Winter in the United States is fun at first - after all, you have Thanksgiving, the winter holidays, New Year's Eve, and plenty of other events to distract you from the cold. But after a while, the cold weather and gloomy days take their toll, and visions of warm, sunny afternoons and lush greenery begin to take hold. If you're ready to escape the cold this winter, why not visit the Southern Hemisphere during their summertime? That's right, while the snow is falling and the temps are plunging up north, South America is happily enjoying their summer months. September through May is a wonderful time to visit South America, and Chile travel is a wondrous place to check off your bucket list this time of year. Let's look at some of the top reasons to break free from the chills of winter and escape to Chile this year.
1. THE FOOD
Chilean cuisine is incredible - and quite diverse! Seafood is amazing in Chile, including locally harvested salmon, mussels, and sea bass. But the interior of the country also grows some of the most flavorful beef cattle in the world. Sumptuous steaks can be enjoyed fresh during local barbeque events, preempted by Chile's famous empanadas. Part of the fun of traveling to a new destination is sampling the local cuisine, and visitors to Chile will not leave disappointed.
2. THE CLIMATE
Within a day's drive in Chile, you can visit glaciers, tropical rain forests, deserts, and beautiful beaches. This does mean you'll need to pack intelligently, as you can literally surf, ski, or sunbathe within hours of one another. Bring sandals and hiking boots, rain jackets and short-sleeve T-shirts, and everything in between. Chile is a geographically diverse nation that experiences all seasons, so connect early with your tour company and ask questions about how to pack an efficient and accommodating wardrobe for your trip.
3. THE DRINKS
Like wine? Chile is famous for its incomparable vineyards, and even the most ardent of oenophiles will find an excuse to reach for one more taste of a local Chilean vintage. From the egg-white and lemon concoction of the Pisco Sour, to the world-famous Casillero del Diablo sauvignon blanc, the nation's exclusive grapes and diverse array of liquors are worth the potential hangover in the morning! Go out on a limb and try as many varietals as possible, then send a few bottles home so you'll have a nice array waiting for you upon arrival.
4. THE WILDLIFE
An Antarctic current called the Humboldt naturally ushers a variety of wildlife from the southern reaches of the continent to the waters off South America. Seals, penguins, migrating whales and dolphins, and vibrant seabirds make Chile the perfect destination for amateur photographers and wildlife aficionados, alike. Just remember that the water is still pretty cold in this part of the world - even in the summertime. So you'd better enjoy the view from the deck of your ship or from land.
5. THE SITES, LIKE EASTER ISLAND
A trip to Chile creates the perfect excuse to visit Easter Island - the isolated island is home to massive and intriguing stone head carvings that are as iconic as they are mysterious. Even though the number of tourists to the island has increased over the years, it is still regarded as one of the globe's quietest and most isolated destinations. The monolithic stone heads will leave you wondering just how they came to be, what they were used for, and what they really represent.
6. THE TIP OF THE WORLD
Tierra Del Fuego, literally translated as "land of fire," is a wilderness area that is as stunning as it is hauntingly serene. There is little civilization in this part of Chile, and the tip of the country points southward to the Antarctic land mass below. Quiet forests and dispersed ranches sit amidst iron shack homes, thousands of sheep, and primitive structures that beg for a photographer's eye.
Chile is known as the Land of Fire and Ice, and it represents an incredible opportunity to escape the cold weather months in the Northern Hemisphere this year. This 2,700-mile-long nation is diverse, rugged, and simply unforgettable.