Chile: 4,329km (2690 miles) of adventure tourism

Climbing, skiing, rafting, trekking or paragliding: an outdoor adrenaline rush is guaranteed right across Chile.

For the past four years, Chile has been named South America's Leading Adventure Tourism Destination at the “Oscars of Tourism.” This well-deserved recognition from the World Travel Awards is based on the wide variety of outdoor experiences that are available across Chile’s 4,000 kilometers of territory.

Chile’s diverse geography stretches from the Atacama Desert, the driest in the world, to the enormous glaciers in the extreme southern reaches of Patagonia. Between them, visitors will find Andean valleys, bays, cliffs, lakes, mountains, rivers and temperate forests, the perfect settings for skiing, rafting, zip lining, paragliding, surfing and climbing, to name just a few options.

High snowy peaks like Ojos del Salado Volcano (6,893 meters or 23,000 feet high) are a challenge for hikers, climbers and skiers. From north to south, key sites include the Láscar Volcanoes, which are the most active in the country; San José in Cajón del Maipo near Santiago, which is known as an excellent destination because of its vistas and the quality of the rock; and the Villarica Volcano, which you can climb all the way to the crater. The Cochamó Valley in southern Chile, which is also known as the “Yosemite of South America,” merits special mention because of its huge peaks and liparite stone walls, which are perfect for free climbing. Central and southern Chile also have modern ski resorts - the best in Latin America.

Fans of water sports will also find Chile idyllic. Hundreds of beaches right along its length offer an adrenaline rush for surfers, deep water for divers and wind for kitesurfers. Cavancha Beach (Iquique) and Punta de Lobos (Pichilemu) have the best waves for surfing. Central Chile is the epicenter of scuba diving at beaches like Los Molles and Pichidangui. The crystal-clear waters at Rapa Nui (Easter Island) are also perfect for snorkeling.

Endless paths and routes in over 100 national parks, reserves and monuments throughout Chile offer jaw-dropping landscapes for fans of trekking and mountain biking. Highlights from north to south include Los Flamencos National Reserve and the Chiloé, Queulat and Torres del Paine National Parks.

Looking for more adrenaline? Try rafting the Maipo River right outside of Santiago, the Trancura River (in Pucón), or Patagonia’s Futaleufú River, all of which are internationally known in the sport. If you prefer calmer options, try kayaking on Lake General Carrerra, South America’s second largest lake. Sport fishing fans will delight in the fast-flowing Baker River (also in Patagonia), with its crystalline waters in the middle of native forests.

If you’re looking for excitement, aerial sports like paragliding will be sure to take your breath away, especially in Chile, with its fascinating views of Andean landscapes and the Pacific Ocean. This activity is particularly popular in Arica and Iquique in northern Chile, Maitencillo and Santiago in the central zone, and Pucón in southern Chile.


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