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Top 5 Adventure Activities in Chile

Whether you’re planning a vacation to indulge an outdoor hobby you’re already passionate about or you’re looking to try something new while you're away, Chile is the perfect adventure playground for outdoor sports fans. Its explosive natural landscape includes the highest volcano in the world, the driest desert in the world, the longest mountain range in the world and the deepest fjord in the whole of the southern hemisphere, so its no wonder that there’s almost no limit to the outdoor pursuits you can get up to. Here is Cascada’s pick of the top 5 adventure travel activities available in Chile and how to enjoy them to the full.

 

sea kayaking in patagonia1. Sea Kayaking

Chile has nearly 4,000 miles of coastline, so getting out into the Pacific Ocean is a great option for anyone looking for a unique adventure, whilst exploring more of this incredible country. Sea kayaking will take you to places that a land-based trip or even a cruise can’t reach, giving you a front row seat to a view of a rugged coastline seen only by a lucky few. With no engine sounds, you have a greater chance of getting closer to the abundant sea life, birds and coastal animal life without scaring anything away. There are any number of ideal locations for sea kayaking in Chile, but the most spectacular of all has to be Patagonia where you can wind your way through the crystalline fjords, passing snow-capped mountains and heart-stopping glaciers. You might even get up close and personal with an newborn iceberg.
 

2. Skiing & Snowboarding

Skiing and snowboarding in Chile

For a shot of pure adrenaline, nothing quite beats hurtling down the side of a snow-covered volcano at 20 miles an hour. Around 80% of Chile is made up of mountains, which means that from June to October, large swathes of the country are transformed into a skier’s paradise. Ski and snowboard trails in the Andes, some of which can be reached on an easy day trip from Santiago, are not known for being much higher than the Rockies or the Alps, but stand out mostly due to the breathtaking scenery. The scattering of volcano peaks amongst the mountains makes for the kind of exotic surroundings that give the place an otherworldly appeal. There are trails here for all ability levels, including off piste, and some resorts also have snowboarding parks and pipes.
 

white water rafting3. White Water Rafting

Chile’s unusual geography creates the plunging gorges and gushing rivers that are the essential ingredients in creating high quality rapids for white water rafting. In fact, the Futaleufú River in the Patagonian Andes is listed in the National Geographic’s run down of the top ten white water rafting locations due to its striking glacial scenery, although there are equally exhilarating adventures to be had in the Chilean Lake District or as a rafting day trip from the capital Santiago. White water rafting is the ultimate thrill to get your heart pumping as you splash downstream and challenge yourself with swirling rapids. It’s also a fantastic way to bond with family and friends as you travel, or to make new friends as you work as a team to navigate the river’s course.
 

horseback riding in Patagonia4. Horseriding

Horses are a deeply-rooted part of Chilean culture and have been used for travel and in agriculture for thousands of years, so exploring Chile on a horseback tour is a truly authentic way to get around. Take up the option of riding with local horsemen and you’ll learn first hand about this ancient culture and its importance to Chilean identity. In addition, a horse can tackle tracks and trails that a four-by-four couldn’t even get near, like a path to a hidden glacier in the Andes or to the last remaining traditional adobe house in Patagonia. Whether you’re riding through the mountains or across the open plains, you’ll get a real sensation of being in harmony with nature and an alternative perspective on the beautiful scenes around you.
 

catamaran in patagonia5. Sailing

Because Chile is only 109 miles wide on average, you’re never very from the sea, making it perfect for a sailing holiday. It’s an unusual way to view the coast that most visitors will only see from the other side. It’s even possible to sail the whole length of the country, where you’ll find yourself dipping in and out of bustling ports along the coast and mixing with the local fishing boats going about their daily business. The sea is brimming with wildlife including hefty sea lions, playful dolphins and pelicans that dive below the waves for their catch. Further south you might even spot a penguin. Sailing in Patagonia is a highlight, as the famous winds whisk you along the many miles of picturesque fjords, deep into the heart of Patagonia.