Santiago is the capital city and home to 40% of Chile’s population. You can explore museums, jazz and salsa venues, huge shopping malls, or the bohemian neighborhood of Barrio Lastarria, teeming with cinemas, theaters, restaurants, and bars. Rest your head at San Cristobal Tower, A Luxury Collection or Hotel Santiago (formerly the Grand Hyatt Santiago).
Iquique & the Atacama Desert
Set right by the beach, Iquique is a town oozing leisure and relaxation. The city boasts beach resorts, a glitzy casino, and a near-perfect swath of beach perfect for surfing, which is the big draw here. Tours/excursions to San Pedro de Atacama are popular from here as well.
Punta Varas & The Lake District
Puerto Varas is an increasingly popular stop for visitors to the Patagonia region’s ominous volcanoes, glacial lakes, and mountainous national parks. The area is ideal for an extended stay and makes a great base for exploring Osorno or Calbuco Volcano or Lake Llanquihue. Stay: Hotel Patagónico or Hotel Cumbres Patagonicas.
Punta Arenas is the world’s southernmost major city. Located along the Straits of Magellan, it makes a perfect base for exploring Tierra del Fuego and Torres del Paine, as well as Magdalena Island, where you’ll find Los Pingüinos Natural Monument and the thousands of birds that live there. Punta Arenas is also a major point for travelers to Antarctica.
Easter Island (Rapa Nui) & The Moai
A one-of-a-kind destination, Easter Island (Rapa Nui to its to its native Polynesian inhabitants) is one of the most isolated places on earth. Home to some of the most interesting and mysterious statues in the world, the Easter Island Heads (The Moai) are the main draw for tourists. Eco-travel is big here, with most excursions done by foot, bicycle, or horseback. If you’re just here to relax, spend the day taking in the scenery on one of the island’s pink-sand beaches.