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A Chile Adventure!

 

Bound by the Andes and the Pacific Ocean and reaching from Peru to the Drake Passage, Chile is an adventure traveler’s playground. Voyage from the world’s oldest and driest desert, The Atacama, to The Navel of the Earth, the remote and mysterious Island of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Immerse yourself in traditional gaucho (cowboy) culture, or the Valdvian rainforest of Chiloe Island. Be it alpine trekking in Torres del Paine National Park, braving the world-class whitewater of the Futaleufu or Rio Bio Bio, or mountaineering in the Andean Cordillera, Chile’s call to adventure cannot be ignored. Fly fish your way through the Lake District or venture through the Fjords, channels, and islets to the remote, untouched waters of Aisen. World class surfing, skiing, mountain biking, kayaking, and horseback riding are all at your disposal. Accommodations range from unique tented camps and geodesic domes to the ultra chic Explora Patagonia in the heart of Torres Del Paine National Park.

Santiago, Chile is a modern, trendy metropolis with a burgeoning culinary scene and top notch, luxurious urban hotels. Outstanding museums like The Museum of Memory and Human Rights (Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos), Museum of Natural History (Museo Nacional de Historia Natural), and The Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art (Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino) round out the cosmopolitan atmosphere of Chile’s capital and largest city.  Stroll through boutique shops and eclectic eateries in the bohemian quarter of Bellavista. Wax poetic as you wander among the colonial mansions and artsy, mural-lined streets to La Cascona, the former home of Pablo Neruda, Chile’s Nobel Prize-winning poet.

Gourmet cuisine abounds, and with 2,700 miles of Pacific coastline, seafood plays a significant part in Chilean gastronomy. Visit the frenetic Mercado Central in Barrio Santa Lucia for an impressive display of the country’s freshest catch. While it has recently gained notoriety with tourists,  the market offers the chance to try a variety of local and regional fare. Sample locos, a type of local sea snail resembling abalone, or pastel de jaiba, a traditional custardy crab pie. Santiaguinos are serious about their salchicherias (hot dog shops). Out seeing the sites? Check out Domino near Plaza de Armas, for a vienesa stacked with everything from avocado to a fried egg, and kill two birds with one stone. Santiago is quickly becoming one of the top culinary destinations in South America, and Rodolfo Guzman’s Borago is one the top 50 restaurants in the world. The ingredients for Borago’s menu are sourced from small, local producers or foraged from the sea, mountains, and valleys within 200 km of the restaurant itself.

The right wine can compliment any meal and a visit to Chilean wine country pairs perfectly with an active itinerary. With no less than seven distinct wine regions within a three-hour drive of Santiago, Chile sports some of the most exceptional terroir in the Americas. Award-winning Carmenere, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Sauvignon Blanc have received international acclaim. The Maipo Valley, the most famous of Chile’s wine regions and home to Concha y Toro, the country’s largest producer and exporter of wine, is less than a one hour drive from Santiago’s city center. The combination of warm afternoon sun and cool Andean breezes culminate in bold, nuanced, and elegant wines. Wine country is a wonderful prelude to Patagonia or a relaxed way to spend your last day in country.

In January of 2018, the government of Chile announced the creation of five new national parks safeguarding more than 10.3 million acres of wilderness. The resulting Patagonia National Park system is more than three time the size of Yosemite and Yellowstone combined. This unprecedented conservancy effort augments Chile’s national parks complex by more than 38%. The newly protected lands complete an uninterrupted 17-park route that stretches down the southern spine of Chile to Cape Horn.

Combine Chile and Argentina and experience the essence of South America. Compare and contrast the luxury of Santiago and Buenos Aires. Scrutinize the Argentine Malbec against the Chilean Carmenere, as you sip your way through wine country. Relish the beauty of Patagonia and the juxtaposition of this shared natural wonder.  From backpackers to the jet set, our Adventure Architects can help plan a trip that is casual and unassuming or caters to the most discerning clientele.