Chile is South America’s narrowest country, a sliver of land squeezed between the Andes and the Pacific. But don’t be fooled: the array of things to see and do here is astonishingly broad, ranging from the nightlife and museums of Santiago, its ultra-modern capital, to the wilds of Torres del Paine National Park in the extreme south. In between, you can stargaze in the crystal-clear nights of Atacama, the world’s driest desert, sample wines in the Central Valley’s vineyards, see snow-covered volcanoes above the dazzling blue waters of the Lake District, and discover the uncanny statues of Easter Island. Our Chile Tours will introduce you to the country that Pablo Neruda called “a long petal of sea and wine and snow.”
Santiago and the Chilean Lake District
7 Days/5 Nights from $1,409
The Chilean Lake District offers a landscape of snow capped volcanoes, emerald and blue colored lakes, and ancient forests. This tour begins with two days…
Santiago and Atacama
7 Days/5 Nights from $1,539
This tour combines Santiago with San Pedro de Atacama in the Atacama Desert. Santiago is one of South America’s most modern cities, with excellent restaurants…
Santiago and Easter Island
8 Days/6 Nights from $1,769
This tour combines Santiago with Easter Island. Santiago is one of South America’s most modern cities, with excellent restaurants and a vibrant nightlife. It sits…
Patagonia Cruise Punta Arenas to Ushuaia
5 Days/4 Nights from $2,220
This fascinating Patagonia cruise begins in Punta Arenas, Chile and continues via the Strait of Magellan and the Beagle Channel to Ushuaia, Argentina. You will…
Patagonia Cruise Ushuaia to Punta Arenas
5 Days/4 Nights from $2,220
This Patagonia cruise begins in Ushuaia, Argentina and continues via the Beagle Channel and the Strait of Magellan to Punta Arenas, Chile. You will disembark…
Machu Picchu and Easter Island – Short Version
11 Days/10 Nights from $2,419
Machu Picchu and Easter Island are two of the most amazing archaeological sites in South America. Machu Picchu served as a center of worship, an…
Santiago, Atacama, and Easter Island
11 Days/9 Nights from $2,819
You will experience three of Chile’s most popular destinations on this tour. Santiago is one of South America’s most modern cities, with excellent restaurants and…
7 Days/5 Nights from $2,879
Explora Atacama is located in the neighborhood of Larache in San Pedro de Atacama, an oasis town in the middle of the driest desert in…
Machu Picchu and Easter Island
13 Days/12 Nights from $2,899
Our Machu Picchu and Easter Island Tour offers an opportunity to explore two of the most interesting archaeological sites in South America. The citadel of…
5 Best Chile Tours for 2023-24
|Santiago, Atacama, and Easter Island||$2,819||11 Days||You will experience three of Chile’s most popular destinations on this tour. Santiago is one of South America’s most modern cities, with excellent restaurants and…|
|Santiago, the Chilean Lake District, and Torres del Paine||$4,249||11 Days||Discover the Chilean Lake District and Southern Patagonia on this fascinating tour of Chile. You will begin in Santiago with a city tour and winery…|
|Santiago, Atacama, and Torres del Paine||$4,439||11 Days||Visit Santiago and Chile’s north and south in this amazing itinerary. Beginning in Santiago, you will have a city tour and vineyard excursion, and then…|
|Santiago, Easter Island, and Torres del Paine||$4,469||11 Days||This fascinating Chile Vacation takes you to Santiago, Easter Island, and Torres del Paine National Park. Easter Island is one of the most isolated places…|
|Santiago, Torres del Paine, and Patagonia Cruise||$6,819||11 Days||Enjoy some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world on this tour of Southern Patagonia. Begin in Santiago and continue on to Torres del Paine…|
Chile Tour Information
When is the best time to travel to Chile?
