"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.