A country stretching from the Atacama Desert to the icebergs of Cape Horn, Chile remains vastly unexplored by global travellers. Watch geysers spew out from the driest landscapes or the stars on the darkest skies — Chile is for the traveller who likes to explore hidden gems. By Shubhanjana Das
1. The Icebergs of Patagonia
The pace at which glaciers are melting, you might never be able to witness one! While the clock still ticks, kayak your way through a glacial lake by dodging a few icebergs to witness boulders of ice on the banks of the lake. Patagonia, just about 650 km from Antarctica, has a landscape that inspires awe. The sight of retreating glaciers from Grey Lake offers perspective on what we are losing beyond repair.
2. The Dry Lands of Atacama Desert
The icebergs on one part and the driest lands on the other shows the crazy diversity this country houses. It’s said that some parts in the Atacama Desert has never received rain. If we say that the landscape of red canyons, lagoons, thermal lakes and smoking volcanoes looks a lot like the lunar landscape, it won’t be an exaggeration as even NASA places their equipment for other-worldly tests in the barren salt flats, the explosive Taito geysers and Moon Valley.
3. The Stratovolcano of Villarica
Sure your travel buddy is cool, but will they be hiking volcanoes and peering into the caldera? That’s right! Chile is dotted with active, dormant and extinct volcanoes. If you head to Villarica, you can hike the 2800 m high Villarica Volcano during the summers or ski down it during winters. However, if hopping onto a plane to have the most exclusive view of the black rocks, the caldera and the charred trees of the terrain is something that makes your heart skip a beat, Villarica is the place to be.
4. Pablo Neruda’s House
Chilean pride and gem, poet Pablo Neruda’s house La Chascona in Santiago is for everyone who has ever lost their sleep over his heart-wrenching poetry. La Chascona lets you in on the antiques and strange collectibles he gathered during his lifetime.
5. Chilean Food at Peumayén Ancestral Food
Bringing together indigenous and gourmet food on a plate, Santiago’s Bellaviasta neighbourhood shelters Peumayén Ancestral Food. They say food is one of the best ways to dive head first into a culture and Peumayen proves that right. The region’s Mapuche, Rapa Nui and Aymara population’s dishes have served as the source of inspiration to drawing a twist on them.