Chile

Chile is a sinewy nation clinging to the Western coast of South America with the Andes running down its spine. This nation encompasses some of the most breathtaking landscapes you may ever lay eyes on; towering volcanoes, altiplano tundra with lush green countryside and glacial fjord lands, wine orchards, and the surreal Atacama Desert. This is a land of contrasts with warm friendly locals as beautiful and diverse as the landscapes themselves.

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What to Expect

Chile could be called Nature’s playground. There is no lack of active ways to explore the varied environments and contrasts which exist in Chile’s borders.

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Torres Del Paine National Park with enormous glaciers, high altitude lakes, snow-topped mountain peaks and vast luscious countryside is perfect for exploring by boat, kayak and on foot. Further north you’ll discover a landscape that couldn’t be more opposite in scenery; the Atacama Desert aptly known as the driest desert on Earth, with some areas never having received rain. Here you’ll find photo-worthy snaps at every step you take, of a volcanic landscape unlike anywhere else on earth. If you prefer waterfalls, rivers, forests and lakes surrounded by volcanic peaks, The Lake District has scenery likened to that of Switzerland. Easter Island is a desolate and remote island, home to the mysterious Moai, human-head stone carvings dotted along the seaside. Don’t miss funky and cool Santiago, with hip bars, excellent eateries, an upcoming street art scene and plenty of history. Nearby and worth a day trip or overnight are some of Chile’s best vineyards, known for producing some of the most delicious wine around… Malbec, anyone?

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The Essence of Chile — An easily accessible yet far-flung destination where you can witness boiling mud pits, sink into delicious hot springs, discover flamingoes playing among green, blue and pink hued altiplano lakes encrusted by salt, and walk amongst spouting volcanic geysers.

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Famously, this is where the Mars Rover was tested before being launched to space! Due to the dry terrain, a multitude of meteors have been excavated here and a small modest museum houses a local collection. From the lunar like ‘Valley of the Moon’ to the ‘Devil’s Gorge’ lookout and the ‘Dali Desert’ aptly named as many of Salvador Dali’s paintings and sculptured were inspired by this other-worldly landscape, this landscape is worthy of even the most modest photography buff. Google pictures of the Atacama. You can thank us later.

Explorations deep into Patagonia—Stepping foot into a landscape that most only dream of will heighten all senses immediately upon arrival. While it will take some driving to reach here, the scenery is incredibly stunning. Day trips from your lodge include kayaking on emerald green lagoons, boat voyages to glittering glaciers and through water carved caverns, hiking for all levels and across various terrains and altitudes, traversing the landscape on horseback, birdwatching, fishing and biking.

Culture, Food and Wine in Santiago – Chile produces some of the best wine in the world, and just outside Santiago are several fantastic vineyards making a lovely day trip or overnight getaway. The local foodie scene in Santiago itself showcases delicious local Latino inspired cuisine along with top international fusion restaurants. Every diet is catered for. The night scene is buzzing, as many locals go out for dinner after 9 or 10 PM. You’ll find plenty of history and museums too, once your belly has had its share of indulgences.

Hidden Gem – Astro-tourism, where travelers seek out destinations for prime viewing and photography of eclipses, meteor showers, and everyday stargazing, is booming in Chile. Groundbreaking astronomic finds and research are conducted in the country daily. Star-filled skies are best in the Atacama due to the combination of high altitude, unbelievably clear skies, and little human population, spend some time with an expert astronomer and fix your eyes on the heavens. Tours are available to sought-after observatories like Paranal and ALMA and need to be booked in advance.

Need to know

Direct flights are easily arranged into Santiago from US gateways including Miami, Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, Dallas and Houston. From there you can connect to smaller cities to the regions of Patagonia, the Atacama and the Lakes District.

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  • We recommend 7-12 days in Chile, which can be combined with time in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador or a quick jaunt to the Salt Flats of Bolivia.
  • If you are a fan of the outdoors and nature, then Chile is for you! We also recommend this destination to honeymooners, active travelers, foodies and wine connoisseurs.
  • The best way to travel between destinations in Chile is by commercial flight, as this country is quite vast. Internal flights are quick and affordable.
  • You’ll have local, private guides at each location who are specialists in the regional customs, geography, geology, natural history and wildlife.
  • Visas for Chile are not required for most visitors. Inoculations may be recommended. We suggest you see a travel medicine specialist for advice.
  • The native language is Spanish however English is widely spoken throughout the country, especially in the hospitality industry.

