Point of view
A guide to some of the bests views of Chile
With so many stunning natural vistas, it is hard to decide what sites to visit, so here are a selection of must sees.
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Queulat National Park in Aysén is home to one of the most stunning views in Chile. Photo by Dan Lundberg / Flickr
There is certainly no shortage of breathtaking landscapes and stunning vistas across the length of Chile. From the other-worldly Atacama Desert to the iconic peaks of the Torres del Paine, there are unique and beautiful sights along every route, no matter what part of the country you are venturing to.
This is Chile has done some searching and come up with a list of some great must-sees for anyone wishing to take in all the best sights in Chile. Of course this is not an exhaustive list, as there are countless others that are worth a visit.
Of course the Atacama Desert is full of stunning views captured in every tourist’s vacation photos — Valle de la Luna, the seemingly endless salt flats, and the turquoise altiplanic lagoons — but there is an iconic vista found outside this mars-like landscape.
The Portada de Antofagasta, an amazing natural stone arch off the coast of northern Chile is a beautiful example of the impressive power of the ocean. The national monument is just 11 miles outside of the city of Antofagasta off of route B-466. The lookout is easily accessible by car and a must-see when visiting this part of the country.
Just south of this national monument is Pan de Azúcar National Park, also definitely worth a visit when passing through the north. Off C-120, park guides can point you in the direction of the ideal hiking path that take you to the Mirador — a spectacular look out with views of the Pacific and the Isla de Pan de Azúcar. Along the mile and a half hike you will get to explore the many unique semi-desert flora that line the trail.
The area is also well known for the many humboldt penguins that reside there as well as the beautiful beaches and trails perfect for outdoor enthusiasts and those looking for a relaxing getaway alike.
The rolling hills of Valparaíso offer many wonderful views of the colorful port city. however, local recommend exploring the Atkinson and Gervasoni neighborhoods for the best vistas. From these streets you can see both the shimmering coastline and the eclectic style and design of the surrounding areas.
Take the Concepcón elevator up the hill to reach these neighborhoods for another must-do when visiting this cultural hub.
If you are in the capital and looking for a view most people choose to take a trip to the top of Cerro San Cristóbal, but don’t overlook the city’s smaller hill — Cerro Santa Lucia.
Set on a colonial look out, a walk up the hill includes passing a beautiful fountain, winding staircases and several cannons. Located in downtown Santiago, the hill offers great views of the city in a unique setting.
Just across from the hill is a large artisan market — also named Santa Lucia— ideal for picking up local crafts or gifts. All of this is easily accessible by local transportation with bus stops all along Alameda, the main road in front of the monument, and a metro station bearing the same name.
El Velo de Novia (The Bridal Veil) and La Leona (The Lioness), two picturesque waterfalls set in Chile’s Siete Tazas National Park in the Maule region south of the capital is another must-see in the central part of the country. A serene paradise for hikers, the national park is about 3 hours by car from the capital and ideal for those interested in natural vistas in central Chile
Chile’s Volcán Villarica has been named one of the most famous in the world, and it is not surprising given its stunning beauty and the many exhilarating activities available on its slopes. The best views of this snow capped peak are form a bit of a distance, however, from the many vistas within the Huerquehue National Park.
Looking for a view that combines glaciers, waterfalls, and the rugged beauty of Chilean Patagonia? Don’t miss the Queulat Hanging Glacier in the Queulat National Park in Aysén. This impressive sight features a massive glacier 6,198 feet up that feeds two waterfalls that crash down giving the impression that the blue ice might just come down with it.