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Travel to Chili

Chili is a destination for myself, my husband, son and daughter in law.
Do any of you have info on what travel company to use?
Any recommendations on what to see. It is a very long country so I would like airfare from place to place to be part of the package. Also, my husband is gluten free.
Thanks, Eileen Filler

Posted by
4175 posts

Just out of curiosity, I Googled Chile and found lots of sources for information about the Republic of Chile's history, its politics and about visiting there. You can do the same, but be sure to spell the name of the country correctly. I haven't been there and most folks on the Forum do their own travel planning, but maybe someone can point you in some useful directions.

In the meantime, this health-related link from the CDC is one that should be helpful in your planning:

And this Country Profile from Nations Online is one of many deep dives into Chile's government, culture, history, tourism and more.

Good luck with your planning.

Posted by
7080 posts

Overall you have 4 main areas of interest for most travellers:

  • the north with Atacama Desert. The main "hub" is San Pedro de Atacama, a small town served by Calama airport
  • the center with Santiago and Valparaíso. Santiago is only mildly interesting, but it is the gateway in the country and you have to change planes there if you travel north to south, so you might as well have a look. Valparaíso is more interesting (but still, 1 day is good enough IMO)
  • the "little south" (Sur chico), encompassing the area from Temuco to Chiloé island. This is great: volcanoes, lakes, forests, wooden churches... I absolutely loved it
  • the south, deeper in Patagonia, with Torres del Paine as the main highlight, and the Carretera Austral as a draw for adventurous travellers. I never made it that far.

You could easily spend a month visiting all of those regions, so you need to make some choices according to season, time available, and interests.

Posted by
33336 posts

silly me. I thought you were on a hunt in New Mexico for the perfect green and red chili. The season is about right...

Now that's an adventure I could join!

Posted by
16120 posts

I thought you were on a hunt in New Mexico for the perfect green and
red chili.

Tsk, tsk Nigel! New Mexican hot pepper - and the red or green sauces made from them - are spelled with an e: chile, just like the country. I LOVE green chile. Yum.

Now, Texas CHILI is a different animal altogether. :O)

Posted by
6818 posts

Depends on what you want to do. We just booked flights and hotel on our own. We stayed at Hotel Plaza San Francisco in Santiago for a week. We took a day trip to Valparaiso using the public bus and arranged two winery tours through the hotel. If you wanted to head down to Patagonia, that’s a separate 5 hours flight.

I suggest you conduct some research to determine what you might like to see, then the time it would take to travel between places, and then if it could feasibly be done with the time you have.

Posted by
908 posts

In 2015 we went to Chile for an unforgettable trip. We were there in March and I made all our arrangements. We flew into Santiago and spent 4 days there. The subway system is great for getting around. There are plenty of green spaces to relax and wander. We stayed in an apart/hotel those days and it was fine, but nothing special. Typically, there is no concierge or "desk" as in a hotel.
One of those days we took a fantastic, all-day wine tour of the Colchagua Valley. We were picked up and returned to our lodging. There were only 7 of us in a van. All three wineries were top-notch, and lunch at one of them wasplentiful and gourmet, with wine at each course. It was a bit pricier than some, but worth every penny. It was "Uncorked Tours", and I don't know if they are still operating. I hope so.

We flew to Easter Island for two days and nights. You arrive early enough to see quite a bit around the town that same day. Next day we went on a van tour to see moai, beaches, and the general lay of the island. (You see the whole island.) We stayed at Arakura B and B, a lovely setting with yummy breakfast and a peaceful garden, walking distance to the main drag.
After a return to Santiago for a couple of days, we flew to Punta Arenas and stayed overnight at the Hotel Plaza (lovely old-style and quirky). Next day we took a three night cruise on Australis Cruises...small boats (about 150 passengers) to go through the Straits of Magellan and visit some islands there. Science and nature-oriented, we took Zodiacs to the islands. Meals, drinks, ambiance were all great. Worth the $2500.00 it cost us. Everything was included.
On returning to Santiago before flyionmg home, we sp[ent the last night at Hotel Loreto. The room was tiny, but the included breakfst was terrific!
Altogether, it was one of our top trips. I hope you get to go. The people in Chile were all friendly and helpful. But do watch for pickpockets, as everywhere.

Posted by
7906 posts

We have visited Chile three times.
All three were on cruises.
First, we did a cruise from Miami through the Panama Canal, stopping in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and three ports in Chile.
Second, we did a cruise around the Horn of South American from Buenos Aires to Santiago, with several stops, including four in Chile.
Third, we took a cruise from Chile to San Diego, with many stops along the way.

Our best trip was the second one, Around the Horn of South America. We saw amazing scenic places in Argentina and Chile. In Chile, we visited great places all along the country.

On the first trip, we spend three days in Santiago, after the cruise and recommend that city.

As for dining, we loved the crab and Chilean Sea Bass that is fresh and fantastic.

Posted by
872 posts

This morning the BBC program "Witness History" featured a story on the fiftieth anniversary of the Pinochet/Allende coup in Chile. (10 minutes)

On 11 September 1973, General Augusto Pinochet deposed Chile's President Salvador Allende in a military coup. Thousands of people were tortured and killed in the months after the coup, including the folk singer Victor Jara. His widow, Joan Jara, spoke to Gideon Long in 2013.

Posted by
11368 posts

We visited Argentina and Chile in March, a perfect time of year. We did the Lakes Crossing which was a highlight and went from Bariloche, Argentina to Puerto Varas,, Chile. We also explored north of Santiago ,Viña del Mar, and Valparaiso. We enjoyed Chile more than Argentina.