The best time to travel to Santiago is September to April. For Torres del Paine National Park and the Chilean Lake District, it is October to March. Patagonia Cruises only operate from October to March. The Atacama Desert is mild year-round, but nights are colder due to the higher altitude. Easter Island has a tropical climate and can be visited year-round. For skiing, the season runs from June to October. See all Chile FAQ.
The Best Places to Visit in Chile
“Night, sand, and snow: these are what make up my slender land.” So wrote poet Pablo Neruda of Chile, his native country. As descriptions go, this one’s pretty apt. A long string of terrain wedged between the Andes and the Pacific, Chile is a place of Martian deserts and snowy peaks, sunny vineyards and starlit nights. So varied are its charms, that choosing the best places to visit in Chile can be a bit overwhelming…
1. Torres del Paine National Park
In 2013, National Geographic put this jaw-dropping, 700-square-mile wilderness of jagged peaks on the cover of its World’s Most Beautiful Places issue. They knew what they were doing. A perennial contender for UNESCO’s World Heritage list, Torres del Paine is a place to experience calving glaciers and granite monoliths, shimmering lakes and grassy pampas. When you go, keep an eye out for the pumas: they’re notoriously elusive…
2. The Atacama Desert
It’s the driest spot on Earth, but don’t let that fool you: the Atacama teems with life and beauty. You’ll find it in the clockwork eruptions of the El Tatio geysers, in the dancing flamingoes of the mirroring salt pools, in the otherworldly sunsets of the Valley of the Moon. By day, enjoy sandboarding on rust-colored dunes. By night, watch the stars wheel above you with one of the world’s biggest telescopes…
3. Easter Island
Everyone knows the iconic moai heads of this, one of the remotest spots on the planet. What they may not know is the lush tropical environment that fostered these enigmatic statues. Volcanic craters and sugar-white beaches bewitch all who come, allowing the island’s 20,000 archaeological sites to deepen their spell. An adventure that’s truly once-in-a-lifetime…
4. The Chilean Lake District
Many travelers overlook Chile’s lake region, with its glacial lakes and snowy volcanoes. In truth, it’s probably just as well, given that the area is one of the most pristinely beautiful in all the country. Here humid wetlands allow for canoeing and hiking; on nearby islands such as Chiloé, an unspoiled people preserves maritime traditions that date back to the time of the indigenous Mapuches…
Chic and cosmopolitan, Santiago is one of South America’s great cities. Set against the backdrop of the Andes, it’s a place of poetry and dance, museums and memory. Stunning exhibits shed light on the country’s pre-Hispanic past, even as a hip gastro scene entices with its fusion innovations…
6. Valparaiso & Viña del Mar
These contrasting cities afford fertile day trips from Santiago. Valparaiso is the more bohemian, with its funky graffiti art and Day-Glo, boxcar-like hillside elevators. Viña, meanwhile, is a resort town, full of sunbathers and partygoers. What unites them? A uniquely festive atmosphere…
7. Puerto Natales
Puerto Natales is the gateway to Torres del Paine. But it’s also a lot more. A colorful fishing port, the region is home to luminous fjords, blue glaciers, and abundant fly-fishing. This is Chile’s answer to the quaint villages of New England or Nova Scotia—postcard-perfect landscapes…
8. Punta Arenas
If Puerto Natales is the entryway to Torres del Paine, Punta Arenas, some 150 miles further south, opens the door to even more extreme territory: Chilean Patagonia. Windswept and hauntingly beautiful, this is the jumping-off point for cruises of Tierra del Fuego and the South Pole…
Chile Travel Articles
Chile Food: What To Eat On Vacation
Whether trekking the Patagonian glaciers, exploring the Atacama Desert, or beach-hopping along the Pacific coast, you’ll quickly work up an appetite in Chile. Thankfully, you’ll also find plenty of choices when it comes to eating out. Unlike neighboring countries where there is one star dish (such as Argentina’s asado…
At Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park, Watching Nature’s Drama Unfold
