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  • Top 5 attractions in Chile for outdoorsy travelers

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    Arica

    It’s almost as if civilization and had conspired to make Chile one of the geographically diverse countries on the planet, stretching from the driest desert on the planet, Atacama, to the icy north of Patagonia, and encompassing about half the length of the South American continent.

    Chile has beaches and islands along the coast, plenty of volcanoes, waterfalls, archaeological sites, vineyards and ice caps, which is to say that if you prefer to spend your time outside, Chile has more than enough sights and things to do to keep you out of your hotel room 24/7. So pack a good pair of walking shoes and prepare to submit to the elements while visiting the top 5 attractions in Chile for outdoorsy travelers.

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    Robinson Crusoe Island

    Even if you don’t love nature quite as much as to be marooned on a desert island for years, you might still want to visit the island that inspired Daniel Defoe to write Robinson Crusoe. Unfortunate sailor Alexander Selkirk spend four years on the island in the 18th century, he could have had it much worse.

    The island is pretty, suffused with rustic charm, and it is a rather good scuba diving destination. Less than a thousand people live on the island, and it is an all-round interesting place to explore.

    Torres del Paine National Park

    Torres del Paine, photo by cordyph

    Torres del Paine National Park is made up of the best parts of Patagonian Chile: mountains, lakes, glaciers, rivers, forests. The centerpiece of the park are the looming blueish rocks of the Cordillera del Paine, a small group of mountains that give a whole new meaning to the word spectacular. Surprisingly, all these natural wonders are quite well connected to civilization – it takes a two hour bus ride from Puerto Natales.

    Elquidomos Astro Lodges, Elqui Province

    The valley of Elqui is famous for being surrounded by majestic peaks, and for having several great astronomical observatories. If you like stargazing or keeping an eye out of for flying saucers, you will definitely enjoy spending a night or two at the Elquidomos astronomical lodges, shaped like geodesic domes, with detachable roofs that allow you to see the night sky.

    El Tatio

    El Tatio, photo by Robin Fernandes

    El Tatio in northern Chile is a geyser field at altitude of over 4000 meters, and it is one of the highest of its kind in the world. There are over eighty geysers in the field, and while not all of them might erupt very high, the sheer number of them creates a pretty spectacular sight.

    The best time to visit El Tatio is early in the morning, when the cold air and hot geyser water create a thick fog around the geyser.

    Villarrica Volcano

    The town of Villarrica at the base of Villarrica Volcano draws lots of tourists, most of whom come in order to admire the snow-capped volcano, or better yet, to climb it. This is one of the most climbed volcanoes in the world, with several carefully planned routes that can take you to the top, with or without a guide. The climb might not be very easy, but the sights are worth a few sore muscles.

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    Comments on Top 5 attractions in Chile for outdoorsy travelers

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    James wrote on March 27, 2012:

    Thanks for exploring the good thing about the very best 5 Destinations in Chile.I am really excited to see those places.

     
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