Between the Pacific Ocean and the base of the Andes, one of world’s great mountain ranges, Chile boasts some of the world’s most varied and dramatic landscapes. To comprehend its diverse geography, imagine a single country stretching from Baja California through California, the Pacific northwest coast and up to the Alaska Panhandle. Chile’s length—including the entire length of its jagged coast and islands—is an amazing 7,633 mi/12,606 km in all, making it the 19th-longest country in the world when measured by coastline, and the second-longest in South America.
Once considered remote, Chile is now one of South America’s most modern and convenient vacation and travel destinations, with contemporary infrastructure and comforts, and an outstanding reputation for safety. Combined with its booming economy and strong peso, that also means prices are high in comparison with the rest of the continent. Among Chilean specialty and customized vacation tours are those focusing on wine production, desert flora and fauna, fly-fishing, skiing, river rafting and kayaking, and hiking through stunning Patagonian landscapes.
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Modern Chile reflects Spanish, Basque, British, German and Croatian ancestry, but the bulk of the population is mestizo. Even so, there are still a million indigenous Mapuche in the south, a nation that remained autonomous until the late 19th century.
VISIT…the Matetic winery in the Rosario Valley.
SLEEP…at the Llao Llao Hotel with it’s spectacular views of the lake and mountains in Patagonia.
SEE…Santiago by riding the funicular railway to San Cristobal Hill for a panoramic view of the city.
EXPERIENCE…the Chilean countryside by horseback with a cowboy as guide.
SHOP…in the local markets of the fishing village of Puerto Varas.
DRINK…Lavendar tea from the Lavender House of Tea.