Beauty and the beach
The long coastline of Chile offers many visitors the opportunity for many beachfront adventures. For a popular tourist destination, visit the beaches around Santiago, such as Viña del Mar, Valparaiso and Isla Negra. If you’re looking for something quieter or off the beaten path, try Quintay or Zapallar. In the north, the city of Antofagasta and the smaller, beach towns around it are a must-see. For pristine beaches, cactus species and azure skies, be sure to visit La Caleta in the Pan de Azúcar National Park. If you want something even more remote, plan an excursion to Easter Island, located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
It’s time to ‘wine’ Down
Known for its impeccable wine regions, such as Casablanca, Maipo, Colchagua and Maule, Chile is a wine lover’s paradise. The temperate climate of the region fuels its booming wine market. Experience the endless, rolling hills of grapes, perfect for the production of carménère, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon and sauvignon blanc as well as less well-known varieties, such as carignan, pais and petit verdot. Visit award-winning restaurants and boutique wineries for an unforgettable and delicious experience. Between October and February, the vineyards are at their most beautiful, and lush mountains serve as an incredible backdrop for pictures.
The Magellan experience
Discover the mountainous wonder that is southern Chile. Punta Arenas often serves as a home base for travellers in this region; be sure to explore the colourful town and rub the foot of the Ferdinand Magellan statue for good luck before setting out on your adventures. Spend some time in the Torres del Paine National Park to see the staggering Paine Horns and lush evergreen forests filled with native wildlife like the guanaco, a member of the llama family. For an awe-inspiring landscape, visit the massive black cliff of Cape Horn on the southernmost Chilean archipelago. To see a gathering of more than 100,000 Magellanic penguins, plan a trip to Isla Magdalena sometime between December and February.
When to go
Chile enjoys many distinct climates, ranging from arid deserts in the north and glaciers and alpine grassland in the south. Don’t forget that Chile’s season are opposite those in the United Kingdom due to its location in the Southern Hemisphere. Travelling during the Chilean summer (December to February) is ideal; temperatures are comfortable, and flights tend to be cheaper. If you’re travelling in January, consider heading to the Chiloé to enjoy the Semana Ancuditana, a yearly festival with traditional music, food and costumes.
The wine harvest takes place in March and April; wine festivals during this time allow you to experience traditional Chilean dancing, music, cuisine and, of course, wines.
Airports and airlines
Use filters on Netflights to search for the best deals by price, return flight time, flight duration and more. Click on the “Flexible Dates” option to find the best bargains on flights, particularly during Chile’s summer.
British Airways offers direct flights to Santiago from London. Other carriers that offer Chile flights from the United Kingdom include Aeroméxico, Air France, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Iberia, KLM, LATAM Chile and United Airlines. For indirect flights, typical stopover cities include Atlanta, Mexico City, Paris, Buenos Aires and Amsterdam.