Postcard-pretty colonial centers, waves splashing white-sand beaches, Kichwa villages, Amazonian rain forest and the breathtaking Andes – a dazzling array of wonders is squeezed into this compact country. Along the coastline are Andean villages renowned for their colorful textiles and sprawling markets, the days end with fresh seafood and memorable sunsets.
This isolated group of volcanic islands and its fragile ecosystem has taken on almost-mythological status as a showcase of biodiversity. The Galápagos Islands may just inspire you to think differently about the world. The creatures that call the islands home, many found nowhere else in the world, act as if humans are nothing more than slightly annoying paparazzi.
Preposterously thin and unreasonably long, Chile stretches along 6,000km of Pacific coastline from the belly of South America to its foot, reaching from the driest desert on earth to vast southern glacial fields, with thriving cultural hotspots along the way. The southernmost harbour is the gateway to visiting prime destinations such as the archipelago of Tierra del Fuego, the Beagle Channel, Isla Navarino and the famed Cape Horn.
On South America’s southern frontier, nature grows wild, barren and beautiful. Spaces are large, as are the silences that fill them. For the newly arrived, such emptiness can be as impressive as the sight of Patagonia’s jagged peaks, pristine rivers and dusty backwater oases. In its enormous scale, Patagonia offers a wealth of potential experiences and landscapes from fjords and glaciers, to desert landscapes.