After a long flight to Santiago, get your legs pumping and
head to the top of Cerro San Cristóbal (cerro
means hill) for panoramic views of the city below and surrounding mountains.
Hikers and trekkers should head to Torres del Paine, the national park in
Patagonia or to the top of Volcán Villarrica, one of the most active volcanoes
in the world (you can also toboggan back down!) Go wine tasting in the Rapel
Valley or head to the northern part of the country for stargazing; this area is
famed for having some of the clearest skies around and several observatories
are open to visitors with guides on hand to point out the constellations.
Chile Food & Drink
For typical, home-cooked Chilean cuisine head to smaller,
traditional restaurants. Here you’ll be served humitas (mashed corn, wrapped in
corn husks and steamed) and pastel de choclo, a pie made with chicken or ground
beef, topped with pureed sweet corn. Soups, broths and seafood (thanks to
Chile’s lengthy coastline) are staples and as with the rest of Central and
South America, empanadas are a popular snack food; these meat-filled pastries
and not so dissimilar to a Cornish pastie! For a tipple, try a glass of Chilean
wine (Carménère is one of the best) or a Chilean pisco sour, which unlike its
Peruvian equivalent is made without egg whites.
Often ranked as one of the top attractions inChile, take a
flight from the mainland to one of the world’s most remote islands, Easter
Island. Famed for its mysterious stone statues or moais, Rapa Nui has long been fascinating visitors. Head into the
Atacama Desert, the world’s driest, to Moon Valley, named for its lunar-like
dunes and mountains. Spend time in the port city of Valparaiso and its brightly
coloured houses perched on the hillside or visit the Chileo Islands in the
Chilean Lake District, an area that was cut off from the mainland for nearly
300 years and where timber houses (palafitos)
are still built on stilts.
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