9 Incredible Places to Visit in Chile
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9 Incredible Places to Visit in Chile

11 min read

Sep 3, 2020


By Claudia Corona

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Last updated on June 9th, 2023 at 06:57 am

The Best Places to Visit in Chile

There are so many amazing places to visit in Chile. Chile is one of the most charming and diverse South American countries, offering a broad spectrum of beautiful landscapes and lively cities. Chile has it all, whether you are a wine enthusiast, foodie, history geek, or nature lover.

This country is world-famous for its prosperous economy, wine, and nature. While exploring this beautiful country, you don’t want to miss its most famous landmarks: Santiago, the country’s impressive capital, national parks such as the Atacama desert in the North, and Torres del Paine in the South, and, of course, the mystical Easter Island.

Chile is an incredibly diverse country, which makes planning the best time to visit dependent on the location and activities you’d like to experience. As a general rule, we recommend traveling during the shoulder season, when the weather is mild, the number of tourists is lower, and prices are more attractive! There are two shoulder seasons, we recommend the months of October till early December and again from March to April. Get inspired to plan your own Chile journey today. Discover the top places to visit in Chile, from its modern metropolises to its natural wonders.

1. Santiago de Chile

Santiago cite center with Andes mountains at sunset

Why Visit Santiago de Chile

First on our list of the best places to visit in Chile is Santiago. Santiago is Chile’s capital and also its biggest city. Its strategic position at the heart of Chile makes it a proper hub between the most important Chilean regions. When traveling to the country, you’ll set foot on Arturo Merino Benítez Airport, at least on a couple of occasions.

In addition to being a vibrant city with a booming gastronomy scene and offering a beautiful collection of museums and cultural attractions, the city is located a short distance from the most famous wine regions of Chile, Maipo Valley, and Casablanca. And, of course, the enormous Andes mountains are always within sight as they border the city. Choose between a wide variety of activities related to wine tasting, trekking, and hiking while exploring this incredible region.

Best Time to Visit Santiago

Due to its proximity to the Andes Mountains, the temperature range between Santiago’s summers and winters can be quite broad. Thus, the shoulder seasons constitute the best time to visit the city. We recommend visiting Santiago from September till mid-December, and March till May. At this time, the weather is mostly warm, with chilly evenings. December and March mark the beginning and end to summer, however, and feature wonderfully warm days.

How to Get to Santiago

Santiago is very well connected with most of the major international airports all around the world. It is also a short distance from San Antonio, where the majority of cruises dock. In case you are crossing from Argentina, Santiago is easily reachable by bus from Mendoza, (approx. 7 hours drive).

Recommended Tours in Santiago

The South America Wine Tour
Santiago, Puerto Varas, and Chile Wine Tour
Food & Wine Tour of Argentina & Chile

2. Valparaiso, Chile

colorful buildings on a hill in valparaiso

Why Visit Valparaiso

Next on our best places to visit in Chile list is Valparaiso. Once the most important port of Chile, Valparaiso is a bohemian maze of colorful hills, narrow streets, and stairs, which has always inspired poets and writers from all over the world. Each hill of this Chile UNESCO city has its own name, story, and unique look. Reach the top of the hills with historic funicular elevators, and enjoy amazing panoramic views from its numerous lookout points!

Best Time to Visit Valparaiso

The months from December to March are the best time to visit Valparaiso. Temperatures here tend to be a bit chillier than in Santiago, above all at night, hence plan to bring something warmer with you when visiting the city.

How to Get to Valparaiso

Valparaiso is located a short distance from Santiago, is reachable within 2 hours drive from the capital.

Recommended Valparaiso Tours

The Highlights of Chile Tour

3. San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

lagoon in san pedro de atacama chile

Why Visit San Pedro de Atacama

San Pedro de Atacama is a charming little town in the Atacama desert, the driest non-polar desert in the world. Characterized by cute adobe houses, dusty roads, and handicraft shops, this is just the starting point of a fantastic trip into some of the most spectacular attractions that mother nature could provide us with. Get ready to explore colorful lagoons, geysers, magnificent lunar rock formations, and one of the best stargazing tours in the world.

Best Time to Visit San Pedro de Atacama

Every time of the year is always a good time to visit San Pedro de Atacama since average temperatures change very little throughout the seasons. If you want to enjoy warmer nights, the best time to travel is in the summer months of December, January and February.

How to Get to San Pedro de Atacama

San Pedro de Atacama can be reached after approximately a 2 hours drive from Calama Airport, located in the Antofagasta region in northern Chile.

Recommended San Pedro de Atacama Tours

Atacama Desert and Santiago Tour
The Highlights of Chile 
Uyuni, the Atacama Desert & Potosi Tour

4. Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

Horses grazing in front of torres del paine towers

Why Visit Torres del Paine National Park

It’s no surprise that Torres del Paine made our best places to visit in Chile list. Chilean Patagonia is a real paradise for nature and adventure lovers. Its many national parks are very well preserved and, despite their popularity, are still offering pristine landscapes and fantastic options for outdoor activities. Torres del Paine is one of the most popular and is a must-see in Patagonia, with its genuinely unique granite towers and rock formations. Relax in nature by hiking, kayaking, and enjoying the wildlife on a journey through Patagonia.

Best Time to Visit Torres del Paine National Park

Due to its lower temperatures compared to the rest of the country, the best time to visit this side of the world in the summer, from December to March. If you want to avoid crowds and don’t mind giving up a couple of degrees, the shoulder months of November and April are also good options!

