Chile is a small and beautiful country, stretching across South America's Western edge. A popular bucket list destination, it features outstanding natural beauty from its deserts to its glaciers and bustling day and nightlife in its numerous historic towns. A true gem, you can guarantee an unforgettable holiday no matter where you choose to visit, but we've chosen our top three spots for the perfect getaway in 2019.
Heading south, Chiloe Island is the main island in the archipelago of Chiloe. Stepping onto the land feels like stepping back in time as the island holds onto many of its traditions and old ways of life. Culture is not lacking and there is German influence alongside the Mapuche, indigenous inhabitants who still make their home here.
Also full of culinary traditions, enjoy curanto, a hearty dish of mixed seafood cooked over hot stones and taste any number of Chiloe's famous potato varieties.
You can further enjoy abundant nature on Chiloe island by visiting the striking Northwest coast. Incredible landscapes, beautiful hiking trails and kayaking excursions are available, whilst the three islets, Islotes de Puñihuil, are a Natural Heritage Site, a Magellanic and Humboldt penguin breeding ground, and an area where blue whales frequently gather, so you are bound to see some breathtaking sights.
For the adventurers and the sporty amongst the travellers, Portillo is a landmark ski resort and an absolute must-visit. The oldest ski resort in South America, located in the renowned region of Valparaiso, its famous yellow hotel is iconic in the landscape and can be seen for miles around. You simply can't beat the views in this snow-covered region and the family-owned and family friendly feel is genuine and homely.
The ski season in Chile takes off in mid-June and can run as late as mid-October, with many taking advantage of early season winter storms in late May and June that make for perfect conditions once passed. Taking to skis, or a snowboard, experience Chile's steepest ski resort and choose from numerous pistes, cover some cross country runs or take a trip off-piste and discover the path less travelled.
With a maximum of 450 guests at any time, the mountains are never crowded and you're guaranteed to make friends or, if you're a lone wolf, enjoy the quiet peace. If you're feeling especially brave, make the hike up the 'Super C' and delight in 5200 vertical feet of skiing.
In Summer 2019, Chile will be treated to a total solar eclipse. A rare event, a total solar eclipse only occurs every 1 or 2 years and lasts less than 2 and a half minutes, and it will be on July 2nd that an enchanting twilight will cover a small area, roughly 125 miles wide, of the Chilean and Argentinian landscape.
The eclipse can be seen from the Coquimbo region and portions of the Atacama desert, but the popular and world-famous stargazing spot of Elqui Valley is heralded as the prime viewing point. Take the trip of a lifetime in the wine region on the Elqui river and make the most of every moment.