A skinny sliver of a country strung between the Andes and the Pacific Ocean, 3,000-mile (4,800-kilometer) long Chile manages to pack in an astonishingly varied set of landscapes. The booming mountain-surrounded capital of Santiago and the vibrant hillside port town of Valparaíso make excellent urban bases, while the wineries situated between them make perfect pit-stops for travelers journeying between the two.
Unfurling to the north of the country are the parched and surreal landscapes of Atacama Desert, the driest place on Earth and one of the best stargazing spots on this planet. To the south lie the ice fields and dramatic peaks of Patagonia, including the breathtakingly beautiful wilderness that is the Torres del Paine National Park. Off the mainland in the southeastern Pacific Ocean sits the Chilean territory of Rapa Nui (aka Easter Island), known for its floury-white beaches, top-drawer snorkeling and the carved moai (monolithic head statues) that dot the volcanic terrain.
Year round, but October through May are the least coldest months of the year.
Patagonia & easter island are best visited from late September to early April.
Atacama: September through March
8 days to 3 weeks
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