Chile 2007Mention Chile, and the first thing most people think about is its shape - long and skinny. Spanning 4300 km from Peru in the north to the Strait of Magellan in the south and at no point more than 180 km wide, it is all coast on one side and almost all mountain on the other. Its unique shape alone makes it an alluring destination, but in reality it's attractions include an interesting mix of nature, culture and adventure activities.
In the north is the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on earth. Further south there are lush and fertile valleys, an extensive Andean mountain range and a rainy and green Lake District. South of that, the Andean mountain peaks loom over impenetrable forests and some of the most inaccessible parts of the country. And to the very south is the barren Patagonian steppe. At the foot of the country is a jumble of fjords, glaciers and the crowning jewel, Torres del Paine, a national park with spectacular granite pillars.
Our plan was rather ambitious - to sample something from all these regions in the course of just three weeks. And cap it all with the classic "W" Trek, a 4-day hike inside the Torres del Paine national park that allows you to explore the heart of the Chilean Patagonia.
From Santiago, the capital, we made a trip north and south using a combination of buses, ferries and local flights. The red line on the map traces our travels through the country.
Itinerary (Nov. 10 - Dec. 1 2007)
|Atacama||Click to view Atacama page|
|Torres del Paine||Click to view Torres del Paine (W trek) page|
|Valparaiso||Click to view Valparaiso page|
|Chile Photo Album||(for all other locations click here)|