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The longest, thinnest country in the world, Chile is a land of extremes and staggering beauty, from the surreal and bewitching red desert landscape of the north to the extraordinary granite peaks and glaciers of the south. Chile squeezes an extraordinarily diverse range of landscapes into its long frame, from the world's driest desert through rolling vineyards, past snow-dusted volcanoes down to the dramatic granite peaks of Torres del Paine and the magical Isla de Chiloé. With Easter Island only five hours away by air, you can see why Chile is such a compelling destination. Chile's capital Santiago lies in the centre, in one of the most fertile wine-producing regions of the world. From here you can head south to Chile's Lake District where glittering blue lakes are interspersed by waterfalls and thermal hot springs, edged by the Andes. Even further south is Patagonia and Chile's most famous national park, Torres del Paine, where vast granite towers plummet to a dramatic valley of lakes, waterfalls, glaciers and icebergs. In total contrast, thousands of miles north is the Atacama Desert. This magical place is most beautiful at sunrise and sunset when the surfaces and sky appear to turn orange, crimson and gold. During the day, explore its geysers, lunar landscape valleys and salt lakes;at night the skies are littered with thousands of stars. You can also head west to the remote Easter Island, 3,200km off the coast of Chile and one of the most isolated places on Earth.
Chile with A&K
Returning clients frequently tell us about extraordinary, unexpected moments on their A&K holidays in Chile. Here's a hot contender for the top ten. One of our traveller's helicopter had landed on a Patagonian glacier to find the guides had chipped off ice and laid out a frozen selection board of cheese and ham, accompanied by a scotch on the natural rocks.
Such flourishes, of course, sit alongside enviable knowledge of the great outdoors. A returning guest recounted a dramatic hike in the Torres del Paine National Park where, after spotting several magnificent condors, they were buffeted by heavyweight mountain winds. The guide calmly demonstrated a sideways traversing technique, before leading them to a sheltered rocky overhang to rest while the gusts subside.
Two very different examples of how our guides can make an Abercrombie & Kent holiday to Chile both memorable and safe. They're part of a multi-centre South American team offering seamless travel across the continent. With 22 multi-lingual staff, our Santiago office can also arrange unique experiences from private polo classes to dinner at the home of famous chef, Emilio Peschiera, and surprise opera performances during private suppers.
Chile, you'll gather, offers a diverse holiday. Hugely diverse. There's sophisticated Santiago, a gateway to fine wineries, with its acclaimed Pre-Columbian Art Museum; and coastal Valparaiso where our guide responded to your request for 'real life' by swapping the private car for a tram, a funicular and long walk along tiny cobbled alleys teeming with locals.
Book-ended by the Andes and Pacific, it also has marvellous wilderness from Patagonia's widescreen scenic drama to the South's Lake District with its blue waters, white-tipped volcanoes and forests, and the North's Atacama Desert where salt flats, geysers and volcanic peaks come with the planet's starriest sky. And we haven't even mentioned subtropical Easter Island with its enigmatic stone moai and mysterious, compelling history.
A&K is waiting to show you the lot, but first, a final traveller's tale of seriously remote comfort. His guide, knowing the party were keen photographers, took them to a sublime spot where Atacama dunes were alchemised gold by the setting sun. He then iced the cake by whipping out a chequered tablecloth for a cheese and wine feast: a gourmet greeting for the stars.
Best time to be there
As the climate varies hugely from north to south, different places are best at different times, although spring (September to December) is universally good. Atacama can be visited year-round, central Chile enjoys a Mediterranean climate with good weather throughout. Patagonia is best for hiking in Spring or Summer.
LAN Chile daily via Madrid
GMT -4 hours
Not required for UK passport holders
Yellow fever certificate required if arriving from an infected area
Our experts can tailor-make the perfect holiday to suit your individual requirements, however, if you need inspiration or a starting point, below are some of our suggested trips and experiences:
Nights: 11 | from £3,985
Strap on your skies in Valle Nevado before heading off on a self-drive adventure to Bariloche, passing lakes, volcanoes and national parks along the way. Find out more
Holiday type: Tailor-made
Adventure & Culture
Call 01242 547 701 Enquire
Nights: 25 | from £70,600
An incredible around-the-world trip by private jet taking in spectacular destinations, like Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Bali, Sri Lanka, Kenya and Monaco... Find out more
Holiday type: Group departure
Call 01242 547 701 Enquire
Below are some of our suggested places to stay:
Graeme, Charlie, Melissa, Dave, Kerry and Kelly are experts in designing the perfect holiday in Latin America to suit your personal needs, interests and budget. Their intimate knowledge of our hotels and resorts featured in our portfolio, together with our own network of offices throughout the region, allows us to offer unique in-depth knowledge, unparalleled insider access and the VIP service for which Abercrombie & Kent is renowned.
To find out more about our Latin America team, click on the consultant links below or call them on 01242 547 701 or enquire online
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Our recent awards
The Hotels you (Charlie Lockwood) selected were superb in Peru, Chile, Argentina and Brazil, what a pleasure it has been to stay in the Belmond Hotels, everyone was so helpful, and the Four Seasons in Buenos Aires was equally superb
- TW, London