A seemingly limitless coastline, deep-blue lakes, tall volcanoes, soaring glaciers, green valleys, lush native forests and parched deserts are just some of the vistas that surprise visitors to this land of marked contrasts. To the north, the vast, bone-dry expanses of the Atacama Desert. To the south, the never-ending tracts of snow and ice.
In between the majestic Andes and the vast Pacific Ocean, one can find vineyard-dotted green valleys and vast, rich native forests. This remarkable range of climates and sceneries make Chile an unsurpassed destination for nature lovers, who can choose from mountain climbing, horse riding, skiing, archeological trips and wildlife observation to swimming and diving, white-water rafting, kayaking in rivers and fjords, navigation among ice floes or visits to ritual Easter Island sites.
Santiago, the nation's capital, is a bustling yet secure modern metropolis that offers outstanding hotels and restaurants, an attractive old city center, a freewheeling nightlife, peacefull residential areas, and one of Latin America's most celebrated pre-Columbian art museums. World-class coastal resorts and ski slopes welcome its patrons in a hour's drive from the city.
Chilean cuisine reflects the cultural evolution of a country in a constant search for its essence and ancestral identity. It is noted for its herbs and spices, great variety of fish, shellfish and meat dishes, and wide range of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Chilean cuisine fuses Spanish influence and our indigenous roots into regional dishes strongly influenced by the Aymara of the north, the Mapuche of the center and south, and the Polynesian culture of Easter Island.