Chile is the ultimate destination for “bucket list” activities, the list of all of the things you want to try, taste, attempt and achieve in your lifetime. It has frozen mountains, endless coastlines, frothing rivers and the driest desert on Earth for the adventure junkies. It has wine, seafood, fresh fruit and grilled meats for the foodies. And it has unique architecture, theatre, music and art for the those who want to experience new culture. So if any or all of the above applies to you, here’s 31 Adventures You Can't Miss in Chile:


  1. Hike the W Trek in Patagonia’s Torres del Paine National Park. Rightly considered as one of the most scenic low altitude treks in the world, the W Trek captures the main highlights of this jewel of Chilean Patagonia in a five to seven day trail.

     W Trek Towers Base

  2. Learn to dance Chile’s national dance, the cueca. Based on the unusual inspiration of a cockerel courting a hen, the cueca is a hanky-waving, wig-wagging caper that’s easy enough for beginners to pick up. 

  3. Visit Easter Island for the Tapati Rapa Nui Festival. This annual celebration combines carnival-style activities including theatrical presentations and unusual sports with an homage to the island’s culture. Easter Island is always ever so slightly magical and Tapati Rapa Nui shows it at its best.

    Tapati Rapa Nui Dancer 

  4. Take a break from a Santiago City Tour with an ice-cold mote con huesillo. Taking a walking tour of Santiago de Chile’s main sights can be thirsty work, especially on a balmy summer’s day. Fortunately, you’re never far from a street-vendor selling this syrupy, fruity, chewy drink that goes down a treat in hot weather.

  5. Cycle around Cerro San Cristobal. San Cristobal Hill is a natural beauty spot that rears up over the city providing spectacular views from its gardened summit. You can head up on foot, by taxi or on the newly restored funicular but many would argue that the best way to enjoy the hill is to slog upwards by bike and then freewheel back down.

  6. Stroll along the seaside boardwalk at Viña del Mar. This upmarket seaside town just two hours west of Chile’s capital by road makes for a great day trip from Santiago. The beach is shadowed by a winding boardwalk that curves all the way around the bay and makes for an energising post-lunch stroll.

  7. Learn to surf in Pichilemu. Chile’s nascent surf culture is ideal for those taking their first steps (and splashes) in the sport. Pichilemu has manageable waves for beginners while the pros take on the monster waves in neighbouring Punta de Lobos.

     surf pichilemu

  8. Visit all three of Pablo Neruda’s houses. For lovers of poetry, a visit to Chile wouldn’t be complete with a trip to at least one of Nobel Laureate Pablo Neruda’s riotous, tchotchke-stuffed homes. Complete the set by visiting Santiago, Valparaíso and Isla Negra.

  9. Eat ceviche from a paper cup with a plastic fork on the seafront. The fish in Chile is fresh and plentiful and is often at it’s best when minimally prepared with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of seasonings. 

  10. Play at being a castaway on Robinson Crusoe Island. The remote and sparsely inhabited islands were once home to the real-life marooned sailor Alexander Selkirk, who inspired the story of Robinson Crusoe. These days it's perfect for escaping the hassles of a busy life.

  11. Watch a performance by the Ballet de Santiago at the Teatro Municipal in Santiago. Both the resident Ballet de Santiago and the luxurious Teatro Municipal building are worth a visit in their own right. Ballet is a good option for culture vultures who don’t speak Spanish since the artists’ bodies do all of the talking. 

  12. Try a Patagonian lamb barbecue in Patagonia. Because nobody grills lamb like they do in southern Chile. The meat is speared on a cross and then slowly roasted over a wood fire until crisp, juicy and steeped in woodsmoke.

    patagonia lamb  

  13. Go ziplining in the Cajón del Maipo. Ziplining anywhere is a thrilling experience that sends you flying through the trees, showing you the word from a condor’s point of view. Add in the spectacular surroundings of the mountains around Santiago and you’ve got yourself a true bucket list adventure.

  14. Raft the raging Futaleufu River. The river, in northern Patagonia, is known for its white water currents that attract kayakers and rafters from around the world to battle its deep blue waters. 

