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Chile is an amazing country with some of the most diverse terrain and climates on the planet. It contains both the wettest and the driest place on Earth, made up largely of mountains but also containing areas of desert, rainforest and scrubland. Here’s how you can explore Chile from south to north.

Visit the southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia

At the southernmost tip of Chile, you’ll find Ushuaia – the most southern city on the planet. It’s often referred to as ‘the end of the world’ and is set to a backdrop snowcapped mountains. You can explore the port, take a trip through the mountains and learn about the history of this isolated but buzzing settlement.

Get close to Amalia Glacier

Of all the glaciers in Patagonia, Amalia Glacier might just be the most impressive. The wall of ice is absolutely vast – from a distance, it looks like a frozen tidal wave making its way through the river. The likes of Paragon Expeditions offer boat tours of this glacier.

Trek the Torres Del Paine

Torres Del Paine national park is a popular spot for hiking, renowned for its jagged mountains and crystal-clear lakes. There are several treks, which you can take a guided tour of – or explore yourself if you’re feeling brave.

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Spot penguins on Chiloe Island

There are several places in Chile where you can spot penguins. Chiloe Island is one of the most accessible spots for seeing penguins. Two varieties live here – Humboldt penguins and Magellanic penguins – and they both breed together. The rural landscape of this island and flowing meadows are also worth visiting for.

Climb the volcano at Villarica

Villarica is located in the Valdivian temperate rainforest and is home to one of Chile’s most active volcanoes. There are organised hikes up this volcano for anyone daring enough. It’s also worth taking a tour of the nearby rainforests where you may have the opportunity to spot exotic wildlife such as pumas and chillas.

See the sights in Santiago

Chile’s capital city Santiago contains most of the country’s population and is a vast and vibrant place. Here, you can take a break from the rural hiking and enjoy the city’s many restaurants and markets. Located right in the hub, you’ll find luxury accommodation such as Renaissance Santiago Hotel to stay at. You can also explore the city’s history by visiting landmarks such as San Cristobal Hill, as well as a number of museums.

Explore the Atacama Desert

In the north of Chile, you’ll find the magical Atacama desert – one of Chile’s most popular attractions. The landscape of this desert can feel as if you’re exploring another planet with its red mountains and still lakes. You can watch the sunset over Moon Valley and gaze at the bright stars at night. There are many tours through the desert organised by companies such as Rainbow Tours, which can allow you to find the best viewpoints and most impressive natural sights.

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Photo by Jared Verdi on Unsplash

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