South America is increasingly becoming the new tourist hotspot for travelers of all ages according to National Geographic. Besides partying and dancing in Brazil and hiking the breathtaking Machu Pichu, Australian travelers are about to head to Chile in increasing numbers.
Last year Chile was voted the number 1 place to travel by The Lonely Planet and it’s not hard to see why.
Chile is known for its extreme, diverse landscapes including Patagonia and the Atacama Desert, world-renowned wine & beer, and its amazing European inspired art and history. There is something for every traveller.
It will be even easier to tick the intriguing country off of the bucket list from late-June next year, as Qantas has announced an extra 3 flights a week to Santiago Chile’s capital. This means Aussies will be able to fly there every day of the week.
In addition, Qantas has announced Sydney – Santiago as the next route for its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.
This addition is part of an ongoing effort by Qantas to replace the Boeing 747 aircraft on Qantas’ international network by the end of 2020.
Santiago is the most direct way for Australians to fly to South America, and these additional flights make it even easier to kick start a travel adventure.
But even as a destination itself, Chile has at least 5 reasons to go:
- Extreme landscapes
Chile’s Atacama Desert is the driest non-polar place on Earth, knocking Africa and the Middle East off the charts for breathtaking deserts. But for those who prefer a cooler climate, check out the Andes and hit the slopes. The Chile ski season runs from mid-June until mid-October. What’s more, the resort of Valle Nevado is just 35 miles outside of Santiago and about 50% cheaper than France or other European countries.
- Chilean Food
The food in Chile differs by region, with more meat dishes in the north and seafood in the south – there’s something for every pallet. Fried and baked varieties of empanadas stuffed with ground beef and cheese are the national street food of Chile.
Most of the drives in southern Chile near Santiago offer picturesque views of rolling hills and grasslands filled with free roaming cows, sheep, llamas and donkeys.
However, for those wanting to spot something slightly more exotic, the Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia spans nearly 900 square miles of Southern Chile and is home to about 50 pumas and rugged landscapes. While travellers are not guaranteed to spot one, it is said they are easier to locate in midwinter.
In the north, you can see guanacos, alpacas and flamingos too.
- You can visit the end of the world
Cape Horn is the southernmost part of South America and the most southerly point of any continent outside Antarctica.
Adventure cruises sail between Ushuaia and Punta Arenas, stopping off on Cape Horn to fit this historical site into an itinerary full of glaciers, wildlife, waterfalls and forests.
- It’s home to the world’s largest swimming pool
The Crystal Lagoon at San Alfonso del Mar resort in central Chile is the length of 20 Olympic swimming pools. Not only is it the perfect spot for a swim, but one can also indulge in kayaking, wind surfing and even scuba diving.
Qantas says the new Dreamliner promises to make jet-lag less of an issue for Australian tourists to the region.
The aircraft is fitted with windows that are up to 65% larger than comparable aircrafts, the cabin pressure has also been lowered from a simulated 8,000ft altitude to 6,000ft and humidity levels have been increased. This means less jet lag.
For more tips on things to do in Chile, check out these stories: