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Atacama Desert, Chile

Chile

Stunning landscapes, unmatched adventure

Chile tailor-made holidays

Introduction

"You have to be thin in Chile," the American journalist John Gunther once said, "otherwise you fall off". But this long, thin country – 4,350 kilometres long but never more than 180 kilometres wide – is also a land of tremendous contrasts and adventures.

A holiday to Chile provides the chance to take in some of the country's many travel highlights, which range from superb wine-growing lands and breathtaking desert terrain, to beautiful mountain lakes and some of South America's most captivating cities.

Chile's eastern flank is dominated by the South American continent's rugged spine, the Andes mountains, where alpacas and trekkers roam amid stunning scenery. To the west is the Pacific Ocean, in which the far-off speck of Easter Island – Rapa Nui – is Chile's most remote outpost. Towards Chile's northern tip, meanwhile, is another geographical extreme, the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on earth, a hotbed of mining but also of adventure travel.

Finally, travel to Chile's southern extreme and you'll be confronted with the vastly different, but equally dramatic landscapes of Chilean Patagonia – with its enormous glaciers, deep fjords and wind-swept channels where vast penguin colonies and large numbers of whales, seals and seabirds can be sighted on expedition cruises. The Torres del Paine National Park and the Lake District are two of the most popular attractions on a luxury cruise route that continues to the continent's wild, southernmost tip, Tierra del Fuego.


At a glance

Flying time from UK
15½ hours

Time zone
GMT -4

Currency
Chilean peso (peso) = 100 centavos

Language
Spanish

Travel advice
(UK/US) None

See Chile travel guide

Special offers in Chile

Spirit of Chile with Tierra Hotels

14-day tailor-made journey from £6,475 pp incl. flights

Special
offer

Discount if staying at three Tierra hotels – Save up to £910 pp
Book by: 30 December 2019

Witness the best of Chile's stunning natural world, from the vast expanse of the Atacama Desert to the lakes, glaciers and towering mountains of Patagonia in the south, staying throughout at some of the country's finest hotels.

Top itineraries in Chile

Patagonia and the Carretera Austral

14-day tailor-made self-drive from £3,165 pp incl. flights

Combine an adventurous drive on the Carretera Austral from Balmaceda to Valle Chacabuco with a stay in the world-famous Torres del Paine National Park. This two-week tour also includes a stay, and guided tour, in Chile's capital, Santiago.

Chilean Wines & the Atacama Desert

12-day tailor-made journey from £3,910 pp incl. flights

Discover the contrasts of northern Chile on this 12-day tailor-made tour, which takes in the capital, Santiago, the striking landscapes of the Atacama desert and the central wine valleys of Colchagua and Casablanca.

Highlights of Chile

13-day tailor-made journey from £4,375 pp incl. flights

From the austere landscapes of the north to the granite spires of the Patagonian south and the cities of Santiago and Valparaíso in between, this tailor-made holiday takes in the best of Chile’s history, heritage, landscapes and wildlife.

Luxury Atacama & Easter Island with explora Hotels

11-day tailor-made journey from £4,835 pp incl. flights

Chile is a destination made for adventure. And, you’ll take in the best of it on this luxury itinerary, which pairs full inclusive stays at two explora hotels – one set amid the austere beauty of the Atacama and the other in faraway Easter Island.

See all itinerary ideas

What our clients say about our Chile holidays

  • The vacation all went to plan and we had a wonderful time. The recommendation to stay at the Explora Hotel was a great idea and definitely made our time in Rapa Nui much more worthwhile. Thanks to Heather!

    Chris C

Top places to stay in Chile

The Singular, Santiago

Contemporary hotel

The Singular Santiago - the second offering from Chile's Singular hotel brand after its sister property in Patagonia - offers five-star luxury in the Lastarria Neighbourhood of Santiago, one of the most charming, characterful and cultural districts of Chile's vibrant capital city.

explora Patagonia Lodge, Torres del Paine National Park

Contemporary lodge

Escape from the distractions of the outside world at Patagonia’s original design hotel, where modern technology takes a back seat to natural wonders of the Torres del Paine National Park.

Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa

Contemporary hotel

Combining outdoor adventure with a relaxed atmosphere and first-class hospitality, the exceptional Tierra Atacama brings together striking architectural features, stylish interiors and a designer spa in Chile’s arid northern desert.

The Singular Patagonia, Puerto Natales

Historic hotel

Located just outside Puerto Natales on the edge of Last Hope Sound amid the spectacular landscapes of Chilean Patagonia and 100 kilometres from the Torres del Paine National Park, this stunning lodge offers guests an experience to remember.

See all places to stay

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Where to go in Chile

Torres del Paine National Park

Torres del Paine is Chile's finest national park, noted for its spectacular, sprawling landscapes and the majestic granite spires that give the park its name. Take it all in on hikes and horseback rides, or simply enjoy the views from a range of stunning hotels and ultra-luxury lodges.

Santiago & Central Chile

Central Chile is the political and commercial heart of the country, its energies focused on Chile's two biggest cities, Santiago and Valparaiso. The nation's capital is Santiago, with its gleaming tower blocks, chic boutiques and grand plazas.

The Atacama Desert & Northern Chile

The Atacama Desert is northern Chile's most distinctive geographical feature. Starkly different from the south of the country, this 1,000 kilometre strip of land is one of most arid regions on earth.

Chilean Patagonia

Patagonia is one of South America's most inspiring wilderness regions. This vast and sparsely populated plateau covers much of southern Argentina and Chile, and is a hugely popular destination for trekking, watching wildlife and luxury cruises.

See all places

When to go to Chile

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Average rainfall (mm)
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Max temp Min temp Rainfall

The climate in Chile varies dependent on location. The country stretches from glaciers to tropics, coast to mountaintops; impossible to ignore when considering when to travel. The south is best visited in the summer months (late-November to March) when temperatures are more pleasant and longer days add a magical feel to the lakes and plains. Long days also allow travellers extra time for outdoor pursuits. The shoulder seasons, spring and autumn, are also pleasant, but heavy weather in the winter isolates some towns and villages and makes some roads impassable. By contrast, the north and the Atacama Desert are best during winter, spring and …

See regional weather

Chile articles

  • Luxury lodges in South America: the ultimate guide to explora

    explora properties offer some of the most luxurious accommodation in South America's most spectacular settings. Expect open bars, full-board fine dining and included excursions that range from archaeological hikes in Peru to bike rides in Patagonia.

  • The world's best driving holidays

    We take a look at the world's best driving holidays, with everything from Iceland's geological drama to America's greatest road trips. Each has been carefully selected by our destination experts, reporting back from the road.

  • An insider's guide to The Singular Patagonia

    Wexas Travel commercial director David Warne heads south to cast his expert eye over one of Chile's most popular luxury lodges – the spectacular Singular Patagonia.

  • An in-depth guide to Chile's luxury lodges

    Returning to Chile, destination specialist Rachel Mostyn gives an in-depth guide to the country’s luxury lodges and unique destinations.

See all articles

Meet our Chile experts

Speak to a tailor-made specialist on 020 7590 0698

Meet the team

Why book with Wexas Travel?

At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0698 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

Learn why Wexas is the leader in creating luxury holidays. What is tailor-made travel?

Expert advice & support

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Let our travel specialists curate the perfect holiday:

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Every step of the way

Every step of the way

Our services are with you from start to finish:

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