There’s no doubt that Chile is one of the most diverse, remote and sensationally beautiful destinations on the planet. Endowed with an abundance of natural attractions, colourful cultures, exotic wildlife and exquisite winding beaches, this inspiring strip of geographical perfection is where you’ll encounter some real South American adventures and unique soul-searching experiences.
Just thinking of this coveted tourist escape will have you swaying to dreams of sun-drenched coastal luxury, summer hikes up Patagonia’s thrilling mountain passes and even skiing adventures in the lofty peaks of the Andes – with the right preparation, of course.
Chile has countless other hidden secrets ready to delight anyone that traverses its surreal landscapes. Here are the top five things you didn’t know about this extraordinary holiday paradise.
1. Chile’s Atacama desert is the driest place on earth
You may have heard of its spectacular beauty and jaw-dropping landscapes, but did you know that the Atacama desert is the driest place on earth? The desert sits at 7500 feet and is spread throughout a mystical stretch of land straddled by the Andes Mountains and Pacific Ocean, covering an unbelievably vast area of 363,000 square kilometers. It is said to be one of the world’s oldest desert habitats, with some parts of the region having never experienced a drop of rain.
2. Chile boasts the world’s biggest swimming pool
In the city of Algarrobo (located on the serene coast of the Pacific) lies a truly incredible sight – a swimming pool measuring 1000 yards in length and spread over 20 acres, with a maximum depth of 115 feet. This massive record-breaking pool was opened in 2006 and took over five years to complete. The pool holds 66 million gallons of seawater and costs about 2 million dollars to maintain every year. Other sights you can see in Algarrobo include the picturesque Penguin Island and the Playa El Canelillo beach.
3. Chile produces some of the world’s finest wines
Succulent red wines and delectable cuisine are an unmissable part of any South American adventure. And there’s hardly a better gourmet escapade you can undertake than exploring the delicious flavours and aromas that trickle across Chile’s wine valleys. Many of the country’s wine regions date back to the mid-16th century and boast stunning landscapes, great variety and (of course) undeniable taste. Some of Chile’s most popular wine hotspots include the Colchagua Valley, Maipo Valley and Limari Valley.
4. Chile sports one of the world’s longest coastlines
Chile has a coastline that’s over 6500 km long. It’s not just one of the longest countries in the world, but also one of the narrowest (with a width of only 200 km). With such an extensive coastline, it’s no wonder that Chile is the perfect stop for a beach holiday unlike any other on the continent.
The country’s heavenly shores offer a mild Mediterranean climate, allowing beach lovers to enjoy warm, sunny days and blissfully cool nights. You’ll find popular beach resorts scattered all across Chile, from north to south.
5. Chile has five UNESCO World Heritage sites
The world heritage sites in Chile are all cultural landmarks, carefully preserved to reflect the story of human life over the centuries and its intricate relationship with the surrounding land. The five sites are the Historic Quarter of the Seaport City, the Churches of Chiloé, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works, the Sewell Mining Town and the Rapa Nui National Park.