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If you didn’t know it already, Chile is a long, narrow nation. Spanning 2,653 miles from top to bottom, not many people see the whole country in one trip. Nonetheless, with attractions such as Torres del Paine and San Pedro de Atacama, the Chilean tourism industry is experiencing rapid growth. When dealing with such a long country, it’s hard to pick and choose places to fit your itinerary. This causes many tourists to ask: what are the best places to visit in Chile? In this article, I hope to explain what you can expect at some of the most exciting places in the country. Hopefully, my summary will help you to narrow down your destinations for your dream trip!

San Pedro de Atacama

San Pedro de Atacama is a small town in Northern Chile that is located smack-dab in the middle of the desert. While this doesn’t sound that tempting at first, I was personally taken aback by the beauty of this region. Watching the sunset in Valle de La Luna, I felt like I was on another planet. This destination has to make the list of best places to visit in Chile for any adventure traveler.

Activities to expect:


La Serena/ Valle del Elqui

La Serena is my favorite beach town in Chile. It’s always nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of Santiago and escape to La Serena for a few days of pure relaxation. From La Serena, it’s easy to join a tour group or take a bus on your own to Valle del Elqui. So, why is Elqui Valley such a big attraction? The answer is easy: it’s where the country’s favorite alcohol is created. Yep, grapes for pisco as well as wine are cultivated here, creating a gorgeous image of the contrast between the rugged mountains and the green, flourishing vineyards.

Activities to expect: 

  • Pisco tasting 
  • Horseback riding
  • Camping
  • Trekking


Most people tend to pass through Chile’s capital on their way to another part of the country. However, I think Santiago deserves a visit. There are many places to catch a stunning view of the Andes mountain range that surrounds the city. Furthermore, I would argue that Santiago is the best place to get to know a little more about Chilean history and to sample authentic Chilean food. Don’t miss these ten must-try restaurants in Santiago during your trip!

Activities to expect: 

  • Walking tours 
  • Museums
  • Visiting the local city market
  • Watching the sunset from Sky Costanera

Valparaíso/ Viña del Mar

Valparaíso and Viña del Mar are sister cities along Chile’s coast. While the first is primarily known for its brightly colored houses and street art, the latter is better known for its beaches. Tourists flock to both destinations, and luckily, it’s quite easy to move back and forth between the two using public buses. If you’re short on time, definitely make sure to fit these cities into your list as they are undoubtedly some of the best places to visit in Chile!

Activities to expect: 

  • Graffiti tours 
  • Sunbathing
  • Visiting Pablo Neruda’s house
  • Riding the funiculars up and down Valpo’s steep hills


Pucón is the first city that I’m going to mention in the South of Chile. A 10-hour bus ride from Santiago, this small town tourist epicenter, is a top-rated destination during the summer (December-February). People from all over the world come to Pucón to climb Villarrica Volcano (yes, an active volcano) and engage in other extreme adventure activities.

Activities to expect: 

  • Volcano climbing
  • Bicycle riding
  • Zip-lining
  • Relax in the hot springs


Valdivia is a charming town in the South of Chile, offering picturesque views. It’s hard to be anything but relaxed when strolling this city’s streets or passing through the local market. Not to mention, Valdivia is famed for its chocolate. If you need another reason to visit this quaint destination, you can also visit the Kuntsmann beer factory and enjoy an afternoon tasting your favorite samples.

Activities to expect: 

  • Strolling through the local market
  • Taking a boat ride 
  • Tasting artisanal chocolate at Entrelagos 
  • Drinking your fill of Kuntsmann

Chiloé Island

Chiloé is best known for its distinctive flair, with rows of vibrant houses placed high above the water. Many of the gorgeous wooden churches you’ll see in this town are UNESCO world heritage sites. Chiloé is different from any other place you’ll find in South America, marked by a connection to the sea and a rich spiritual culture.

Activities to expect: 

  • Visiting the iconic churches of Chiloé 
  • Trekking 
  • Getting to know the region’s folklore 
  • Whale-watching and bird-watching

Torres del Paine

This stunning national park gets its name from the three granite peaks of the mountain range. Tourists from all over the world (approximately 150,000) travel to Torres del Paine to take in the breathtaking views along different hiking paths, making it one of the best places to visit in Chile. One of the most popular options is the “W” route, taking about five days to complete. Summertime is the best season of the year to visit this national park as other times of the year typically involve extreme weather.

Activities to expect: 

  • Hiking 
  • Connecting with nature 
  • Taking in the epic views

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This list details the best places to visit in Chile with information about each destination to help with your trip planning.

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Sunday 14th of October 2018

I’m a foreign exchange student living in Ancud, Chiloé! Thanks for including Chiloé!


Tuesday 2nd of May 2017

Chilean landscapes are unlike any other, especially Moon Valley it's just out of this world beautiful!

Megan | Red Around The World

Thursday 9th of February 2017

I LOVE your pictures so much! I will definitely come back to this when I start planning a trip to Chile! It's like, the top of my list!


Wednesday 18th of January 2017

Perfect list, would love to follow every inch of it. I´m a wanderer myself and I could put quite a few check marks to some from these list and still willing t see more and more. So happy travelling to all of us!

Meg Cale

Monday 5th of December 2016

Oh I love this. How beautiful are those houses in Chiloé? I haven't been to Chile yet, but it's definitely on my list.

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