Chile’s long, slender silhouette stretches some 2,653 miles from the tropics of the north down into Patagonia and the icy fingertip of the continent. The country encompasses such diversity of geology and terrains that it holds a special appeal for nature lovers and adventurers.
Immense ice fields and glaciers combine with the surreal granite spires of Torres Del Paine in Patagonia. The driest spot on earth, the Atacama Desert is home to fantastic moon-like topography, geysers, sculpted dunes and flamingo lagoons. The dazzling lakes and snowcapped volcanoes of the Lake District; and the hot springs, glaciers and temperate forests of the Carretera Austral invite exploration.
The Magellan Strait opens to the wildlife lands of Tierra del Fuego and Cape Horn. Some 2,300 miles offshore await the mysteries of the giant stone heads, moais, of Easter Island.
Along with these stellar landscapes, Chile also boasts sophisticated cities such as its capital, Santiago. In a beautiful valley surrounded by snowy Andean peaks, the city is a wonderful base for exploring the country’s famous wine estates. Luxury Chile travel pleases the connoisseur – be that of wines or mountaintops.
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I was surprised to see that the ice in Patagonia is blue. Patagonia’s Southern Ice Fields reveal themselves in lakes, canals and fjords. The scenery is a canvas of continually contrasting lights and shadows, where the mountains run into a sea that is dotted with islands. The land is furrowed yet nearly smooth as the winds and glaciers continue their slow work of pulverizing rocks, plowing out valleys and immense canals. Legendary navigators such as Ladrillero, Darwin and Fitz Roy came here long ago. I wonder if they saw the same blue ice chunks floating in the waters, glowing like a child’s nightlight?