Chile

Overview

From Andrew Harper

Chile comprises a narrow coastal strip between the Andes and the Pacific  that stretches for more than 2,850 miles. In the north, the Atacama Desert contains great  mineral wealth, primarily copper. The relatively small Central Valley, which includes the  capital, Santiago, dominates the country in terms of population and agriculture. Today, Chile  is the world’s fourth-largest exporter of wine. The south of the country features a string of  volcanoes and lakes, and its coast is a labyrinth of fjords, peninsulas and islands. Owing to  the Humboldt Current, the sea abounds with marine life, including penguins and whales.  North American trout were successfully introduced, and Chile now offers some of the world’s  finest fly-fishing. Chile controls Easter Island, located 2,180 miles out in the Pacific. 

CLIMATE : Chile consists of a northern desert area, a Mediterranean central  section in which the majority of the population lives (see Santiago) and a rugged, mainly  forested southern region that is often compared to the coasts of Alaska and Vancouver Island  (see Punta Arenas).

TIME : Two hours ahead of New York (EST).

CURRENCY : Chilean peso (CLP). Fluctuating rate valued at CLP554 = US$1.00 as of April 2014. Note: Our suggested hotels quote rates in US$.

U.S. EMBASSY : Santiago, Tel. 2-2330-3000.

DIRECT DIAL CODES : To phone hotels in Chile, dial 011 (international access) + 56 (Chile code) + city code and local numbers in listings.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS : Passport. Visit travel.state.gov, and for travelers’ health information, cdc.gov.

GENERAL INFORMATION : Visit chile.travel before your trip.

Hotels

All recommended hotels in Chile

Atacama Desert, Chile
Awasi
Awasi Atacama

Enchanting little sanctuary screened by rustic wood gates and offering superb hospitality,  just outside the center of San Pedro de Atacama.

explora Atacama
explora Atacama Hotel de Larache

Comfortable wilderness lodge on the Ayllu de Larache plain, just a few minutes’ walk from the downtown of San Pedro de Atacama.

Easter Island, Chile
explora Rapa Nui
explora Rapa Nui Posada de Mike Rapu

Spare but stylish sanctuary overlooking the Pacific on a hill in the southeastern Te Miro Oone area. The spare but stylish property merges skillfully with the surrounding landscape.

Patagonia, Chile
explora Patagonia
explora Patagonia Hotel Salto Chico

Wilderness lodge on the spectacular shores of Lake Pehoé amid the natural splendors of Torres  del Paine National Park. A very special hideaway in a hauntingly beautiful, unspoiled setting.

The Singular Patagonia
The Singular Patagonia

Hotel on the National Historic Landmark site of an early 20th-century meatpacking and  refrigeration plant, near thriving Puerto Natales.

Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa
Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa

Utterly remarkable property dominated by a grand sweep of immense floor-to-ceiling windows offering an extraordinary view across Lago Sarmiento to 8,760-foot Monte Almirante Nieto and the breathtaking granite monoliths of the Cordillera del Paine.

Santiago, Chile
Ritz-Carlton Santiago
The Ritz-Carlton, Santiago

Stylish luxury hotel with 205 guest rooms and suites located in the exclusive El Golf neighborhood near many fine shops and restaurants.

Santiago Area, Chile
Hacienda Los Lingues
Hacienda Los Lingues

Historic farm/horse-breeding facility on 9,000 rolling acres, 2½ hours south of Santiago. Owned by the same family for more than 400 years, the 17th-century retreat captures the essence of rural Chile.

Lapostolle Residence
Lapostolle Residence

Gracious hideaway set among vineyards above the architecturally striking, $10 million Clos Apalta winery in the Colchagua Valley.

Dining

All recommended restaurants in Chile

Aquí Esta Coco

Aquí Esta Coco has long been a popular restaurant in the smart Providencia neighborhood. Having arisen from a major fire in 2008, it remains one of the capital’s most fashionable places, thanks to the loyal following of the Pacheco Baquedano family. We started with shellfish-packed empanadas, which were just delicious, and continued with the signature "mai mai" conger eel (which looked and tasted rather like North Atlantic loup de mer) in a fresh cream sauce with shrimp, mushrooms and ham. Closed Sunday and during the month of February.

