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Map of ChileChile Holidays

  • "The whole Explora experience really is something special and I think pretty good value for money. I was the only person doing the Travesia from El Chalten to Torres del Paine - it was fantastic!"
    Mr. Peter Kudirka

Compass is an online magazine, designed to inspire, inform and entertain on the subject of travel in its broadest sense.

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Beginning in the north at the Peruvian border, Chile stretches most of the length of South America all the way to Tierra del Fuego in the south. From the lunar desert landscapes of Atacama to the wilderness of Patagonia, Chile is a country of incredible contrasts. At its widest point Chile is less than 350 km so almost everywhere you are the majestic Andes, the geographical border with Argentina, provide a spectacular backdrop.

What to see

The scenery and landscapes of Chile are all so varied that there are so many things to see. The Atacama Desert, the driest desert in the world, has some incredible sights: watching the flamingos at the salt flat as the sun sets behind the mountains getting up before dawn to see the El Tatio Geysers at their most active star-gazing in some of the world’s clearest and highest skies with no pollution and thin air and walking among rock formations that resemble other planets.

Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia, the far south of the country, is a walker’s and photographer’s natural paradise. It is a beautiful area of stunning mountains and crystal clear lakes. Boat rides can be taken to the glaciers and walks can be made to the base of the towers - the Torres. Whether you stay inside the park, or just past the borders, the scenery is breathtaking. A five-hour drive from the nearest airport at Punta Arenas into Torres del Paine National Park, it is definitely remote. Interestingly, Torres del Paine sits on the same latitude south of the equator, as London is north but there can’t be many places in the UK that feel quite so isolated and secluded. A cruise around Cape Horn is a popular way to see the stunning wildlife and landscapes of the area. 

Because of the length of the country, it is impossible to avoid taking domestic flights. This means it is inevitable that nights are needed in Santiago when flights don’t connect. For a capital city in South America, there isn’t a great deal to see or do, so excellent alternatives are the wine lands in the Casablanca Valley and the quirky port city of Valparaiso, both easily accessible from Santiago airport. Until being declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2003, the city was much overlooked as a place to visit but it has now undergone a lot of restoration and the narrow hillside streets provide an interesting place to explore for a day.

Easter Island, owned by Chile but lying almost half way across the Pacific Ocean and more Polynesian than Chilean, is another unique destination, shrouded in mystery and intrigue that few people ever experience. The history of the Moai is not known and no one really understands the origins of neither the stelae nor how they came to be on the islands.

Tour Collection

Browse our collection of small escorted group tours and luxurious private journeys.


Browse our tailor-made section and design a holiday to suit your interests, tastes and budget.

Key Facts

Capital: Santiago
Flying time from London: 14 hours 29 minutes
Time difference: GMT -4
Population: 17 million
Currency: Chilean Peso (CPL)
Official Language(s): Spanish
Visa (UK Passport Holders): UK nationals do not require a visa for visits of up to 90 days. A passport is required.

Before You Go:

The History of Chile

John L. Rector (2006)
This is a new edition of Rector’s 2003 publication and it provides a readable and chronological historical overview of Chile.

Travels in a Thin Country

Sara Wheeler (2006)
This amusing travelogue covers Sara Wheeler's six-month journey through Chile from top to bottom.


A touching story about two children and a friendship that is prohibited during the Pinochet regime, because of their different social backgrounds.
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