The Andes is one of the major attractions of South America and has an important relevance at a global level, due to its extension, height and biodiversity. In our territory, this giant mountain range starts in the limit with Perú and Bolivia, crossing the land until Tierra del Fuego.
If you still have not visited it, we recommend 9 interesting places to see in the Chilean part of the Andes.
Placed in the desert steppe of the north of Chile, Lauca National Park stands out for its impressive landscapes, the presence of volcanoes 6.000 meters above sea level and the Chungará lake, one of the highest in the world. This UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is home of a diverse native flora and fauna, besides of also having the living presence of the Aymaras people and their archaeological remains.
San Pedro de Atacama is a small town that mixes traditional architecture, with colonial influences of the andean indigenous people, that developed structures of stone, mud and straw. In its surroundings you can enjoy the cultural legacy of the first indigenous settlements of the quechuas, aymaras and atacameños; along with an attractive geography that includes geysers and salt flats, volcanoes, hot springs and Andean lagoons that contrast the desert landscapes of the area.
The Andes reaches its higher point in Monte de Aconcagua, nevertheless, the Nevado Ojos del Salado stands out for being the world’s highest volcano reaching approximately 7.000 meters above sea level. A place that is absolutely unique.
In the Coquimbo Region and at the foot of the Andes, the Elqui Valley is a place known for attracting those interested in a spiritual connection and the balance of the chakras; it’s even being considered by many as the new Tibet. Furthermore, beyond its espiritual aspect, the valley has many attractions for tourists, including astro turism, vineyards, archeological sites, handcrafts and the city of Vicuña, the birthplace of the national poet and Nobel Prize, Gabriela Mistral.
Less than two hours away from Santiago, the Andes is home of the biggest group of ski centers in Chile. Farellones, Valle Nevado, La Parva and Colorado are usually the training place for the main olympic delegations in the world, becoming a must-visit place for all the enthusiasts of winter sports, specially between June and October.
150 km away from Santiago and built on the middle of the Andean mountains. Sewell was a mining camp that it’s currently maintained as a World Heritage Site due to its historical and cultural value for the world. Stairs and buildings that were thought for being built on the mountains are the protagonists of this town, which has been recognized for being an exceptional example of the global phenomenon of labourer cities.
Lakes, ski and hot springs
In the south of Chile, the Andes becomes the major attraction for tourists, due to its national parks, lakes, ski centers and hot springs. An ideal scenario to enjoy by yourself or with the family. Conguillío National Park and Malalcahuello National Reserve in the Araucanía Region are the best examples of these types of attractions.
At the end of the world the Andes reaches its lowest heights, with smooth hills that extend towards Cape Horn. The Carretera Austral is the protagonist as it allows to travel across this area, with wild nature, rivers, volcanoes, waterfalls, snowfields, lakes and lagoons spread into different national parks.
Known as the eighth Wonder of the World, Torres del Paine National Park is a wild area that captivates for being the perfect place to connect with nature. Pumas, rheas and guanacos live surrounded by forests, glaciers and rivers, that can be walked through signaled paths.
This post is also available in Spanish