With the towering Andes acting as a natural border between the two countries, the other side is skirted by the ocean, giving each country a vast coastline. They both span from arid, ochre deserts in the north to the crystal-like glaciers of southern Patagonia. Not to mention the fertile land that owes to the production of some of the world’s finest wines.
For those dying to visit South America, this can pose something of a dilemma – after all, with so much in common, which one should you choose?
The good news is that the choice becomes easier when you look through a lens. We are going to share some of the countries' common elements with you – and how, despite their similarities, there are still differences that can help steer your travel choices.
One of the most convincing reasons to visit either Chile or Argentina is the opportunities each offers for viewing spectacular scenery. The imposing Andes, lakes and coastlines mean the two have a lot in common when it comes to landscapes – especially as they have similar climates. However, there are some natural wonders that are unique to each place.
The Atacama desert, Chile
The sweeping landscapes of the Atacama desert are a spectacle you can only see in Chile. Renowned as the driest desert in the world, it is hot during the day, cold at night and offers some of the best stargazing in the world. Thanks to the high altitude and pollution-free air, it is also home to the world’s most powerful observatory ALMA (Atacama Large Millimetre Arrray) that can spot some of the most distant, ancient galaxies that have ever been seen. Astronomy enthusiasts can visit ALMA to learn about the site and installations and can observe the galaxies through telescopes from SPACE (San Pedro de Atacama Celestial Observatory), learning about the constellations from your guide.
From the jagged Moon Valley where you might mistake yourself for being on mars and the spurting El Tatio geysers – the third largest geyser field in the world – to the salt flats and beautiful lakes where pink flamingos live, the landscapes are truly breathtaking.