The Best Country for Adventure Travel has Mountains, Desert, Volcanoes & A Mystical Island

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There are few places in the world that I would say have left me entirely breathless and lost for words. When I first started travelling at 13 years of age, everywhere I went was such an incredible adventure that it would be all I’d talk about until the next one. But after so much travel in the last few years, I’ve become more and more selective on the places I deem the “best” for something. But alas, I’m absolutely certain that this country is the best country for adventure travel. It has everything: mountains, one of the world’s best hiking treks, the world’s driest desert, geysers, melting icebergs, a remote island full of mystery, skiing, and so much more….

Chile is the world’s longest country, spanning 2,610 miles from north to south. 80% of the country is covered by mountains – making not just for dramatic scenery but also for fantastic adventure activities! There are plenty of world renowned hikes on offer, as well as ski resorts in the Andes mountains or climbing a volcano in the world’s driest desert, Atacama.


Atacama Desert, Chile

As the world’s driest desert, Atacama is a stunning sight to see. As such, this is one of the most popular stops for travellers to Chile. Located in the North, it is quite popular to combine a visit to Atacama with a visit to the nearby salt flats (Salar de Uyuni) in neighbouring Bolivia.

Read more: Visiting the Driest Place in the World.

Patagonia Chile

Torres del Paine, Chile

Located in the South is perhaps my favourite display of nature in the entire world – Torres del Paine National Park.

Read more: Hiking to the French Valley, W Trek, Torres del Paine.

Easter Island Rapa Nui

Easter Island, Chile

If there is any place more mystical and alluring as Easter Island, I’d love to know about it.

Read more: Visiting Easter Island: An Introduction.

Valle Nevado

Valle Nevado, Andes Mountains, Chile

Fancy a ski or snowboard sesh? Head up into the Andes mountains, just over an hour’s drive from the capital of Chile, Santiago.

Read more: Snowboarding in the Andes Mountains.

Atacama desert

Geysers El Tatio, Chile

When in the Atacama Desert, be sure to say yes to any and all day trips – there’s a lot to discover! Although it is one of the earliest departing day trips (my mind somehow recalls a 5am wakeup), it is entirely worth your while!

Read More: Exploring the Atacama Desert.


Santiago, Chile

…Because what other capital in the world has a backdrop of snowcapped mountains!?

Read more: Top 6 Things to Do in Santiago.


Volcano Hotel, Chile

Chile is full of active and inactive volcanoes (many of which you can climb – plenty of opportunities in the Atacama desert in the North), but does it get any better than a volcano hotel you can actually stay in!? Probably certainly not!

Grey Glacier

Grey Glacier, Chile

Back down South, there’s much more to see and experience beyond hiking. Often the best part of hiking in Torres del Paine is not the challenge of the hike itself and the immediate surrounds, but the unreal scenery you can enjoy just off the W trek and around the area itself – this is one place where you can’t possibly spend enough time! (Image: Marks Mayo).

Have you been somewhere just as adventurous or even more so!? Share your stories in the comments below!

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    January 27, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    Great sharing and nice pictures! I have never thought that Chile is so beautiful like that. Hopefully, I can visit this stunning destination at least one time in my life. Thanks for your post

    October 28, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    I am planning to go to Chile next year and this is definitly another reason to see this country. It looks marvelous.
    Your website is such an inspiration for me all the time! I´m so glad I found it a few months ago.
    xx from Germany, Carina

    October 24, 2015 at 8:33 am

    Top of my bucketlist. Bring it on.

    October 23, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    Chile is an amazing place but clearly you haven’t set foot in New Zealand

    October 23, 2015 at 3:13 am

    I can’t wait to go to Chile! it has been on my bucket list for so long.

    Megan Indoe
    October 22, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    Wow, we already want to go to Chile but your photos and description make us want to get there sooner than later! Thanks for sharing! That volcano hotel looks awesome!

