Chile is sometimes referred to as the longest country in the world, which starts to seem like not such an unusual attribute to be known for when you consider that, despite this country never reaching more than 112 miles in width, its coastline extends to over 2,650 miles in length. That's more than half the length of the entire South American continent. Squeezed between the Andes and the Pacific Ocean, here you'll find the world's driest desert, glaciers, fjords, volcanoes, landscapes reminiscent of the moon, some of the highest geysers on the planet, as well as colourful towns and cities inhabited by some of the friendliest people you're ever likely to meet. Motorhome hire in Chile is simply brimming with possibilities.
Despite what you might think, travelling here is surprisingly easy. If Chile is your first stop on a tour around South America, then you'll be pleased to learn that flights connecting various airports from England and Scotland to Santiago airport in central Chile fly regularly, with a return flight costing you around £550-600 if you book in advance. However, with no direct flights currently available, you can expect to make one to two changes along the way, and often with a long wait in between; so make sure you bring along some good reading material.
Maybe you are arriving to Chile from Argentina or Bolivia with your motorhome already in tow. Although it is completely possible to cross the border in a motorhome you've picked up in either of those countries, passing from country to country here is a much more drawn-out process than in Europe. There is often substantial paperwork to be sorted out between you and the vehicle's supplier, so letting them know of your travel plans beforehand is advisable. A not insubstantial fee should also be made to the supplier, which can range from €140-450, depending on the country you are travelling to. This may sound expensive, but is actually relative to the sizeable distances it is possible to cover when crossing borders in South America.
Once you've arrived, you're next major responsibility is to decide where to go first on your motorhome itinerary. Just like it's length, Chile's choice and scope of nature is on a colossal scale, so that might prove something of a difficult task. Lauca National Park in Chile's far north is a top attraction for tourists. Set within the Andean mountain range, the most spectacular feature here is the beautiful Lagoain Chungará, one of the highest lakes in the world. Over the lake looms the dormant and almost picture perfect Volcán Parinacota. This is a great location for hiking, mountain tours, bird watching and provides many opportunities for amateur photographers.
How about Valle de la Luna in Chile's central region. Translated as 'Valley of the Moon', this breathtaking landscape is located in the Atacama Desert, itself considered to be the driest place on earth where, in some parts, rain has not touched the earth in recorded human existence. The Valle de la Luna's landscape resembles exactly that, a moonscape. You can leave the motorhome behind for the day, and join a tour group on a bus tour to this otherworldly location.
Other well-known and popular destinations include the Torres del Paine National Park in the extreme southern region of Patagonia, which features spectacular granite peaks, lakes and glaciers. Then there's Pucón, a small touristy town in the middle of the southerly Lake District. Or how about visiting one of Chile's largest penguin colonies, the Los Pingüinos Natural Monument on Magadalena Island, which manages to fit up to 120,000 penguins on its one square kilometer landmass. And lastly, for those who have a little bit more time, a trip to the infamous Easter Island may be going out of your way, but it is the highlight for many when they see for themselves the 887 moai statues which have guarded this island for centuries.
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