Chile boasts of countless tourist spots for all tastes, but what impresses most is the astonishing diversity of its regions.
Touring the Chilean natural territory is like taking a walk through the earth’s origins when animals dominated the landscape, the beaches were virgin, and the deserts were interspersed with crystalline bodies of water. In addition, its cities have an interesting offer of art and entertainment. It is a safe country, and in every destination, you will find all the services necessary to make your stay to be very pleasant.
Want to know more? In this post, we share with you 15 top-rated tourist attractions in Chile you cannot miss. Read on!
Let’s start with one of the greatest charms and peculiarities of Chile: Easter Island, located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
Discovered in 1722, it received its name because the day of its discovery was precisely during the Easter. It is an excellent destination to enjoy the Rapa Nui artistic manifestations, known as “Los moais.” There are more than 800 stone sculptures spread all over the island, and the oldest is believed to be over 12,000 years old.
Since 2003, almost the entire island was been classified as a National Park. Thus, travelers arrive from all over the world to admire its archaeological sites, enjoy its paradisiacal beaches and dive into the crystalline waters of this part of Polynesia.
Surrounded by snow-capped peaks, the effervescent capital of Chile is another place worth visiting. Founded in 1541 and divided into 37 communes, it is the cradle of the main buildings, offices, and political and economic establishments in the country.
Thus, it is an obligatory stop to know the true movement of the country, get closer to its culture, learn a little of the traditions, and above all, observe the influence of the modern world on Chileans. In addition, this city is among the capitals with the best quality of life in the world, thanks to a wide variety of academic offerings, a solid economy, and a fairly good cultural and artistic offer.
You can stroll through the city’s colonial historic center, a real gem for lovers of neoclassical architecture, the parks, and the bohemian districts of the city.
3. The Atacama Desert
One of the most famous places in Chile, the Atacama Desert, is one of the driest in the world. With 105,000 km sq. and located at an altitude of 4,000 meters, it has landscapes that go far beyond the sand dunes. There are lakes, villages, archaeological sites, and even the salt desert.
In the middle of the desert, the Salar de Atacama forms a beautiful lake with crystal clear water and full of flamingos. Travel agencies offer different tours. Therefore, if you want to know the desert in depth, it is recommended to reserve several days to do the main tours.
In addition, history says that different cultures lived in this desert that constitute the origins of Chilean culture. So, you can hire some of the tours to listen to the magical stories of the oases and other phenomena.
4. Torres del Paine National Park
Located in the extreme south of Chile, specifically in the Magallanes and Antarctica region of the country, this national park was declared a Biosphere Reserve thanks to UNESCO in 1978. And since then, it has become one of the tourist places in Chile most important.
Here you can enjoy a variety of extremely attractive geographical phenomena, such as massifs, lakes with turquoise waters, rivers, forests, and even some icebergs.
The park is very well built, so it has numerous marked trails, as well as a good offer of accommodation inside, even being able to camp on its plains. One of its greatest charms is enjoying one of the sunsets from the heights of one of the massifs.
5. Lauca national park
Chile is a territory of national and natural parks, so you cannot leave Lauca National Park out of the list, which dates back to 1970 and is part of the Andes mountain range. As of 1981, it was declared part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves. And since then, it has become an important point of national and international tourism.
Here you can see a variety of more than 100 types of typical birds who live in it. You can also visit Lake Chungara, which is part of the structure of the park.
In addition, near the park, you will find the town of Chucuyo, famous for having several ornamental and rustic restaurants, which offer the most authentic Chilean food.
6. Chiloe Island
Chiloe is located in the Los Lagos region and is the second-largest island in Latin America. The beauty of it is that it is a completely virgin coast, whose natural landscape is maintained practically without human intervention.
The island has a beautiful landscape, and its crystal clear waters are ideal for swimming at almost any time of the year. It is also a place to do a wide variety of sports, such as kayaking or trekking.
From an architectural point of view, you will find the “palafitos,” which are wooden constructions on the water. In addition, you will also be able to see its chapels and churches from the 18th and 19th centuries, which were recognized as UNESCO heritage sites.
7. Valley Nevado
In Chile, winter is lovely, and the best place to enjoy it is Valley Nevado, about 40 kilometers from the capital. It is a winter sports and vacation area, and it is considered one of the most modern in the country and on the continent.
It has about 37 kilometers of slopes with a height of 3,000 meters, which are a place for competitions, practices, and sports tourism in activities such as skiing. In fact, it is the only ski center in South America. And it here that the FIS Snowboard World Cup takes place here.
Thanks to this, the area offers one of the most luxurious and comfortable offers of restaurants and hotels, with walks in the snow, bonfire nights, rooms with a fireplace, and more.
8. Cochamo valley
The Cochamo Valley is one of the tourist sites in Chile that will fascinate you. One of the most precious attractions in this area is the famous natural waterfall where tourists often have fun.