When to go

Chile’s weather is extremely diverse and sometimes unpredictable due to its long narrow shape. Generally, Chile’s four seasons follow the opposite patterns as the U.S., and weather in each region can vary dramatically.

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Typically, you can expect an arid climate in the North, a temperate Mediterranean climate in central Chile, and an alpine climate in the South. Easter Island is subtropical and humid most of the year but cooled by sea breezes.

October – March: This is Chile’s Spring and summer season with long days of up to 16 hours of sunlight and warm, mild temperatures averaging 82°F (28°C). In Torres Del Paine, this is peak season and locations may be crowded. The Atacama, like many deserts is sizzling during the day 100°F (38°C) and cool at night 41°F (5°C). Santiago and the Lakes District can be pleasant at any time of year.

April – September: Autumn and winter bring cooler temperatures throughout the country. Down South, Patagonia can be inaccessible and cold 5°F (-15°C) in the heart of winter (Jul-Aug), but still pleasant and possibly snow-covered if you are prepared for those conditions! The Atacama and Altiplano can be visited during this time of year but expect cold temperatures due to altitude.

Accommodation

In Santiago you’ll stay in boutique hotels located in the hottest areas in town.

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Once you locate to remote areas such as the Atacama and Patagonia, you are in for an indulgent experience at all-inclusive luxury lodges, with top-end guides who will immerse you in the landscapes and nature of this beautiful country. The Lakes District is scattered with guesthouses and boutique-style hotels. Throughout your stay the hospitality is intertwined with the warm spirit of the people.

What our travelers say

Amy Lundberg

Wow, wow, wow!! We are back in LA now, recovering from jet lag and still in shock and awe regarding our experience. From the moment we landed in South Africa to the moment we touched down in LA, our experience was seamless and amazing. 

Betsy Robertson

We were thrilled with the trip. It was as good as or better than described at every turn. The prep, attention to detail, willingness to make changes and ensure we were ready and prepared was outstanding. Our Travel Designer was awesome! 

Dawn Jacobs

Choosing a safari expert is never easy given the choice and lists upon lists of "top suppliers"....but we made the BEST choice for us....why....because above all, Rothschild listened ....really listened to what we wanted to experience.

George Kowalski

It was a well organized trip. It was easy to get around since we were guided through all of our itinerary. Everyone was pleasant and very helpful. This is an excellent way to travel. Rothschild Safari did very well and brought a fantastic African experience to us.

Jackie Smith

My trip was beyond AMAZING! I truly enjoyed every moment. The itinerary allowed me to experience a variety of different activities all of which I enjoyed! When I originally thought of going to Africa I was just thinking of safaris. This trip opened my eyes (and my family/friend's) to so much more Africa has to offer.

Jamie Scarlett

Trip was PERFECT!! Every single detail was planned out and the accommodations and people were wonderful. This trip exceeded all of our wildest expectations. Every place we stayed was just lovely and each each camp had a different vibe, which was really neat. Everyone we worked with was outstanding. 

Joe Moravec

On behalf of the Moravec’s and the Stone’s……thank you for arranging a trip of a lifetime. Every detail was accounted for and all the recommendations were perfect. It honestly could not have gone any better.

Kim Mather

Meggan Woody and Kim Killick were extraordinary at crafting THE PERFECT safari for our family of 8. They both listened (actually 'read' my email) to EXACTLY what we wanted, within the budget that we needed, and miraculously pulled off miracles in obtaining the properties that we wanted! 

Lisa Anderson

Every aspect of my trip went according to plan and the plan Rothschild's help me to orchestrate was magnificent! I loved every lodge that I was blessed to be in! They were all very different yet all high end and very accommodating.

Mary & Rob Johannigman (and family)

It was the most exciting, scenic, inspiring trip we've ever taken. To say it was a trip of a lifetime doesn't begin to capture our experience. Pam Langhoff and the Rothschild team did an outstanding job of helping us plan this trip.