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Top 10 travel tips for Chile holidays

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tierra-atacama-mountain views chile

Top 10 travel tips for Chile holidays

Andean Trails’ Alan Lyall lived in Chile for almost 20 years, working in tourism and here he shares, in no particular order, his Top 10 tips for holidays in Chile.

There are five things to do, and the five best times to go.

 

Things to do

1. Atacama 

Watching the sunset in the Valle de La Luna (Valley of the Moon) outside San Pedro de Atacama (pictured above). The play and contrasts of colour and shadow over the desert are inspiring.

 

moon valley san pedro atacama chile

Moon Valley San Pedro Atacama Chile

 

2. Wine tasting

Tasting Carmenere wine in the winery where it is made after having strolled through the vines guarded by the majestic Andes Mountains.

 

3. Hiking

 Walking trails in the Torres del Paine National park seeing if you can spot a fox, pudu (miniature deer) or ñandu (Rhea), zip lining in cold rain forest, floating on emerald coloured rivers, exploring volcanic caves, picking shellfish and crabs on rocky beaches, spotting shooting stars in immaculate clear desert skies, horse riding and so much more. Great for families.

 

4. Towers of Paine

 Eating your packed lunch at the base of the Towers of Paine shortly after having climbed the final moraine to get to your destination. The view of the granite spires towering over you whilst you eat is the ideal condiment to your meal.

 

5. Grape harvest

 March in the wine country in Central Chile is also a good time as it is around the grape harvest and so local places such as Santa Cruz in the Colchagua Valley have wine festivals.

 

When to go

1. North

 The North of Chile is all year round.

 

2. South

 South would be best October through April (which are spring/summer/autumn).

 

3. Patagonia

Best time of the year for Torres del Paine National Park in my mind is November.

It is springtime, before the peak season when the park is very busy. For the same reason, March being autumn.

Those months will also be less windy than high season/Summer of December through February for trekking in Chile.

 

Morraine Torres del Paine Trek Patagonia Chile

Morraine, Torres del Paine, Chile

 

4. Skiing

 If you want to ski then, June-September is the best time.

 

5. Santiago

Santiago in January – Many families have left for their summer holidays so the city is less frenetic and the traffic much better.

It’s mid summer so great for sitting outside bars and cafes, sipping a drink, watching the world go by and enjoying the sunshine.

Great for walking around, there is much to see, sculpture parks, outdoor theatre. On Sundays they have closed streets around the Parque Forestal park to hand them over to pedestrians and cyclists.

 

Bonus!

Another great time to visit is September – around the 18th and Chilean Independence celebrations, Fiestas Patrias. Very colourful, traditional costume, much wine and folk dancing and barbecues.

Many parks set up ‘fondas’ where they sell traditional food and drinks and celebrate local folclore.

Contact Alan for more information about Chile

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