Punta Arenas is Chile’s gateway to the Antarctic, but more famously, to Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia. This isolated city faces the Strait of Magellan and is the capital of the Magallanes province in Chile’s remote southern Patagonia region. What once started as a 19th century pioneer city full of sailors and sheep breeders, today Punta Arenas is a sprawling metropolis. Home to tree-lined squares, national parks and colonial mansions, it will surprise you with its sophisticated European architecture and ever changing weather!
Happy International Surfing Day! Today is all about celebrating the big blue and all things surfing.
After 5-6 hours of flying over the Pacific Ocean, you are rewarded with your first glimpse of Easter Island. Maps help give an idea of the distance between Easter Island and South America, but without setting foot there, it is hard to understand its true seclusion. As your plane touches down at Mataveri International Airport, and you walk across the tarmac to the small terminal, you begin to grasp how remote and special this place is. The near treeless landscape alludes to the island’s history of deforestation and allows for sweeping views dotted with moai (famous monolithic “Easter Island heads”, which are actually full bodies) in many directions. These views also hint at the ecological crises the island suffered in the past.
Whether you’re whitewater rafting down the Trancura River or sipping a locally-brewed beer overlooking Lake Llanquihue in the charming colonial town of Puerto Varas, Chile’s Lake District offers high adrenaline pursuits, complete tranquility, and everything in between. Often overlooked by North American travelers, who tend to head straight down to Patagonia after a brief stop in Santiago, the Lake District offers plenty of scenic beauty and outdoor pursuits worth including in any Chile adventure tour. This region of Chile is a land of shimmering lakes, winding rivers, snow-capped volcanoes, scenic waterfalls, hot springs, and shady forests. Add to that the local indigenous Mapuche culture and food, as well as the German influence mainly seen in architecture, street names and the delicious kuchen (fruit pies and crumbles), and you’ve got yourself a destination worth experiencing.