Things to see in Chile

  • Chile
    Chile
    © Dmitry Pichugin / 123RF
Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination Chile

Coasts

The Chilean coast, which lies on the Pacific Ocean, has been home to human beings for more than 10,000 years. Today, it is no longer tribes of hunters or fishermen who are drawn here but rather tourists in search of the radically different landscapes the country has to offer. Those who love to sit back and relax will head to La Serena, a splendid seaside resort, while those looking for adventure will set their sights on Chiloé Island. In addition to its panoramas, which bring certain aspects of Canada to mind, you can admire the colourful houses that have made this site so renowned. The closer you get to Cape Horn, the more the landscapes become hostile and interspersed with fjords and glaciers. The extremely famous Easter Island lies almost 2,400 miles off the coast in the Pacific Ocean. To reach it to see the Moais, you will have to book an additional flight.

Arts and culture

Chilean culture dates back more than 13,000 years, when the first peoples, the Araucans followed by the Incas, colonised the country. Together, these two peoples formed the ancestral culture that Spanish conquistadors later discovered. Bearing testimony to their existence, numerous archaeological relics still exist and make up part of Chile's cultural heritage.

The arrival of the first Spanish settlers marked a real cultural change in the country. Indeed, where once an animist and polytheist religion ruled, a monotheist one, rejecting all pagan ideas, took over. The result of this was a change in the food, the economy, the military activity and the leisure activities.

Today, Chilean culture is a blend of tradition, values and expressionism that give the Chilean people a unique identity. You can see this cultural mosaic expressed in the popular festivals, literature, cinema and conservation of the national monuments.

Enogastronomy

Chilean cuisine is known more for the quality and freshness of its ingredients than for the complexity of its recipes. Strongly influenced by Spanish cuisine, it is comprised of meat and seafood-based dishes served with beans, potatoes, pumpkin and corn.

Chilean cuisine is reflective of the country, with its mix of Spanish, of course, but also Amerindian, English and German influences. In general, they are not very spicy because the seasonings, and notably the hot peppers, are served on the side. However, Chileans are very liberal with salt and sugar.

The variety of beverages is also something quite particular about Chili, with options like a cold drink made with dried peaches and cooked wheat, or something more traditional made with brandy, saffron, lemon and egg whites, and let's not forget the famous Chilean wine!

And please, don't go around asking to be served chili con carne, as this is a Tex-Mex dish and not at all from Chile!

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