The guide in the ski cap stands stock-still, squinting through the binoculars at the blue ice. From off the lake, high winds stir his big-grizzly beard. He looks over. “Looks kinda like space aliens, don’t it?” He offers you the glasses. You tug your parka’s sleeves down over your knuckles, taking careful hold with your…
A Brief History of Patagonia Exploration
Tucked down in the far south of South America, Patagonia is today shared by Argentina and Chile. It remains a sparsely populated region of tough but frequently stunning terrain, with deserts, pampas and grasslands to the east and the Andes further to the west. For thousands of years, humans have been roaming…
The Best Places to Visit in Patagonia
Wind, space, silence. In Patagonia, everything exists on a vaster scale. Sprawled out across the southern wilds of Chile and Argentina, this is where South America’s landmass peters out and then ends—having saved, magician-like, its most astonishing effects for last. Wandering its huge emptinesses, one comes face to face…
The Wildlife Of Patagonia: 8 Iconic Land And Marine Mammals
Patagonia is a vast and rugged region in the far south of South America. Shared between Argentina and Chile, this sparsely populated territory may — at first glance — seem barren and bleak. But wildlife spotters flock to Patagonia in the hopes of seeing some of its most iconic and intriguing animals, including both…
The Wildlife Of Patagonia: 7 Iconic Birds
Patagonia is home to more than 460 species of birds, from flightless rheas to tiny owls to massive Andean condors. Understandably, therefore, both Argentine and Chilean Patagonia attract birdwatchers from across the globe. Of the hundreds of bird species that live in the region, a handful can be considered…
The Atacama Desert
The Many Marvels Of Chile’s Atacama Desert
Oscar, the guide, has his watch ready. He stares at it intently, then lifts his eyes to the crowd. “Twenty seconds.” The visitors are still bleary-eyed from the early hour (6:30 am, departure time 4:30am), but the sun just now clearing the snow-dappled peaks is gradually dispelling the sleepiness. One girl taps at a smoking…
Easter Island’s Quarry: Where The Giant Moai Heads Were Born
“Holy Moai!” As we neared Rano Raraku, the site of the quarry where Easter Islanders once fashioned the famous stone statues (Moai) for which the island is best known, I couldn’t help but exclaim in sheer amazement. There, scattered across the side of an extinct volcano, stood dozens of Moai: giant heads…
Mythological Figures Of Easter Island
Much of what we do know of the gods and other mythological figures of Easter Island is derived from oral tradition passed down through the centuries. And, like Easter Island and the Rapa Nui people, much remains shrouded in mystery — and a great deal has undoubtedly been lost. The stories have shifted…
Jacob Roggeveen And The First European Contact With Easter Island
Easter Island is one of the most isolated inhabited islands in the world. It is now part of Chile but is little more than a speck in the vast Pacific Ocean, some 2,200 miles west of the mainland. It’s unsurprising, then, that European explorers only reached the island towards the tail end of the Age of Discovery…
The Chilean Lake District
Pagan Myths And Wild Nature In Chile’s Isla Chiloé
“Now this story—this may well have something inexplicable about it.” José Rogel is wagging his finger like a professor, dubious but open to persuasion. “My father told me he’d seen the caleuche. He’d recently married my mother, and one day he went to a funeral. It was dark, lots of gray clouds over the sea…
Ten Things To Do In Santiago, Chile
“A city of twilights the color of sad coffee,” said poet Pablo Neruda. His countryman, the journalist Joaquin Edwards Bello, concurred: “A headless city, without poetry or legends.” Even the youthfully avid Charles Darwin was tepid: “It is built after the same model as Buenos Ayres, but not so large or fine.”…
Where to Stay in Santiago, Chile: Centro, Providencia, or Las Condes
