The great outdoors

Adventure sports in Chile

The natural beauty beckons you to plan the adventure of your dreams, and the wide variety of tourist operators combined with excellent infrastructure help you make it happen.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011  
Chile is an adventure-lover’s wonderland. Chile is an adventure-lover’s wonderland.

Chile is an adventure maverick’s haven, with the opportunity to mountain bike, ski, surf and rock climb all in the same trip. You can even ski and surf in the same day, before tucking into a gourmet meal or enjoying a night on the town. 

You will find plenty of tourist agencies and sports companies offering the equipment you need for your sport of choice, especially in major tourist destinations like Easter Island, San Pedro de Atacama, Torres del Paine, Pucón, La Serena, and Santiago.

Some of the most popular extreme sports in Chile are winter sports, both downhill skiing and snowboard. The Andes, less than an hour from Santiago, boast many first-class ski resorts for skiers and snowboarders alike. Further south, resorts like Nevados de Chillán and Antillanca attract thousands of ski enthusiasts a year, from home and abroad.

Rafting is another popular adventure sport in Chile. The regions south of Santiago are replete with long rivers and rapids of every class. And for the hard-core rafter or kayaker, Patagonia offers some of the world’s best river runs and rapids.

For ocean-lovers, Chile has a beach for everybody, making it a perfect place to learn or practice surfing and windsurfing. In recent years, Pichilemu and neighboring beaches have become a hotspot for international surfers and surf competitions.

Scuba diving is another way to enjoy Chile’s endless coastline. The remote Juan Fernández archipelago, 430 miles from the mainland, boasts spectacular underwater landscapes and 120 unique marine species, which earned it the 2011 title of best scuba destination in Chile. The top contenders this year were Easter Island (where a PADI certificate is required), Los Molles, and the Santa María island.