  15. Picnic with the flamingos in Parque Bicentenario. One of Santiago’s newest and smartest outdoor spaces, Parque Bicentenario is home to a surprising flock of flamingos. Walk the manicured lawns or relax with a fresh fruit juice under a sun-umbrella on a free deck chair.

  16. Ski in summer in the Chilean Andes Mountains. Summer in the northern hemisphere means it's winter down here in Chile, which is perfect for anyone who can’t wait all year for ski season to start up again. Check out the ski slopes surrounding Santiago from mid-June to October! ski andes winter

  17. Visit the breathtaking blue marble caves on General Carrera Lake. You might have already seen the almost unbelievable photos of these natural marble monoliths on lists of amazing places around the world. Head to northern Patagonia in person to see them for real. 

  18. Sandboard down the desert dunes in Iquique. Sandboarding is a relatively new sport in Chile, which means it’s often still possible to find a dune that’s not swarming with visitors. Iquique is known for its soft sands and all-encompassing views of the Pacific Ocean. 

  19. Cycle the Carretera Austral. This Chilean section at the end of the Pan-American Highway runs from Puerto Montt to Villa O’Higgins. The road wends its way through a landscape of unimaginable beauty and grandeur.

  20. Eat a calafate berry in Chilean Patagonia. They say that those who eat this blue-black berry are destined to return to Patagonia. This may be a bucket list, but we see no reason why you should aim to visit only once!

    calafate berry 

  21. Watch the sun setting over the Andes Mountains. And if you get up early enough to watch the sun rising over the mountains too. From the Atacama Desert to the Patagonian glaciers, the backdrop never fails to amaze.

  22. Compete in an adventure race in Chile. From the Atacama Crossing footrace in the north to the Patagonia Expedition Race in the far south, Chile is the natural choice for many an adventure race. For the sporting achievement of a lifetime, head to Chile.

  23. Stay at EcoCamp Patagonia in Torres del Paine National Park. Staying in the world’s first geodesic dome hotel with its “glamping” feel and eco-chic ethos is an experience in itself. And that’s not to mention the dazzling mountain scenery it sits in!

    Autumn EcoCamp

  24. Survive a terremoto - earthquake - (the alcoholic kind, not seismological kind). Although sometimes described as a cocktail, the terremoto doesn’t really have any of the usual cocktail pretensions. Generally served in popular, downtown bars, the terremoto is a potent mix of pineapple and sweet pipeño wine.

  25. Stay overnight in a palafito (stilt house) in the Chiloé Archipelago. The brightly coloured wooden stilt houses are a defining feature of the Chiloé Archipelago that lies on southern Chile’s Pacific coast. The region has its own unique traditions and cuisine. 

  26. Watch boiling water erupt from the ground in the driest desert in the world. The Atacama Desert may be known for its parched moonscape but it’s also home to salt lakes, explosive geysers, thermal pools and tranquil oases.

  27. Sleep under the stars in the Andes Mountains. Horse ride or hike out into the peaks surrounding Santiago and on a warm summer night you won’t even need a tent to keep you warm.

  28. Ride one of Valparaíso antique funiculars up its famous hills. Then wind your way back down to the bay through the tangle of topsy-turvy houses with their multi-coloured murals. Finish up with a boat ride into the harbour to see the hoards of sea lions.

    Valparaiso Ascensor Artilleria 

  29. Eat a completo without scraping off the mayonnaise. Chile’s beloved hot dogs, called completos, are usually served with copious amounts of chopped tomatoes, mayonnaise and saukraut.

  30. Taste a selection of top-notch Chilean wines while looking out at the vineyards where the grapes were grown. There’s no shortage of wineries to choose from in Chile’s fertile central valleys. Some can even be visited as a day-trip from Santiago.

  31. Swim in the biggest swimming pool in the world. The pool, in the seaside resort of Algarrobo is the size of 20 Olympic swimming pools making it six times larger than its nearest competitor.

Hungry for more adventures? Check out our Patagonia bucket list or contact our travel experts with your own Chile bucket list to make your dream trip a reality.

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The Chilean Way-1

The Chilean Way

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