Viewing images of Machu Picchu has always sparked a complexity of emotions for me. The ancient ruins atop a sea of mountains stirs up feelings of curiosity, awe, inspiration, with a hint of jealousy; jealousy for all those who have made the trek ahead of me. It was a destination that felt out of reach for me but one that I always wrestled with in my mind. When I finally ceased on an opportunity to travel to Peru, I knew Machu Picchu would be the driving force behind my trip.
Chile is absolutely stunning and, for many of us, it’s not often at the top of our travel bucket list — but it should be! I traveled south to Chile for a week and was endlessly impressed by the natural beauty of this country. The majority of my trip was centered around Patagonia, though I did not do a multi-day hike, as many travelers seek out when in this region. While still in the planning stages, I quickly realized getting down to Patagonia was a hike in itself and would take up several full days of my singular week. Unfortunately for me, it didn’t make sense to add in the physical hike as well.
This trip took me through the country’s capital, Santiago, as well as down even further south to the region of Patagonia (the farthest south I’ve been!). There’s much to love and explore in Chile but I’ll try my best to narrow down my experiences to my top five reasons to visit. I’ll begin with what I’m calling a “pre-reason”: it’s not super packed with tourists and for many of us travelers, this is enough of a reason to visit. And now, here are my five reasons to add Chile to your travel bucket list.