Santiago is one of South America’s largest and most dynamic cities. Not only is it home to 40% of Chile’s population, but it’s also a cosmopolitan epicenter, welcoming travelers and expats from around the world. Deciding where to stay in Santiago can therefore be a challenge—with so many neighborhoods…
A Guide To The Main Wine Regions Near Santiago, Chile
Santiago is a fine base for tourists with a taste for wine. Many of the country’s best wine-producing valleys and vineyards lie within a 100-mile radius of the Chilean capital, with some just a short ride away. There’s also an undeniable and appealing sense of history in this New World wine producing region…
From Designers To Dictators: Seven Must-See Museums In Santiago, Chile
It’s a saying Chileans love to repeat. Dios está en todas partes, pero atiende en Santiago. “God is everywhere, but His office hours are in Santiago.” But if that’s the case, it’s the Chilean capital’s museums that serve as the Man Upstairs’s hall of records. When Chile’s first museum was built in 1830, right after…
Houses As Poems: Visiting Pablo Neruda’s Chile
When Pablo Neruda held a house-warming party at La Sebastiana, his hilltop residence in Valparaiso, Chile, in 1961, he did something that left his guests scratching their heads. After inviting everyone to climb the house’s tower, which commands a magnificent view of the Pacific, he tempted them with a bit of voyeurism…
Valparaiso: The Jewel Of The Pacific
Part weather-beaten seaport, part artists’ bohemia, part living watercolor, Valparaiso, Chile is a Latin American city like no other. It’s a hillside city, with a mazelike warren of ramshackle houses crowding its slopes. It’s also a city of nostalgia, drowning in memories of its former maritime glory. But most of all, it’s a city…
What currency is used in Chile?
The Chilean Peso is the currency of Chile (CLP). The most frequently used coins are the $1, $5, $10, $50, $100, $500, and the most frequently used bank notes are the $1000, $2000, $5000, $10000, and $20000. (Source xe.com)
What is the exchange rate?
The current exchange rate is One Dollar = $757.43 Chilean Pesos. See xe.com for the most up to date information.
Can I use banks, currency exchanges, ATM machines, and credit cards in Chile?
You can use banks and currency exchanges in the main cities to convert dollars to pesos. ATM machines are widely used to get cash and offer reasonable exchange rates, but there may be withdrawal limits. Credit cards are also widely used, and we recommend that you use them.
What is the transportation like in Chile?
All international flights in Chile fly in and out of Arturo Merino Benítez Airport (SCL) in Santiago, and there are domestic flights to all other major cities. Taxis and buses are widely available in most locations, and there is regular bus-ferry service from the Chilean Lake District (Puerto Varas) to Bariloche, which operates year-round. Santiago and Valparaiso are the only cities in Chile with metros. Other trains are not widely used in the country.
Can I drink the water in Chile?
Tap water is generally safe to drink in Chile. However, as a precaution for tourists, we recommend that you drink bottled water. Ask for agua sin gas for uncarbonated water and for agua con gas for carbonated water.
What are the most popular foods in Chile?
Staples in Chile are meat and potatoes (lomo a la pobre), casseroles (pastel de choclo), and soups (caldillo de mariscos). Also popular are street foods, such as churrascos, completos, and empanadas. Lamb is popular in Patagonia.
Beverage: Mote con Huesillo.
Alcoholic Beverages: Pisco (Chile’s national alcohol), Piscola, wine, and draft beer (schop).
Desert: Alfajores (filled with dulce de leche) and Chilean thousand layer cake.
Other Chile Tours
Santiago to Atacama Tours / Santiago to Easter Island Tours / Santiago to Patagonia Tours / Easter Island Tours / Galapagos, Machu Picchu, & Easter Island Tours / Argentina & Chile Tours / Chile & Argentina Tours / Chile Adventure Tours / Ecuador & Chile Tours / Machu Picchu & Easter Island Tours / Patagonia Tours & Cruises / Peru & Chile Tours
Chile Tours by Duration
7-Day Chile Tours / 8-Day Chile Tours / 11-Day Chile Tours / 12-Day Chile Tours / 13-Day Chile Tours / 14-Day Chile Tours / 15-Day Chile Tours
Patagonia Cruise Ships
Stella Australis / Ventus Australis / Skorpios II / Skorpios III