Embrace Why I Love Chile: Exploring the Heart of South America (2024)

Discover the countless reasons why I love Chile, as the country captures the hearts of travelers worldwide. From its breathtaking landscapes stretching from the Andes to the Pacific Ocean to its vibrant culture and rich history, Chile offers an unparalleled experience for adventurers, nature lovers, and culture enthusiasts alike.

Explore the allure of its pristine beaches, delve into the mysteries of ancient civilizations, and indulge in the flavors of its world-renowned cuisine. Whether you’re drawn to the majestic peaks of Patagonia, the bustling streets of Santiago, or the tranquil vineyards of the Central Valley, Chile beckons with its diverse charm and endless opportunities for exploration and discovery. Embark on a journey to Chile and fall in love with its beauty, warmth, and undeniable spirit.

According to Lonely Planet, Chile earned its place as a top must-visit destination in 2018, alongside renowned favorites like New Zealand (NZ) and Norway. Having cherished my experiences in NZ and Norway, I approached my trip to Chile during one of my Christmas breaks with lofty expectations.

love Chile

Despite encountering various challenges along the way, I fell in love with Chile for many reasons. In this post, I’ll share why Chile captured my heart and exceeded my expectations despite the hurdles encountered during my visit.

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First Impression in Santiago

On our first day in Santiago, my friend and I took a taxi ride from Santiago International Airport to downtown. Unfortunately, we fell victim to a scam. Upon reaching our destination, the driver presented us with a bill of USD 65 for an 18-kilometer journey, claiming it was the fare registered on the meter. To our dismay, my friend had taken the same route the day before and had only paid USD 30 for the identical distance. Feeling disheartened and caught off guard, I couldn’t help but express my disappointment.

Tip: The taxi from Santiago International Airport to Santiago downtown costs 13300 Chilean Pesos.

More Challenges in Santiago

Over the next two days, our troubles continued to mount. Despite notifying our respective banks, my friend’s and my travel cards inexplicably stopped working. Consequently, we exhausted all the cash we had obtained from the currency exchange to cover our accommodation expenses, leaving us completely penniless. This situation induced significant stress and made for a challenging ordeal.

Arriving in Santiago on a Saturday, I faced another obstacle: virtually every store in the downtown area was closed, leaving us without access to food. Fortunately, I brought a pack of noodles to sustain us for the day. Nevertheless, our persistent challenges during our initial days in Santiago left us frustrated and disheartened.

Reasons To Love Chile

Despite facing numerous challenges in Chile, my affection for this captivating country has only grown stronger. Over five days in Chile, primarily spent exploring the Santiago region, I’ve discovered many reasons why Chile has won over my heart.

  • The turning point arrived on the third day of our journey when we embarked on a breathtaking 16-kilometer glacier hike in El Morado National Park. My spirits were lifted as we traversed the awe-inspiring landscapes, guided by the amiable and knowledgeable Gonzales. His passion for his work was palpable, and under his care, the disappointments of our initial days faded into insignificance.
  • On the fourth day, we ventured to the vibrant Valparaíso, renowned for its kaleidoscopic charm and captivating street art scene. As a fervent admirer of street art, I was enchanted by the city’s colorful murals and lively atmosphere. The ice cream in Valparaíso was an added delight, further sweetening my newfound appreciation for Chile.
  • The following day, our ascent to the summit of a volcano offered us unparalleled vistas of majestic mountain ranges, leaving me in awe of Chile’s natural beauty. Along the way, I was fortunate enough to catch sight of not one but two condors, Chile’s national bird, soaring gracefully overhead.
  • Our guides proved invaluable companions throughout our excursions, sharing their enthusiasm for their homeland and ensuring our experiences were extraordinary. Additionally, the endearing interaction with two curious little birds during our hikes left an indelible mark on my heart, further solidifying my growing affection for Chile.
  • However, on the sixth day, we encountered the pinnacle of our Chilean adventure: the ethereal Portillo Inca Lagoon. Words fail to capture the sheer magnificence of this natural wonder, as its beauty left me utterly speechless.
  • Chileans have a deep affection for their canine companions, evident in the abundance of stray dogs throughout the city. Remarkably, despite their stray status, these dogs appeared well-fed and cared for, a testament to the kindness and compassion of the local community. Witnessing this display of love and responsibility towards animals further endeared Chile to my heart.
  • The culinary delights of Chile left a lasting impression on my taste buds. Indulging in succulent grilled salmon, fresh from the waters, was a true delight. Each bite burst with flavor, showcasing the quality and freshness of Chilean cuisine.
  • No exploration of Chilean culture would be complete without sampling Pisco, the nation’s signature drink. Its unique blend of flavors and smooth finish left me thoroughly impressed and eager for more.
  • Of course, no discussion of Chilean gastronomy would be complete without mention of its renowned wines. From crisp whites to robust reds, Chilean wines are celebrated for their freshness and exceptional taste. Among them, Carmanere stands out as a true gem. Once thought extinct, it was rediscovered, thriving in Chilean vineyards, making it a treasure exclusive to this remarkable country.

Despite the initial setbacks and challenges, my time in Chile has been nothing short of transformative. From exhilarating hikes amidst stunning landscapes to encounters with Chile’s majestic wildlife, each moment has deepened my love and appreciation for this extraordinary country. Chile has truly captured my heart, and I eagerly anticipate the opportunity to explore more of its wonders in the future.

National Park in Chile

Closing Notes

I wholeheartedly recommend placing Chile at the pinnacle of your travel bucket list. This diverse and captivating country caters to every type of traveler, boasting an array of experiences to suit all interests and preferences. With its stunning landscapes, vibrant culture, delectable cuisine, and warm-hearted people, Chile promises an unforgettable journey for all who venture within its borders.

Were you aware that Chile serves as an additional embarkation point for cruises bound for Antarctica?

Personally, I eagerly anticipate the opportunity to return and delve even deeper into the riches that Chile has to offer, knowing that each visit will only deepen my love and appreciation for this extraordinary destination.

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