Cruise and Beach Destinations
in the Caribbean, Mexico & Beyond
South America

Top Tourist Attractions in Chile

Gently tucked between the Andes Mountain Range and the Pacific Ocean, Chile is sometimes referred to as the longest country in the world with a coastline extending over 4,300 km.

Apart from appearing rather conspicuous on the map, this long, narrow sliver of land, clinging to the edge of a continent is much more than size. 

In fact, this deeply loved South American country houses some of the top attractions in South America including the world’s driest desert, spectacular scenery of glaciers and fjords, as well as numerous volcanoes along the Pacific “ring of fire”.

Indeed, the list of Chilean attractions is so deep and varied that it was undoubtedly difficult to point out five alone. Still, these five attractions listed here represent the best of Chile and will not disappoint, even for the most seasoned traveller.

1. Easter Island

Undoubtedly one of the most isolated islands on Earth, Easter Island is located in the south eastern Pacific Ocean, thousands of miles off the coast. As such, Easter Island is suitable for secluded getaways, a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. It also is becoming a more popular stop on long-term cruises.

The island is famous for its 887 extant monumental statues, called moai, created by the early Rapanui people centuries ago. Moreover, Easter Island features numerous other attractions, including two volcanic craters, several sandy beaches as well as recreational sports such as diving and surfing.

Lago Chungará; source: Davide Guallini, Wikimedia Commons

2. Lauca National Park

Located in Chile’s far north along the Andan range, Lauca National Park is one of the top tourist attractions in Chile. One of the most spectacular features of Lauca is the beautiful Lago Chungará, one of the world’s highest lakes. Looming over the lake is the perfectly carved cone of Volcán Parinacota, a dormant volcano. 

3. Pucón

Pucón is a small town located in the middle of the southern Lake District. Pucon is a touristy town unrivalled in terms of its location along a beautiful lake and imposing volcano. The town offers a variety of sports and recreational activities including diving, snorkelling, water skiing, white water rafting, kayaking and horseback riding. There are also natural hot springs as well as the chance to climb dormant the Villarrica volcano.

4. La Moneda and the Plaza de Armas, Santiago

La Moneda is Chile’s presidential palace, although the president does not reside there. Most of the attractions here are quite interesting. The guard changing at 10 AM every other day in the Plaza de la Constitución is quite a spectacle.

Here, visitors will find the statue of former president Salvador Allende in the southeast corner of the Plaza. Many believe Allende committed suicide inside La Moneda during the military coup in 1973. On the other hand, others contend he was assassinated.

The Plaza de Armas is the nearby bustling square at Compañía and Estado flanked by impressive buildings such as the Correo Central (central post office), the Municipalidad de Santiago (city hall), and the Catedral (cathedral).

5. Cerro San Cristóbal

Cerro San Cristóbal is a small hill in northern Santiago complete with a beautiful view over the city and even the Andes, on a clear day. Cerro San Cristóbal houses the Parque Metropolitano, Santiago’s largest public park. There’s also a botanical garden, zoo and two swimming pools. Reaching the peak can be done either by a refreshing hike or by cable car. Here, there is a church and a 22 meter (72 feet) statue of the Virgin Mary.

All this has created a country distinct from the rest of South America and one that defies many people’s expectations of an Andean country. Chile’s diversity is reflected both in its people, its culture and its most valuable national gems. Undoubtedly, a trip to Chile will not only serve to excite and intrigue, but satisfy.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
February 17, 2020

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