Chile is an intriguing travel destination due to its startling contrasts and extreme beauty amidst a wide range of climate and geography. With attractions varying from many great national parks, soaring volcanic peaks of the Andes, the ancient forests of the Lake District, and hundreds of small offshore islands, a multitude of opportunities for excellent adventure travel awaits. With interesting history and a climate unlike any other South American country, Chile truly is one of a kind.
The feature which brings in the most travelers is the unique appearance of Chile’s elongated and slender figure contrasted by the monstrous and virtually impassible peaks of the Andes, an enormous mountain range which is still rising and contains more than fifty active volcanic peaks. With an impressive coast line stretching over 2,700 miles it is interesting to note the width of the country never reaches more than 110 miles wide, making it more than 18 times longer than its widest point.
Bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the West and marked by the extremity of Cape Horn to the south, the waters surrounding the country make for a treacherous peninsula surrounded by stormy seas passable only through the quietness of the Strait of Magellan.
Chile’s interior contains a long and expansive river valley which is homeland to it’s indigenous peoples, the Araucanians. Consisting of a five hundred mile corridor of vineyards and great farms to the north, and primeval forests and enchanting lakes to the south, the valley contains many valuable resources for its inhabitants. Since it is also surrounded on three sides by virtually impassable barriers, it is a very well protected place to reside.
With the intense contrasts of this unique region, it is no wonder people have developed a deep passion for exploring this diverse country. This passion can even be traced back to the fifteenth century when an Inca army under Tupac Yupanque rule encountered one of the three Araucanian peoples (the Mapuche) in their isolated valley after succeeding to cross one of the three great barriers, a six hundred mile string of salt basins which make up the Atacama Desert. Today, people of all kinds continue to explore the multitude of Chile's great geographic plains.