With its aura of remote romance, wind-whipped Chilean Patagonia attracts those travelers with an eye for beauty and a zest for adventure. Icy glaciers plunge into emerald lakes; wild fjords snake through hardwood forests; and the Andes' dramatic peaks ascend into swirling clouds and mist. It's hardly surprising that Chilean Patagonia's fabled lands have lured Magellan, Darwin, and even Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Spend a day getting acquainted with the quirky Magellanic penguins congregating on Isla Magdalena. Then, continue south for jaw-dropping views of Tierra del Fuego's sky high mountains, pristine glaciers, and verdant forests. When you're ready for some R&R, retreat to your cozy lodge to get energized with some fresh Patagonian air and a hearty supply of seafood and wine.
You might associate Santiago with towering skyscrapers, rolling vineyards and soaring mountains — and you wouldn't be wrong. Set in the Maipo Valley (framed by the snowy Andes to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west), Santiago captivates visitors with its arresting views, neoclassical architecture and imaginative cuisine. Santiago hasn't always been so alluring: In its nearly 500-year history, the city has withstood invasions, dictatorships and earthquakes. But over the past few decades, an economic boom has helped Santiago reinvent its image and earn it a place on the tourism map alongside other popular South American destinations like Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro. Today, Santiago continues to evolve with Latin American character and European flair shaping its art-centric barrios (neighborhoods). Along Santiago's streets, you'll find centuries-old mansions and grand cathedrals jostling against cutting-edge shops and trendy galleries, markers of Santiago's textured past and present.
Best Places to Visit in Central and South America