Chile / Patagonia, The Adventure Mecca?
Chile, a long, narrow country set between the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, south of Peru and on the western edge of South America, offers more than the average traveller would expect. From caving to climbing, ballooning to biking, from vast desert in the north to the must-see glaciers in the south, there is much to explore. With all its geographical diversity, Chile has come to be called the Land of Contrast. The extreme landscape settings and unique exploration opportunities combine to make Chile one of the best travel destinations in our world today.
In the northern end of Chile sets the Atacama Desert also known as Valle de la Luna. Here visitors will find breathtaking sand dunes and stone formations that are said to mimic the landscape of the moon. With red sand and rippling rock formations, the area appears to have a “Martian quality.” Countless hiking and mountain biking trails allow access to the canyons, valleys and plains.
South America’s seasons are opposite those of North America, so when it’s summer in North America, it’s winter in the southern hemisphere. During the months of June, July and August, skiing, snowboarding, heli-skiing and snowmobiling become popular sports. Magnificent, snow-capped Andes Mountains ignite your senses while enjoying these winter sports.
The Lakes District in the southern part of the country, known for its ferocious fun, is said to have some of the best white-water rafting and kayaking in the world. In the Ring of Fire, there are volcanoes, lakes, rivers and rainforest to explore.
Patagonia, the Hiking Mecca, in the southernmost section of Chile, has been called “the last pure wilderness on Earth.” Here you will find Torres del Paine National Park — the 8th Natural Wonder of the World. From day trips to week long expeditions, there are many glaciers to explore. The Patagonian Ice Field is a most memorable place to see.
Along with geysers and glaciers, there are volcanoes to climb, hike and explore. Many of the national parks in Chile offer volcanic experiences where visitors may explore craters, lava domes and lava flows. Villarrica National Park provides guided climbing adventures to its dormant snow-capped volcano.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of what Chile has to offer. From the moon-like desert experience in the north to the glacial expeditions in the south and everything in between, you just might find that one trip may not be enough time to take it all in. Be sure to keep Chile on your list of adventure destinations. You will not be disappointed.