This blog post was updated on July 22, 2021.
From world-class vineyards to natural wonders to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, there’s no shortage of things to see and do in the captivating country of Chile. In fact, there are so many unique things you can only do in the country that I had trouble narrowing it down (which means you can expect another post in the future!). Here are 8 to start your Chilean trip planning.
Lose Yourself in the Termas Geometricas
If you like hot springs and Japanese architecture, the Termas Geometricas were made for you. A labyrinth of red walkways stands out in the midst of this lush forest canyon, and allows visitors to wind their way to various pools (with water from nearby hot springs) made entirely of brightly painted wood. The experience is as relaxing as it is aesthetically pleasing.
Visit the Marble Caves of Chile Chico
Located in the Patagonian Andes, the Cuevas de Mármol were formed by over 6,000 years of waves washing up against calcium carbonate. The effect is swirling blues, grays, greens, lavendars, and whites that bedeck the caves arches. They are accessible only by boat, and local guides will be happy to take you there.
Gaze Upon the Easter Island Heads
The iconic monumental Polynesian sculptures created over 10,000 years ago are known around the world. Rapa Nui, the indigenous name of Easter Island (located off the coast of Chile), is the only place to see them. Hop a flight from Santiago and spend some time learning about the natural and cultural phenomena of this famous island.
Wave at the Hand in the Desert
A monumental sculpture created in the 1980s by Chilean sculptor Mario Irarrázaal, “Hand in the Desert” (Mano del Desierto) is made out of iron and cement and sits in the Atacama Desert. The artist made this piece to represent the human rights violations that have plagued Chileans throughout their history – a powerful message encapsulated in an impressively large sculpture.
Take a Dip in the World’s Largest Swimming Pool
The San Alfonso del Mar resort in Algarrobo is home to the largest swimming pool in the world (yes, it holds the Guinness Book of World Records Title). The pool, which is really more of a lagoon, is 3,324 feet long and covers nearly 20 acres — the equivalent to 6,000 standard size pools! It’s so big that visitors can even kayak or stand-up paddleboard in its turquoise waters.
Check the Time on Vina Del Mar’s Famous Flower Clock
The delightful Viña del Mar boasts the title of Chile’s Ciudad Jardín (Garden City). In addition to stunning landscaping throughout the marina, it’s also home to Reloj de Flores (Clock of Flowers). With a huge face made entirely of flowers and motorized hands, this historic clock debuted in 1962 as part of the FIFA World Cup.
Taste Wine That Can Only Be Found Here
Chile is home to thousands of fantastic vineyards. If you’re interested in learning more about the local wine offerings, head to Casablanca Valley to taste a varietal called Carmenere that can only be found in Chile. Local vintners will be happy to tell you the history of this red wine and let you taste their bottles.
Experience the Desierto Florido
The Atacama desert is the driest desert in the world. However, when it rains a lot in the winter and the water reaches dormant seeds, the desert blooms the following September through November. This breathtaking phenomenon is called Desierto Florido – it’s truly something you have to see to believe.
Have you been to Chile? What unique things did you experience while you were there? Let us know in the comments section.