We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls.
~ Anais Nin
Chile is a long, narrow country stretching along South America's western edge, with more than 2670 miles (6,000 km) of Pacific Ocean coastline. Rich in culture, history and diversity you can start to the north in the most arid desert in the world, the Atacama Desert, go into the high elevation of the Andes mountains and peaks, spend time on the coast near the ocean shore, and travel through the forest and grazing lands to the south, with fjords, islands and inlets to explore. Chile is South America's most prosperous country with high living standards.
My friend and frequent travel companion, Pam, and I decided to travel to Chile for 10 days. The trip was like going to a buffet table that stretched the length of a ballroom and you had 30 seconds to get a tasting of all the offerings. An impossibility to say the least, but we did experience a nice sampling of what Chile has to offer.
Due the length of the country we focused on center portion with a goal to see Valparaiso, Santiago, Puerto Montt and then take a day trip to see the penquins on Chiloe Island, and also one of the volcanoes in the area.
We got a wonder taste of the country at each of the planned stops, but we could have used a lot more time to really dig into the vast offerings of Chile.
At every turn there is another wall mural; bright, colorful, fun and funky. The city of Valparaiso, Chile is a colorful art canvas. The street art, graffiti and wall murals, a tradition dating back to the 1960s continues to today, as messages from political repression to the social issue of today. Wonderful street art that the city and the world loves. Read more about Valparaiso.
Santiago, Chile's capital, sits in a valley surrounded by the Andes and Chilean Coast Range mountains. The city is rich culturally and diverse architecture, abundant sightseeing, museums, restaurants and events.
Read more about Santiago.
Puerto Montt is the main seaport and is located in Chile's Lake District. This post town is a good stepping off point for visiting the Andes Mountains and Patagonian fjords or the penguins on Chiloe Island that are only a day trip away.
Read more about Puerto Montt.
Chiloe Island, in southern Chile, is the largest island of the Chiloe Archipelago. A short ferry ride from the mainland will afford you pastoral landscapes, wooden churches from the 17th and 18th centuries and penguins among other things.
Read more about Chiloe Island.