    October 21, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    Chile looks amazing!

    Unfortunately I won’t be spending as much time as I’d like there during my upcoming 4 months in South America. But I’m sure I’ll be back.

    Maddy @ Travel Alphas
    October 21, 2015 at 10:03 am

    I want to visit Torres del Paine so badly…I definitely will some day soon! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Bella Mare Corfu
    October 21, 2015 at 3:55 am

    Your articles interested me ,exactly Volcano Hotel, Chile and Easter Island, Chile , amazing original places . Spend one day in the interior of the volcano must be very exciting experience !!!

    October 20, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    Chile is a wonderful place. We have been fortunate to spend a lot of time there and explore some of its wonders. We quite enjoyed skiing outside of Santiago and the Atacama dessert is just fascinating. The area around Puerto Varas is one of the prettiest places I think I have ever seen. We explored Patagonia on our site last month.

    October 20, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    I haven’t been, but the photos are amazing! Definitely added to my list!

    October 20, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    I have been to Chile twice. There will be a third time, for sure. You are right, it is an incredible country. What I like the most about this post, however, is the consideration that you are becoming more and more selective with what you like and what you don’t. I am flying out of Indonesia today. The country has surely many interesting places but I did not fall for it. Not my thing.

    Miles of Happiness - Marie
    October 20, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    Ahah! Great list… So I guess Chile is a pretty good destination, right? My bestfriend is from there and exploring the country with him is in my plans. He made me discover the food… Incredible. Can’t wait to discover the outdoors, one day..

    October 20, 2015 at 3:42 am

    Wow according to these pictures I would have to agree, Chile looks breathtaking!
    XO Janina

    October 19, 2015 at 11:40 pm

    Would love to go there! Looks amazing!! Living in beautiful Switzerland I have to answer your question though: “Because what other capital in the world has a backdrop of snowcapped mountains!?”
    Bern, Switzerland has a backdrop of mountains and almost every other city here. 🙂 Love following your travels! x

    October 19, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    My oldest daughter is spending a year in Puerto Varas as an exchange student. She is in love with the country and its beautiful people. We are saving up to take the whole family to Chile in 2016 and I am looking for great places to stay. Therefore I checked out your recommendation for the hotel. Did you actually stay there yourself? It is getting very mixed reviews. All agree that it is beautiful and in a great location but there seem to be a LOT of complaints about very inaccurate service, food and so on. For a very expensive hotel that is not good and I wonder if you just found a beautiful picture and included it with no further research or if you actually stayed there?

    H. M. Willow
    October 19, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    Oh my goodness! Per usual your pictures speak a thousand words. I love how you broke this beautiful country down and shared all the magic of it. My parents went last year and absolutely loved it. It’s officially on my bucket list!

    H |

    Minh Nguyen
    October 19, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Great list! I really like Chile and always want to visit it one day. And there is one Easter Island in Miyazaki, Japan, which resembles the one in Chile.

    October 19, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    LOVE this post!
    I really love all your content, it is so perfectly organized and structures always, making it my go to site to read up on places before I go or just for day dreaming.

    But pleas do some posts (maybe one exactly like this) on New Zealand! (You don´t even have a New Zealand category under destinations?)

    I would be so so thankful 🙂

    Keep up your amazing work 🙂 You Rock!

    Joan Larsen
    October 19, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    Hi . . . and I have to agree that Chile is top of the list for travel in my book and has been for 40 years!! Patagonia hands down my favorite place on earth – outside of Antarctica — but the Lake Country is a close second — and of course, all the rest of this beautiful string bean of a country!!! In one of my stories on my own site, you will read that I almost died on Torres del Paine in a day of 100mph katabatic winds but somehow survived on the mountain that day — but have since gone back and back and back. I cannot get enough.

    Love your site!!!!

    Sarah Park
    October 19, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    So many beautiful places to see in Chile, I’d love to plan a trip there!