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Chile Highlights – What not to miss when in Chile

Our team at ChileCulture has compile a list of highlights of Chile. This list contains memorable and important places and cultural insights of Chile.

Parque Nacional Torres del Paine

This spectacular park is located in the Patagonia region and draws tourism to southern Chile. The national park comprises 18,414 hectares of forest, glacial lakes and some of the Andes’ youngest peaks. Over million of years water, snow, wind and ice have eroded the terrain creating Torres del Paine, one of the world’s most dramatic natural landscapes.

 

Churches of Chiloé

 

Located in the Chiloé archipelago and facing the sea, these wooden churches were at the heart of every village. They were built by the Society of Jesus as a process of evangelization of the Chilean population. More than 400 churches were originally built and by the end of the 19th century only 100 remained. Today there are between 50 and 60 churches and because of the need to protect them 14 of these churches were declared as part of UNESCO World Heritage.

Valparaiso

Perhaps the most memorable city in Chile. One of the landmarks of the city and its most striking feature is its colorful array of houses on steep hills overlooking the bay and the Old Town’s labyrinth of  narrow quaint streets. Its seaport is the second most important in Chile in terms of tonnage. Viña del Mar, which is located in the Greater Valparaiso, is a vibrant center of Chilean culture.

 

Cemetery at Punta Arenas

The cemetery was founded in 1894. Its gravestones reflect the history of this town, they are arranged in sections; British, Yugoslavian, German and Scandinavian which reflect the main groups that immigrated to this part of the Chilean Patagonia looking for riches and opportunities. The elaborate memorials reflect the wealth of their population as Punta Arenas was the main passageway from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean before the construction of the Panama Canal.

 

Lapis lazuli

A good souvenir to take home. Lapis lazuli is a deep blue semi precious stone found only in Chile and Afghanistan. The deeper the color, the better the quality.

 

Teleférico over Santiago

Cable car trip to the summit of Cerro  San Cristobal will take you to a highest point of 860 meters marked by a 22-meter-high statue of the Virgen de la Inmaculada. You can also ride the funicular across the hill to San Cristobal. In a clear day you will get best views of the snow-capped Andes mountains and the city although most of the time it is covered with smog.

 

Museo de Arte Precolombino

Santiago’s best museum of pre-Columbian art including ancient textiles, ceramics and Chinchorro mommies, the oldest in the world.

 

Laguna Verde

The water of Laguna Verde or Green Lagoon is a stunning green-turquoise color that changes depending on the time of day. The lake lies at an altitude of 4500 meters and is surrounded by three large volcanoes, Ojos de Salado, Mulas Muertas and Incahuasi. The surroundings of Laguna Verde is perfect for trekking and hiking.

Pablo Neruda

The Chilean poet won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1971. You can visit any of the three houses where he lived: La Sebastiana in Valparaiso, Chascona in Santiago or the Museum on Isla Negra.

 

Fly-fishing

The fjords south of Puerto Montt  in the Chilean Patagonia is the fly-fishing region of Chile and is known for its world-class fishing. Chile provides one of the safest locations yet isolated and beautiful regions for fishing.


Chinchorro Mummies

 

The Chinchorro Mummies were found in a seven thousand year old burial ground in the north of Chile near Arica. They belong to the South American Chinchorro culture that developed in the north of Chile and South Peru. It is the oldest known mummification practice in the world, dating thousands of years before the Egyptian mummuies.

 

The Flowering desert

 

In the north of Chile, in the desert of Atacama the blooming of the desert or Desierto Florido is a rare occurrence that happens every four to five years due to unusual rainfall. It is a miracle of nature when hundreds of kilometers of sand become a carpet of flowers. When it happens it is in the Spring between the end of  August until the end of October.

 

Patagonia

 

Chilean Patagonia is divided into Patagonia Insular and Cordillera Patagonica. Patagonia Insular stretches west along the Pacific Ocean all the way south to Tierra del Fuego, it is made up of channels and  fjords. Cordillera Patagonica is west of the country and extends along the border with Argentina, glaciers and valleys are common in this terrain. The southern tip of the continent is also known as the end of the world.

 

Easter Island and its giant moai

 

Who built these giant statues and why? Easter Island is a remote island in the middle of the South Pacific, it belongs to the Polynesian group of islands.  it was name Easter Island because the first contact with the western world was on Easter Sunday 1722. The Rapanui are the native inhabitants of the islands who built the giant moai, today there is much effort to keep and promote their history and cultural heritage.

 

Wineries

Chile has gained international status as a wine producing nation. Its rich soil and temperate climate has created the conditions for grape growing. Many wineries around Santiago offer tours and tastings.

 

Related Information

 

Chile Weather

Find monthly average temperatures for the main cities in Chile

Culture of Chile

Find out about the culture, heritage and social customs of this country.

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