Known as the world’s longest country, Chile has a diverse landscape and rich cultural heritage. It attracts nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts keen on exploring the country’s diverse natural beauty. For the more adventurous visitors, you may want to venture off the beaten path and discover places not crowded with tourists. Fortunately, there are still many places in the country that remain unspoiled. Below, check out some of the off-the-beaten-path places to visit in Chile.
#1 – Atacama Desert
Located north of Chile, the Atacama Desert boasts rugged landscapes, crystal-clear lagoons, and stunning geysers. If you want to escape the tourist crowd and explore some of the world’s most extreme environments, head to the Atacama Desert. Unless you are travelling overland, the best way to visit the region is by flying to Calama Airport. From here, catch a bus o a hotel transfer to get to San Pedro De Atacama.
When you’re in the Atacama Desert, one of the best things to do is to witness the magnificent sunrise at El Tatio Geysers. As you look out over the geyser field, you’ll be amazed to see water and steam erupting, which makes for an epic way to start the day. While mornings can be chilly, consider taking a dip in the geothermal hot springs for an even more incredible experience.
One of the attractions you should not miss in the Atacama Desert is the El Valle De La Luna or the Valley of The Moon. It’s an incredible experience trekking through the salt caves, marvelling at the glistening white crystals, and climbing up dunes as you catch the spectacular sunset overlooking El Valle De La Luna.
#2 – Chilean Lake District
The Lake District in Chile is a stunning region of dense forest, lush farmland, crystal-clear lakes, and snow-capped volcanoes. If you’re heading to this region, consider joining luxury tours in Chile – an ideal way to discover more of the country’s hidden gems. The Lake District’s spectacular scenery is not like you’ve seen before! It’s a year-round destination wrapped in legends and traditional folklore.
For a fun-filled visit to the Chilean Lake District, consider staying where the real action is – usually around national parks and the adventure sports capitals of Puerto Varas and Pucon. If you are into hiking, the Parque Nacional Vicente Pérez Rosales would be the perfect place. The forest-filled park is renowned for its scenic routes, taking you towards Argentina, past the magical green waters of Lago Todos Los Santos.
The Chilean Lake District is also famous for its winter sports. Enjoy a fun-filled skiing adventure at Parque Nacional Conguillío. It is home to a small ski centre offering incredible views, drag lifts, three runs, and a chair lift. Dog sledding has also become a popular winter activity in the Lake District. Sign up with husky dog operators in the region, offering week-long dog-sledging excursions throughout the Andes.
#3 – Chilean Patagonia
The Chilean Patagonia is a stunning wilderness with good infrastructure and an incredible place to consider when looking for off-the-beaten places to visit in Chile. It’s ideal to visit here in December when it experiences the warmest weather. While it comes with the highest price tag for tours and accommodation, you will have the stunning hiking weather as a reward.
Hiking to the lava-filled crater of Villarrica Volcano is one of the most adventurous experiences in Chilean Patagonia. During your hike, you’ll also have the opportunity to bathe in the steamy waters of the Termas Geometricas Hot Springs, explore the lush forests to search for waterfalls and lakes, and marvel at the panoramic views of Huerquehue National Park.
Another fun activity in the Chilean Patagonia is kayaking around the Chiloé archipelago and seeing the colourful stilted houses. Explore the UNESCO-listed wooden churches featuring a combination of Spanish and Chilota boat-building techniques. Trek through the Chiloé National Park and keep your eyes peeled on fascinating wildlife, including different bird species.
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#4 – Torres del Paine
Planning a trip to Chile is now so easy since you can book luxury itineraries in Chile, perfect for those looking to explore off-the-beaten places alongside other top destinations. For trekking, visit Torres del Paine National Park and conquer the famous W or O hiking routes. Both are multi-day hikes, offering a fascinating way to discover the park’s lush forests, grasslands, lagoons, glaciers, and granite peaks.
While most visitors would come to the Torres del Paine to trek, there are many other fun activities at the park. The magnificent trails with stunning scenery are hard to resist, but you should also try other activities like horseback riding, kayaking, wildlife watching, ice trekking, cycling, and fly fishing.
To make the most of your adventure, consider camping. You will find many camping sites within Torres del Paine to pitch your tent. But if you are not keen on roughing it out, you can book a stay in one of the remote lodges in spectacular locations. Staying in this lodge is the best way to disconnect from your daily life and soak up the park’s stunning natural beauty.
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#5 – Easter Island
Easter Island is a place of mystery, wonder, and imagination. With over 800 megalith statues scattered all over the island, it’s one of those places you should not miss while in Chile. You’ll learn about the legends and stories behind these fascinating structures on your visit.
Easter Island lies along the Pacific Ocean, with the nearest land masses in the Pitcairn Islands. It officially belongs to Chile despite being over 3,000 km away. As one of the most off-the-beaten places in Chile, getting to Easter Island can be a real challenge. Many visitors would visit the island on a cruise, paying at least a few thousand dollars, departing from Valparaiso.
A more practical way of visiting Easter Island is on a plane. However, flights can get delayed due to high winds, and you could find yourself waiting in Santiago for an additional day. The flight to Easter Island departs from Santiago, taking around six hours for the outward journey.