Chile tailor-made holidays
"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.
Chile tours provide 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
Chilean peso (peso) = 100 centavos
Where to go in Chile
Torres del Paine is Chile's finest national park, noted for its lakes, waterfalls, forests, glaciers and rocky peaks, and the majestic 2,800-metre granite spires that give the park its name. The Towers of Paine comprises three stunning rock faces on the Paine massif, an eastern spur of the Andes th…
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 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.
When to go
Average temperature (℃)
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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 autumn and though summer is also fine, be wary of …
Top itineraries in Chile
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 13-day tailor-made holiday takes in the best of Chile’s history, heritage, landscapes and wildlife.
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 and the central wine valleys of Colchagua and Casablanca.
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 14-day tour also includes a stay, and guided tour, in Chile's capital, Santiago.
Top places to stay in Chile
Thatched roofs and colourful furnishings give this luxury Atacama hotel a distinctly African feel. With an excellent restaurant and delightful outdoor pool, it’s the ideal base for exploring the wonders of the world’s driest non-polar desert on exclusive, private excursions.
With a newly opened spa, five acres of sprawling gardens and a past guest list that includes British royalty and Hollywood movie stars, this Bauhaus-inspired retreat is a true Lake District gem.
Just 3 kilometres from San Pedro de Atacama, but a world away from the bustle of town, this stylish lodge and spa overlooks the stunning Catarpe Valley, bringing indulgent luxury to the driest non-polar desert on earth.
Special offers in Chile
Save up to GBP2,400 per couple
Book by: 30 April 2017
Witness breathtaking landscapes ranging from the vast expanses of the Atacama Desert in the north, through the verdant central plains and sweeping vineyards of the country's central region, to the lakes, glaciers and towering mountains of Patagonia in the south.
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