We absolutely loved Chile.
It’s not that we weren’t expecting to. But while we knew in advance that we wouldn’t be able to get to some of its most well loved destinations – the Atacama Desert in the far north, Patagonian Torres del Paine in its most southernly tip, and Easter Island way out in the Pacific – we knew little about just what else the country had to offer.
But lots to offer it has. These are our highlights, and just what made our time in Chile so special.
Our month is Santiago will without a doubt go down as one of the best spells of our entire trip. Lively, laidback and with loads to do, Santiago surprised us in how much it has going for it. In our four weeks there, we got properly stuck in, making the absolute most of the bustling bar and restaurant scene, frequently taking Amber to the city’s many playgrounds, soft play areas and interactive museums, doing a splash of hiking, and even getting involved in a bit of volunteering. It was a jam-packed month and supremely enjoyable.
Amber and Duckie getting to grips with a spontaneous lindy hop lesson in Santiago’s Bellavista Patios
After spending January in Santiago the rest of our time in Chile was largely spent with friends and family exploring the central coast and south of the country. Like me, Chile is very long and so we always knew it would be impossible to see all of the big highlights in one visit (again, like me). The Atacama Desert and Chilean Patagonia in particular were two such places that logistically, and particularly with a baby, we just couldn’t do. That said, what we did see over the final few weeks really enhanced our sense of the country, and in the case of Chiloe in particular, gave us a wonderful insight into a distinct and unique side to Chilean life.
In this blog entry we briefly sum up this 3-4 week period before our adventure took us north into Peru.
If anyone has a better pun for the title please feel free to leave a comment.
The arrival of Christmas coincided with our arrival in Chile, having earlier made the decision that the Pacific coastline would be an ideal place to spend our first ever Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere.
We arrived in Santiago on 19th December following our flight from Mendoza. Chilean customs are known for their zero tolerance approach to bringing certain foods into the country. What you are and aren’t allowed seems to be a topic of much debate. As it turned out we lost dried kidney beans, raisins and Amber’s leftover lunch but managed to keep flour, curry powder (phew) and pasta.
The view from our apartment in Santiago. That’s not a fresh morning mist obstructing the view of the Andes, it’s pollution
Fact: Argentina is utterly brilliant.
We have covered our 2 and a half months in Argentina in other postings (see links dotted throughout this post), so our aim here is to simply round it all up and jot down a few of our highlights. I say ‘simply’. We had some of our most precious moments of our trip so far in Argentina, so summing it up in a few short words is no mean feat.
But I’ll give it a go.
Playing at Museo de los Ninos in our first week in Buenos Aires
When we made the decision to go as far south as possible on the South American continent (and indeed the world, Antarctica aside) one inevitable question was what happens after that. What goes down must come up, as they (don’t) say. What we noticed while planning the trip was a direct flight from that most southerly point, Ushuaia and Cordoba, Argentina’s second largest city located in the central / north of the country.
Saying goodbye to the end of the world before our 4 hour flight north to Cordoba