well worth visiting. This lovely region of the Andean foothills, like its alpine cousin, boasts fertile farming at the base of its many snowcapped volcanoes, bordered by lush woods and the kind of deep lakes that make water sports fans salivate.

And the connection to Europe does not end there. Following the forced relocation of the region’s indigenous people, the Mapuche, farm owners from Switzerland, Austria, and Germany arrived, having brought with them facets of their own culture that can be seen in the architectural style of towns like Osorno and Valdivia, and also in the region’s customs and festivals.

A typical Chilean Lake District itinerary for adventure enthusiasts includes infinite hiking and biking opportunities, as well as other enjoyable activities like volcano climbing, white water rafting, kayaking, canoeing, horseback riding, and, in the winter, skiing. Trips to the region by car are also very popular.