Calle la Concepcion 236 Providencia
Santiago
Chile
Astrid & Gastón

Astrid & Gastón is actually the Chilean branch of a well-known Peruvian establishment, but pedigree aside, it is probably the best restau-rant in town. (In 2008, it was awarded this accolade by Santiago’s Guía Culinaria.) Also in Providencia, it is tucked into a small pink building with a bustling dining room flanked by an open kitchen. We were seated on the very pleasant upstairs terrace, which for some reason known only to locals seems to be regarded as a social Siberia! Fortunately, the food was superb and beautifully presented. The starter of grilled octopus was a lovely composition, arranged in the shape of a star and set on a potato purée along with tangy dollops of olive foam and dabs of pepper coulis. A main course of grilled turbot came with potato gnocchi in a zesty tomato sauce. The service could not have been more gracious. Closed Sunday.

Antonio Bellet 201 Providencia
Santiago
Chile
Azul Profundo

Azul Profundo is located in the lively Bellavista neighborhood. As the name — “Deep Blue” — would lead you to suspect, the spe-cialty is seafood, a suspicion confirmed by the nautical décor. The menu features fish from Chile’s 3,000-mile coastline — swordfish, sea bass, salmon, hake and flounder, plus yellowfin tuna from Easter Island — and the best way to order them is a la plancha, which means grilled on a cast-iron skillet. Nothing else is required, except perhaps a turn of pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon. A good way to begin is with ceviche or the selection of ocean-fresh shellfish. The perfect accompaniment is a crisp Sauvignon Blanc — Chilean, of course.

Calle Constitucion 111 Providencia
Santiago
Chile

Special Offers

Special Offers

explora Atacama - Added Benefits for Returning Guests
explora Atacama - Added Benefits for Returning Guests

All returning guests to explora Atacama, explora Patagonia and explora Rapa Nui (regardless of destination or program) become part of the Club Exploradores del Sur America. The added benefits received on a return trip are: 10 percent savings on the total value of the booking; 10 percent savings for travel companions; 15 percent savings on massage services; room upgrade at time of booking from April through Oct., 2014, based on availability; room upgrade at time of check-in from Nov. through March, 2014; and welcome amenity of Champagne and fruit and cheese tray.

explora Patagonia - Returning Guests–Added Benefits
explora Patagonia - Returning Guests–Added Benefits

All returning guests to explora Atacama, explora Patagonia and explora Rapa Nui (regardless of destination or program) become part of the Club Exploradores del Sur America. The added benefits received on a return trip are: 10 percent savings on the total value of the booking; 10 percent savings for travel companions; 15 percent savings on massage services; room upgrade at time of booking from April through Oct., 2014, based on availability; room upgrade at time of check-in from Nov. through March, 2014; and welcome amenity of Champagne and fruit and cheese tray.

explora Rapa Nui - Returning Guests – Added Benefits
explora Rapa Nui - Returning Guests – Added Benefits

All returning guests to explora Atacama, explora Patagonia and explora Rapa Nui (regardless of destination or program) become part of the Club Exploradores del Sur America. The added benefits received on a return trip are: 10 percent savings on the total value of the booking; 10 percent savings for travel companions; 15 percent savings on massage services; room upgrade at time of booking from April through Oct., 2014, based on availability; room upgrade at time of check-in from Nov. through March, 2014; and welcome amenity of Champagne and fruit and cheese tray.

The Singular Patagonia - The Singular Way—Complimentary Night
The Singular Patagonia - The Singular Way—Complimentary Night

Confirm three or more nights with the Full Board package at The Singular Patagonia and stay one night in a Patio Room at The Singular Santiago with our compliments. Offer valid for double occupancy, including continental breakfast.

Tierra Patagonia - Boutique Side of Chile
Tierra Patagonia - Boutique Side of Chile

Confirm an all-inclusive, four-night minimum stay at Tierra Patagonia and enjoy an increased $100 spa credit per adult and a complimentary night at Lastarria Boutique Hotel in historic downtown Santiago.