Chile tourist attractions include La Moneda palace, Easter Islands, Valle de la Luna, El Tatio geysers, and cruise to the “Edge of the World”.
La Moneda palace, which was completed in 1805, is the official building of the president of Chile and three cabinet ministers.
The Neoclassical La Moneda building complex is one of the most impressive buildings within central Santiago de Chile, with a size that is equal to an entire city block.
Since President Ricardo Lagos (2000-2006), the palace has been open to public tours.
Easter Island, meanwhile, are among the world’s most famous islands, located about 3,600 km (2,236 miles) west of Continental Chile.
The islands are especially well known for its monumental statues called “moai“, made by the island’s indigenous people, the Rapanui.
Easter Islands were discovered and named by Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen, who found the islands on Easter Sunday, 1722.
However, the islands are also commonly called by their Polynesian name, “Rapa Nui.”
The islands’ main attractions are part of the Rapa Nui National Park, a park that has been divided into seven separate sections.
Highlights within the national park include…
- Orongo stone village and Rano Kau crater lake (on the “Rano Kau” sectino),
- 397 moai statues (at “Rano Raraku”), and
- Hanga Roa, which is the largest town in the islands.
Of the Chile tourist attractions, Valle de la Luna, in English “Mountain Valley“, is located 13 km (8 miles) west of San Pedro, within Cordillera de la Sal, as part of Chile’s Atacama desert.
The area has been named after the formations carved by centuries of floods and wind, and the unusual colors and textures, which, together, make the place look like a surface on the moon.
Scientists also think the place is moon-like, with NASA’s “Spirit” and “Opportunity” Mars rovers’ prototypes having been tested within the conditions at Valle de la Luna.
A popular place to take a look at the valley is from its large sand dune, from where you’ll have great panoramic views.
Highlights in Valle de la Luna include its…
- dry lakes, where salt composition has given the place a beautiful white cover, as well as
- different layers of sand with planetary colors, ranging from green, blue, red, and yellow.
El Tatio geysers, on the other hand, are located near the Atacama desert (where also the Valley de la Luna is located), within Andes mountains in northern Chile, at about 4,200 meters (13,779 ft) above sea level.
Most tourists come to see the geysers as part of a tour that includes also the Atacama desert and the Valle de la Luna.
El Tatio contains a total of 80 active geysers, which makes it the largest geyser area in the southern hemisphere, and the third largest in the world, after Yellowstone (USA) and Dolina Giezerov (Russia).
There are guided tours available to the area (Valle de la Luna and El Tatio), including a four-day tour organized by Chimu Adventures (www.chimuadventures.com).
Finally, Chile tourist attractions include a cruise to the “Edge of the World”.
This dramatically titled cruise takes you to the Cape Horn, with the cruise name a reference to the place’s location, as the southernmost point in South America…
…that ships historically had to tour on their way from Asia to Europe (before the opening of the Panama Canal).
Traditionally, a sailor who had toured the Cape Horn was entitled to have a golden round earring (left ear if he had made the journey to the east) and to dine with one foot on the table.
Seaman who had also toured Cape of Good Hope in Africa, could dine with both his feet on the table.
Cruise ships depart to the “Edge of the World” from Punta Arenas in Chile, with a typical tour also including a stop at Ushuaia in Argentina.
Available tour operators for this journey include Chimu Adventures, whose route itinerary includes Glacier Alley, Southern Patagonia, the Strait of Magalhães, and Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city.