How to Get to Torres del Paine National Park

The closest airports to Torres del Paine National Park are the ones of Puerto Natales and Punta Arenas. From there, your land transfer will be approximately 3 to 5 hours, depending on what airport you arrive at.

Recommended Torres del Paine Tours

Patagonia Deluxe Tour
Southern Patagonia at Your Fingertips 
Patagonia Cruise to Ushuaia, Torres del Paine & Santiago

5. Easter Island, Chile

Moai statue of Easter Island with sunset back

Why Visit Easter Island

Easter Island (native name: Rapa Nui) is a remote volcanic island in Polynesia, under Chilean territory. It is among the world’s most remote inhabited islands and is a paradise for archaeology enthusiasts due to the many monolithic statues (Moai) left by its ancient inhabitants. The island is also praised for its natural beauty, featuring beautiful beaches, dramatic ocean-side cliffs, and a giant caldera, reminding visitors of its volcanic past.

Best Time to Visit Easter Island

Easter Island has a warm tropical climate throughout the year; hence it is always a good time to visit the island. The best time to visit is during the shoulder seasons when the weather is temperate, and prices are a little lower (April to June or October to December).

How to Get to Easter Island

There are daily flights between Easter Island and Santiago Airport. Trips to the island depart in the morning, while flights back to Santiago operate in the afternoon.

Recommended Easter Islands Tours

Santiago & Easter Island Tour 
Easter Island and Machu Picchu Tour Package 
The Highlights of Chile 

6. Chilean Lake District

view of volcano in puerto varas

Why Visit the Lake District

The Chilean Lake District is a gorgeous area rich with glacial clear lakes, snow-capped volcanoes, and lush national parks. The Indian Mapuche (literally “people of the land”) were once the inhabitants of this area, and some tribes still live there today, maintaining a strong and interesting cultural heritage. European, and in particular German settlers established themselves in the region in the late nineteenth century and left a visible trace in the architecture and ambiance of the district’s little towns.

Best Time to Visit the Chilean Lake District

The best time to visit this area is during the Chilean summer, from December to March.

How to Get to the Chilean Lake District

Getting to Chile’s Lake District can be done through various modes of transportation, such as by air, bus, sea, lake, or land. The best way to reach the area is by air. There are domestic flights from the Santiago de Chile airport (SCL) to the Puerto Montt el Tepual Airport (PMC). If you are planning to visit Argentina too during your trip to Chile, another great way to get to Puerto Varas is via a lake crossing starting in Bariloche (Argentina).

Recommended Chile Lake District Tours

The Argentina to Chile Lake Crossing Tour

7. Chiloe Island, Chile

houses on stilts in chiloe island

Why Visit Chiloe Island

Also known as Greater Island of Chiloé (Isla Grande de Chiloé), Chiloe is the largest island of the Chiloé Archipelago off the coast of Chile, located in the lake region. Chiloe is a mystical island that has always fascinated visitors for its many legends and unicity. Observe its quaint palafitos and its colorful houses and churches built on stilts above water – 16 of which have been declared Chile UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The inimitable character of this island is also due to the Chilote people, whose traditions and warmth are difficult to forget! Don’t miss the Chiloé and Tantauco National Parks, famous for their intense evergreen vegetation and offering great trekking opportunities!

Best Time to Visit Chiloe Island

The best time to visit the Chilean island of Chiloe is from December to March. In this period temperatures reach their highest values, which however remain always mild. Precipitations are at their lowest level.

How to Get to Chiloe Island

There are many ways to reach the island, depending on whether you’re traveling from the north or the south of Chile. The easiest way to get there is by catching a flight to Puerto Montt and then getting a ferry across the Canal de Chacao.

Recommended Chiloe Tours

Chile, Andean Lakes & Buenos Aires Tour

8. Marble Caves, Chilean Patagonia

marble caves chile

Why Visit the Mable Caves

The Marble Caves are becoming increasingly popular and one of the best places to visit in Chile. Located in the General Carrera Lake in the heart of Patagonia, the Marble Caves are some of the most remote wonders in the world. The tour includes three different structures: the Marble Caves, the Marble Cathedral, and the Marble Chapels (the most famous of them). Get ready to admire their marvelous color and their reflection in the blue waters of the lake that hosts them!

Best Time to Visit the Marble Caves

Despite the Marble Caves are amazing all year long, the best time to visit is the summer season, from December to March. During the winter season, the unstable Patagonia weather can lead to road closures.

How to Get to the Marble Caves

The best way to get to the Marble Caves is by boat from Puerto Rio Tranquilo. The closest airport is Balmaceda Airport.

Recommended Marble Caves Tours

Add Marble Caves to a Patagonia Tour

9. Portillo, Chile

ski resort in portillo chile

Why Visit Portillo

Last on our list of the best places to visit in Chile is Portillo. Portillo is the most famous and oldest ski resort in South America, located in the Andes mountains of Chile. It is renowned for its extraordinary beauty and its world-class skiing and snowboarding, and unusual ski lifts.

Best Time to Visit Portillo

The ski season in Portillo is between the end of June and early September, during the Chilean winter. The month of August into early September is when the Andes typically receive the biggest snowstorms, hence the best time to travel there.

How to Get to Portillo

Portillo is located in Santiago Province and can be reached by car within 2 hours from Santiago International Airport.

Recommended Portillo Tours

Add Portillo to the Skiing in Ushuaia Argentina

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Last updated on June 9th, 2023 at 06:57 am

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