Chile is one long strip of land which lines the Pacific Ocean for over two and a half miles. Chile shares borders with Peru in the North and with Bolivia and Argentina to the east and the south. A country of contrasts, its extremities are rich with diversity in its climate, landscape, traditions and peoples. Patagonia in the south and the Atacama Desert in the north are separated by the dramatic Andes. Chile however doesn't stop here Easter Island also forms part of the country; the small island attracts visitors' curiosity from all four corners of the world but very few tourists actually visit its 2000 mile coastline. Like its South American neighbours, Chile plays host to hundreds of annual festivals celebrated by locals and tourists alike. Music and dance form a large part of these celebrations - which the local people are very proud of.
To the east of Santiago, you can cross the Andes via the border post of Puente del Inca at the foot of the Aconcagua. At 6,959m, it is the highest mountain in the Americas. It is a truly breathtaking landscape of a thousand colours. For those coming from the south, La Serena and Arica (which is a little more to the north), are very pleasant little seaside towns that are great for ending your trip.Desertastic
In the north of the country, the village of San Pedro de Atacama is worth a stay of several days. It is a departure point for short stays in the Atacama Desert, the Tatio geysers, the Valley of the Moon (unforgettable at sunset), and the expedition to the Uyuni salt desert in Bolivia.Novel that comes to life
To discover one of the more unknown parts of Chile, visit Isla Robinson Cruscoe - a small island 13 miles long and 4 miles wide - which hosts plants and animal species native to the island, including the Juan Fernandez fur seal. The island was made a National Park in 1935 and today visitors can explore either alone or with a guide to discover the wealth of endemic flora species. Booking return flights from Santiago to Isla Robinson will usually set you back around 300 dollars but the fact that the island is still relatively unknown to travellers means you really will experience tranquility hard to find elsewhere in Chile.Horse lovers paradise
Finally, last but not least Patagonia, the land of explorers, filled with wonder and intrigue. There's the chance to visit a plethora of national parks including Laguna San Rafael, Katalalixar, Bernardo O'Higgins and the most famous, Torres del Paine, which takes you to the most southern point of the globe, Cap Horn. Here, avid equestrians will not miss the opportunity to do some horse-riding, as it is the ideal place for it.Land of the Rapa Nui
Far away from there, in fact 3,680 km from the coast but still belonging to Chile, is the mysterious Easter Island. Renowned for the moais, stone statues erected on both sides, this island is 166km squared and has more than 3000 habitants. A lot of people go there just to see what the fuss is all about.