People often compare this valley to the California National Park, precisely because of the rock formations and the sports that take place here.
If you are really adventurous and in good shape, you can encourage yourself with climbing the Rainbow route, one of the steepest and most demanding in the entire area, but the one that offers the best view, allowing you to visualize the entire mountain circuit of the Cordillera de The Andes.
9. San Rafaela National Park
Another point attraction that you cannot miss in the southern region of Chile is San Rafaela National Park. Here you have the possibility to enjoy the incredible view of Mount San Valentin, which is the highest peak in the Andean mountain range.
It was declared part of the World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1979, as it has one of the largest water reserves in the Northern Ice Fields, which are the origin of the lagoons, the river flows, and glaciers.
You can spot a wide variety of bird species in this park, some of them at risk of disappearing. That’s why this park is considered an impotent reserve for conservation.
10. The ghost village of Humberstone
Located 1 hour from the city of Iquique, this old “saltpeter” represents the remains of one of Chile’s most prosperous periods.
Today under UNESCO protection, a visit to this mining town, which stood still in the 1960s, is an opportunity to stroll in an unreal setting. A swimming pool made of copper, a large wooden theater, and grandiose buildings bear witness to the economic and technological development that has now passed. But it is also an opportunity to understand behind the scenes and the conditions of forced labor suffered by minors and their families.
11. San Pedro de Atacama
We already told you about the Atacama Desert, but now we have to tell you about the city, located in the Antofagasta region because you cannot miss its archaeological importance.
Here, the proximity to neighboring Bolivia plays a predominant role, since it is the famous “Bolivian winter” phenomenon that has given rise to one of the regions richest in vegetation, even being the site of species that are not seen in the rest of the country.
Here a culture of its own is born and maintained, known as the Atacamena culture, thanks to different influences (including the Inca) that formed an invaluable archaeological value. Therefore, here you have to see different formations of pre-Hispanic architecture, with the art of the time and the traces of volcanic activity, which has been modifying the lands and moving the structures.
12. Elqui valley
One of the places to vacation in Chile will always be Elqui Valley. This basin, created in the mountain range, has one of the most emblematic rivers of the country. In this valley, you can go through its trekking and horseback riding routes and also enjoy trails for bicycle rides and jeep excursions.
And thanks to its proximity to the river waters and the mountain ranges, it is a tremendously fertile land of great greenery. For this reason, between the walks, you will stop to enjoy the beautiful vineyards. Best of all, you can visit the wine-making plants, where you can learn about the entire manufacturing process of this grape distillate, do tastings and purchases.
Finally, you cannot miss a visit to Elqui Valley Observatory. With its privileged location in the mountains, away from the city and rather connected with nature, you can have an incredible view of the stars. The weather is also a plus point.
This small city is an excellent place to enjoy flavors, fun, and the beach, with much less bustle than there is in the main city.
This city has continuously changed its structure due to the constant effects of the saltpeter, showing that the locals have been adapting to the sea and its demands. At present, its economy is based on international trade through the seaport and the Iquique Free Zone (ZOFRI).
You can enjoy the nightlife of the village in the areas near the beach. Also enjoy the dishes, with the wide variety of restaurants with international inspiration, and of course, enjoy important architectural buildings from the time of the saltpeter’s
Finally, Iquique has a coastline suitable for swimming, and the climate is good most of the year. So regardless of the travel date, you can enjoy a sea bath.
Mythical port, colorful city, anarchic architecture. Valparaiso is unique in the world and deserves our attention. Located 120 km west of Santiago, Valparaiso is the real heritage and historical capital of the country.
Of the sights in the city, there is Sotomayor Square, a monument-mausoleum dedicated to Captain Arturo Prat, Museums, and rich maritime heritage, which attracts attention. Today, this city is considered a high place of urban art. Tourists flock here from all over the world to admire the graffiti that fill its walls.
15. Los Pinguinos Natural Monument
One of the best tourist places in Chile is the Los Penguinos Natural Monument, which is one of the natural attractions of Chile. This landmark has gained world fame due to the huge number of penguins’ colonies, consisting of some 60,000 breeding pairs of Magellanic penguins.
In addition to Magellanic penguins, you will be able to see other animals on this island, such as seals and sea lions. And since the island is inhabited mainly by penguins, the only building here is an old lighthouse. Therefore, if you dreamed of taking a photo with a real penguin, then you should not miss the island of Magdalena.
The entire Chilean territory is considered attractive for tourism. You will find spectacular scenery such as a desert, humid forests, vibrant cities, and picturesque towns. If you look at different newspapers, magazines, and travel websites, all have highlighted and recommended various places in this nation. So don’t let them tell you about it. Go enjoy the tourist attractions of Chile.