Chile Cheap Hotel Bed and Breakfast Guest House Accommodation
With its extreme beauty and extremes in climate, Chile is a veritable mecca for those bitten by the travel bug who are looking for some spectacular scenery and outdoor adventure. Its curious geography is naturally down to its size and shape: located in South America and bounded by Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, the Antarctic and the Pacific Ocean, Chile is a strip of a country never more than 180km wide, and the longest in its proportion in the world. Almost as long is the list of National Parks which there are to visit en route from the world’s driest desert in the north via the Mediterranean climate of the central regions to the furthest freezing reaches of the south. All this, along with several fascinating historic University cities, industrial mining towns and coastal resorts to punctuate your journey.
The Atacama Desert can be explored from San Pedro de Atacama, a picturesque town near Calama, well placed for excursions into the Valley of the Moon and the Tatio geysers. To gain an insight into the fascinating history of copper mining in Chile, visit the largest open pit mine in the world at Chuquicamata, or enjoy the pleasant beaches of the town of Arica near the Peruvian border. This is the region where the first cultivation of grapes in South America took place, near the mining town of Copiapó, which itself is well situated for trips to Cerro Ojos del Salado, the highest peak in Chile, and a chance to witness wild guanacos and flamingos. Inland from here, the breathtaking scenery of the Parque Nacional Lauca awaits near the Bolivian border.
The capital city, Santiago, is home to most of the main cultural as well as governmental institutions in the nation. Its setting, within a ring of snowcapped mountains, is enough to draw the visitor, but within its dense and sometimes polluted streets are to be found a number of neighbourhoods thriving on their reputation for culinary or artistic inventions. Take in the bohemian arts scene and charming architecture of Bellavista, Providencia and the Barrio Brasil. From here, a whole range of organized tours are at your disposal, whether you are looking for great trekking, incredible climbing, horse riding, skiing or touring of the wine regions. The possibilities are endless. From here, the phenomenon which is Valparaíso is easily accessible, with its bizarre vertiginous hillside setting and charming accommodation in hospedajes.
South of here you will find the region of the Bio Bio River and the Lakes District. As you travel further, the landscapes become more verdant, and you will discover a region colonized by Germans in the 1850s known as the Araucanía, now a quiet backwater which preserves quaint villages and customs, while offering the thrills of further adventure activities such as rafting and climbing. The interesting towns of Temuco and Puerto Montt are in this area, along with Puerto Varas on the shores of Lago Llanquihue in the shadow of Volcan Osorno in the distance. Between here and the Argentinian border at Peulla there are some wonderful forests and parks to explore.
The Arctic south, Patagonia Chilena, offers the opportunity to witness the incredible beauty of some of the earth’s raw natural forces, where Puerto Natales, Puerto Bories and the Parque Nacional Torres del Paine offer a variety of wonders, from gigantic glaciers to awe-inspiring mountain ranges and incredible wildlife in the form of whales, seals, sea lions and many species of birds. Then you are not far from Punta Arenas, the city at the southernmost tip of the South American mainland with that recognizable aura of a frontier town, enlived by the Latin beat emanating from its many nightclubs. The Straits of Magellan are here, along with colonies of penguins populating one of its islands, and two ferry locations along the straits for regular passage across to Tierra del Fuego.
A journey through Chile could end there, but for the existence of a number of fascinating and even more isolated locations which fall within its territories, but lie within the Pacific: Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, is a real life archaeological and natural wonder which exudes the haunting mystery of the missing explanation of its iconic moai. Part of their aura is created by their unbelievably remote setting, on one of the earth’s furthest outposts. Now a popular destination for travellers, its facilities are great, and you will be tempted by the superb scuba-diving, horse-riding and surfing activities that have added to the attraction of this remote place to action-seekers.
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