Chile Travel Guide

Photo by doug88888


How the Polynesians reached tranquility blessed Rapa Nui, practically severed from the world, is one inscrutable mystery; the symbolism and creation of its myriad giant statues carved from rock and bearing silent witness to history is another. These two only, although just a couple of drops in the Chilean infinite ocean of puzzles, suffice to call the country 'The Switzerland (or Italy) of South America' and a country with una loca geografia (a crazy geography). And though, in fact, we are not in favor of any such comparisons, these nicknames are not altogether inappropriate considering its peculiar shape, astounding architecture, and dramatic scenery.

Chilean outdoors is a collection of literally superlative notions. Set your feet on the Atacama, the World's driest desert overlooked by an 86-meter Giant, the largest prehistoric anthropomorphic figure. Set out to Chiloé National Park where life is at its wildest. Ponder at Southern Patagonian Ice Field where the lightest shade of blue blends with the milkiest of white. Spread out in an isolated coastal spot, where the breeze is coolest and the sun gentlest. Check yourselves in the shiniest of fjords carved in Tierra del Fuego, face most threatening volcanoes in Pucon, and embrace the ocean from the edge of Cape Horn, the southernmost point of the continent. And it's still just a tip of the iceberg, with monstrous Andes, spellbinding culture, and Chilean wine being too obvious delights to dwell on here.

Almost as if too much buzz was generated by the country's natural glamor, the Chileans tend to balance the whole with their conspicuous timidity and conservatism. Mañana (tomorrow) and relaja (relaaaax) permeate the discourse, life is taken at face value, and nobody's rushed off their feet. Even such a booming metropolises as Santiago or move on at their own snail's pace, with citizens meandering drowsily amongst high-rise architecture and through impressive shopping malls. And if someone incidentally treads on your toe, don't hit the roof first thing. People don't normally yell at each other publicly here, so swallow the bitter pill and blame it on sleepwalking.