A spellbinding destination of the southern hemisphere
Chile, a fantastic destination for history and nature buffs, is proud of its extremes and home to some of the most beautiful landscapes of the southern hemisphere.
Situated between Cape Horn, Easter Island, and Valparaiso, Chile is a land of contrasts and legends boasting a list of mythical places that haunt the dreams of every sailor in the world. Nature has been particularly conscientious in preserving this land, surrounded from north to south by desert or glaciers, quickened by the waves of the Pacific, and defended by soaring mountains, some of which reach 6,000 metres. Dominated by the equator, cold currents however temper the tropical influence. Consequently, there are a diversity of climates and inverted seasons, with summer looming in December and a shivering winter in June.
The adventure-loving traveller, those seeking solitude, or those enchanted by vertical cities, are sure to be dazzled and fascinated by the attractiveness of Chilean tourism, which will lead them from the foothills of the Andes to the Strait of Magellan, on paths still not frequented by crowds. Prepare to discover a spectacular and fantastic universe. Many snow-capped volcanoes and the purest air in the world define a dramatic landscape, while a supernatural maze of fjords, carved by the waves, border the salt seas and multi-coloured lagoons.
Santiago, the capital city, has had to bend to face the imperatives of urban sprawl, but it has managed to negotiate the face of modernity imposed by the end of the second millennium. With its colonial past and true to its Latin culture, its future coexists with the remains of New World civilisations and the fabulous treasures left behind by the conquistadors. Hospitable and festive, cultural and culinary, the leading city of Patagonia is full of museums and theatres, wineries and art galleries.
It is hard not to be captivated by the Chilean capital and its reserved, but ever so hospitable people, who remain a fine example of successful cross-cultural mixing, and who have given birth to ‘Chileanness' a deep sense of national identity that is unique on the continent.
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