Chile: A destination of contrasts & adventures in the Pacific

the-esmeraldaIn this age of globalisation, it is hard to find a tourist location that still has any sense of real authenticity left to offer like Chile, with such a vast range of diversity. Part of three continents (South America, Oceania, and the Antarctic), with over 6,000 km’s of coastline, it offers some of the most stunning and picturesque locations on the planet. This event promoted by ProChile, and held at the Ovolo Hotel Woolloomooloo, was coordinated with the arrival of the spectacular Chilean Navy tall training ship, The Esmeralda which was docked nearby. Launched on 12 May 1953, it currently sails as an ambassadorial ship of goodwill, promoting Chile, receiving invitations from countries all over the globe years in advance. On a previous visit in 1961, an estimated 100,000 people bid farewelled ‘The White Lady’ as she departed Sydney Harbour.

his-excellency-mr-daniel-carvalloThe charismatic Ambassador of Chile in Australia, His Excellency, Mr Daniel Carvallo and the passionate Paula Moreno, the Trade Commissioner of Chile in Australia offered fascinating insights into their Country for the tourism and trade function promoted in conjunction with LatinPR. With 26 trade agreements in place with 64 economies, and more currently in negotiation, doing business with Chile has never been both more accessible and profitable. The world’s largest exporter of blueberries, cherries, grapes, prunes and mussels, not to mention Copper, is evidence of their prolific output and industry, for a nation of just under 18 million people.

santiagoSantiago, considered the safest city in South America is serviced by 15 airlines, with Qantas offering 6 weekly flights to the Capital. Connecting with Arica, Puerto Montt, Punta Arenas and the haunting Easter Island, it is the ideal setting down point for visitors. Sensibly, 20% of Chile is protected territory, thereby preserving its natural beauty of spectacular rivers, lakes, lagoons, National Parks and snow-capped mountains for current and future generations. The Andes just 40kms from Santiago, is considered to be amongst the best skiing and snowboarding options in the world. In stark contrast, Atacama is the driest desert in the world, yet offers an incomparable blooming of flowers, emphasising the diversity this magnificent country is naturally blest with.

easter-islandThe Andean Plateu, showcasing Indigenous villages at 4,000 metres, snow-capped volcanoes, and home to llamas and flamencos is yet another example. Patagonia offers kayaking inside marble caves, said to be over 2 million years old. Only two hours from Punta Arenas is the majesty of Antarctica, with cruises readily available through the Southern Fjords and around Cape Horn. Also, the intriguing culture of Easter Island, with 887 stone Moai stone statues is a must visit, just 4.5 hours from Santiago. Chiloé Island, with its magnificent churches (built without nails) and local culture is equally as enchanting! Along the Chilean coastline, surfers will find the waves as challenging as any found around the world, and the stargazing is the best in the Southern Hemisphere, with on average, over 300 pristine night skies a year. Of course, if you did not want to venture far from the major cities, the friendly and welcoming Chileans would be more than happy to share both the Cosmopolitan and Bohemian aspects with you.

8th-wonder-of-the-worldFor Australians who have a natural affinity with wine, The Maipo Valley is rated amongst the best winemaking regions in the world. The magnificent unspoilt Torres del Paine National Park, voted the 8th wonder of the world, is worth visiting for alone. The natural inspiration, adventure and sports, culture and heritage, and wine and gastronomy demands that Chile should be on every traveller’s bucket list. The only question that remains is where are you going to start your Chile Experience?

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Editorial Note: LBV was a guest of LatinPR

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