Welcome to Chile, the country “where the land ends”. Chile’s name was give by the indigenous Aymara, of a country that stretches out over roughly 40 lines of latitude.
Between the city of Arica in the high regions of Northern Chile and Cape horn in the country’s deep south stretches a distance of at least 4,300 kilometres.
Chile is spilt up into several regions: the far north, the near north, central Chile and Pacific islands, the south and Chiloé, as well as the far south and Patagonia. The Norte Grande – the far north – stretches itself out over 1,300 kilometres. Here you will find the Atacama Desert, the world’s driest desert. The near north – Norte Chico – has a semi-dry climate. Quite the opposite of the far north, here rainfall is seen as a rarely.
Central Chilli and the Pacific islands are dominated by a Mediterranean climate and stretches out from Aconcagua to Concepcion. In this region live more than half of the Chilean population, and the Metropolitan District – the northen part of central chile – makes up the urban centre of the country. Here you will find Santiago, Chile’s capital city with around 5.2 million residents. Pay the city a visit in your hire car; it is on all account worth it. Due to the conditions of the basin and in between the Andes and the coasts, it is not unlikely to see the capital filled with haze. On clear days you can stand in wonder of the beautiful backdrop of the snow-covered Andes. The palms that boarder the steps to Santiago’s 70 metre high hill Santa Lucia are especially pretty as the area’s baroque atmosphere. Here you will find a lake district – positioned in front of an volcano – and is also known as the Chilean Switzerland. The climate is characterised by its mild yet humid air, meaning a long season of rainfall in the winter. Chiloé is an archipelago that exists as the Isla Grande de Chiloé and a smaller easterly lying island.
The climate is comparable to its Atlantic counterpart and Chiloé’s countryside is often compared to that of Ireland The far south exists together with the south part of the Argentine Patagonia. The southern most point of the country is Cape Horn, known locally as Cabo de Hornos.
Chile’s diverse countryside can be captured best with your hire car, giving you the option to make stops as you wish. The countryside’s diversity will lead you to encounter the Atacama Desert, Easter Island and the forests and lakes of the south, and the same goes for Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego and Cape Horn. The sparse Andes region in the north of Chile on the 4,000 metre high Sico Pass offers a surreal view of a turquoise lagoon.
In the South of the country you will discover Araucarias, evergreen trees that grow up to 60 metres tall, currently under conservation. The trees drop their seeds that are then roasted by the locals or are used to brew Chicha, a freshening beverage. You will invariably see sheep everywhere in Chile. An exceptional ten million sheep are driven together annually on the vast Estancias (ranches).
In the South of Chile visit the Torres del Paine National Park, which has a scenic background of mountains up to 3,000 metres tall. The national park stretches out over 1,600 square kilometres, making you reliant upon your hire car to explore the park. With some luck you will encounter some Pumas and many of the 100 plus bird types – including parrots, flamingos and condors – that you can watch in peace.
No matter the situation you will have a wonderful holiday in Chile!