Chile is one of South America’s most diverse countries, which makes it an exceptional destination for adventure. While the north is dominated by the otherworldly Atacama Desert, the south is dominated by Patagonia’s temperate forests, fjords, and snow-capped mountains. Meanwhile, its remote South Pacific island which lies 3,500 km off the mainland’s coast offers an enticing mix of rugged island landscapes, ancient legends, and mysterious monoliths. Each of these three destinations provides some of the best Chile adventure tours in the country and together, they create what we like to call the ultimate ‘Chile Adventure Tour Trilogy’.
In this article, we show you how to explore the Atacama Desert, Chilean Patagonia, and Easter Island to the fullest, highlighting the best adventure tours in each destination. Then, we combine the three destinations to show you how you can experience the best Chile adventure tours in one adrenaline-pumping trip. Think sandboarding down dunes, encountering emperor penguins, hiking around active volcanoes, meeting ancient monoliths, and over landing across starch-white salt flats. Which Chile adventure tour would you most love to try? Read on to find out.
Chilean Patagonia Adventure Tour
Puerto Montt – Torres del Paine – Tierra del Fuego
Chilean Patagonia is a geographical region defined by its glacial fjords, temperate rainforests, and scenic mountainscapes, which make it an outstanding destination for outdoor adventure. And since Patagonia encompasses around one-quarter of Chile, it’s easy to spend a few weeks exploring this region alone.
Discover the Chilean Lake District
This Chile adventure tour begins in Puerto Montt in the Chilean Lake District, which is commonly referred to as ‘the gateway of Patagonia’. The best way to explore the lakes is on a scenic hike around the snow-capped Osorno Volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in the Chilean Andes. Upon circling it, you’ll be rewarded with gorgeous views of the district’s deep-blue lakes that interrupt coniferous forests carpeting the landscape. After a relaxing day spent exploring Puerto Montt, you’ll be ready to venture across the Chacao Channel by ferry to Chiloe Island where you’ll encounter rugged temperate coastlines inhabited by Magellanic penguins.
Hike Around Torres del Paine
A Chile adventure tour to Patagonia wouldn’t be valid without a stop at Torres del Paine to complete one of the region’s most famous hiking routes, the W Trek. The 4-5 day hike will lead you along three of the national park’s most scenic valleys to the base of the mountain’s famous treble-towered peak, through thick forests, and along an iceberg-flecked glacial lake to a tremendous glacier. After days spent roughing it on the trail, treat yourself to a rejuvenating stay at a luxury hotel like Tierra Patagonia to soak up the incredible scenery from the blissful comfort of a spa.
Ride on horseback across Tierra del Fuego
Complete your adventurous tour of Chilean Patagonia in Tierra del Fuego, the country’s southernmost island which stretches out toward Antarctica. There are plenty more breathtaking hikes to embark on in this park that allow you to discover its unique flora and fauna, but the best way to do so is on horseback. Afterward, take to the seas for a superb sailing experience around Chile’s southern archipelago to find emperor penguins, whales, sea lions, and more.
Atacama Desert Adventure Tour
Atacama Desert – Valle de La Luna – Bolivian Salt Flats
On this Chile adventure tour, you will explore the country’s northern region, home to the world’s driest desert, Atacama. Deserts are known for being arid, lifeless, and invariant, which doesn’t seem like a recipe for adventure on paper. However, the Atacama Desert is different. Its landscape may be largely void of plant and animal life, but it is a fruit salad of topography.
Explore Atacama’s landscapes
Commence your Atacama adventure by exploring its variety of landscapes, starting at Lagunas Escondidas de Baltinache, striking turquoise salt lagoons amid rocky volcanic plains where you can float effortlessly on the water’s surface. Afterward, pick up the pace with a sandboarding adventure in Valle de la Muerte followed by a sunset hike in Valle de la Luna. Its brownish-red Mars-like landscape featuring staggering rock formations will transport you to another world.
Discover the Valle de la Luna
Begin your next day with a 4×4 sunrise tour to the El Tatio Geysers to see the mesmerizing mist change color with the rising sun as the geysers spurt boiling water into the sky. Before heading back to your hotel, stop for a soak at the gin-clear Puritama hot springs to relax your muscles and replenish your energy after a few exciting days of adrenaline in Atacama. Spend your last evening being swooned by the night sky on a tour of the universe through a state-of-the-art telescope with a professional astronomer in one of the world’s best spots for star-gazing.
Reach the Bolivian Salt Flats
In the morning, a private jeep will pick you up and drive you over the Bolivian border and across the Eduardo Avaroa National Reserve located in the high Andean plains 4,000 meters above sea level. Along the way, you’ll stop at the reserve’s colorful lagoons, hot springs, active volcanoes, and the world’s largest flamingo colony. Complete your trip at the Bolivian Salt Flats, a remarkably bizarre and beautiful salty white plain that stretches beyond the horizon, blending land and sky.
The Easter Island Adventure Tour
Located over 3,500 km from mainland Chile in the heart of the South Pacific, just reaching Easter Island is an adventure in itself. It requires a six-hour flight from Santiago, but to be in such a remote and little-explored part of the world makes it an easy flight to make. Although the island is small, it is home to some of Chile’s greatest adventure tours and the phenomenal Explora Lodge Easter Island resort, making it worth a five-day stay or more.
Meet the Moais of Rapa Nui
Start your trip to Easter Island with a small-group overlanding tour of Easter Island and its Moai monolith sites. Along the way, your guide will tell you all about the island’s fascinating history and legends, including the legend of the birdman cult. After exploring Easter Island by land, explore it by sea on a snorkeling or diving trip in its abundant coves. Then return to the island’s only community, Hanga Roa, for more cultural immersion as you explore its shops, museums, and restaurants.
Hike and Relax on Easter Island
After a relaxing day or two at the Explora pool and spa, you’ll be ready to explore the island further, this time in a more intimate way. Choose from one of many hiking routes across the island to its craters, cliffs, beaches, and caves, each of which promises dreamy views of the ancient land and its monoliths. Afterward, you can take advantage of the island’s beautiful and basically-empty beaches for a spot of swimming and sunbathing.
The Chile Adventure Tour Trilogy
San Pedro de Atacama – Torres del Paine – Easter Island
This is the Chile adventure tour trilogy, covering each of the country’s most adventurous destinations in one unforgettable trip. It begins in Atacama, the world’s driest desert, continues to Chilean Patagonia’s premier destination Torres del Paine, and ends over 3,500 km away from the mainland’s shores on Easter Island. Between the three destinations, you’ll get a diverse and exciting range of adventurous experiences that you’ll never forget.
Explore the Atacama Desert
The Atacama Desert is known for its dry and arid Mars-like landscapes featuring deep valleys and towering rock formations that travel as far as the eye can see. Essentially, it’s the perfect playground for adventure. Spend your days hiking and climbing up the valleys, biking between them, and sandboarding down dunes. Between adrenaline-fueled activities, you can spend time gazing at geysers spurting meters form the ground, floating in salt-water lagoons, and star-gazing through a telescope with a professional astronomer.
Cross Torres del Paine on Horseback
Some of Chile’s best adventure tours are found in Torres del Paine, a top Patagonian national park crowned by its iconic triple-tower peak that inspires its name. There are a number of world-famous hiking routes that allow you to see the mountain peak and the park’s other highlights including the W-Trek and O-Circuit which take between five and seven days to complete. While these hikes are sure to satisfy the adventurer in you, nothing will beat riding across the park on horseback like a Chilean cowboy and staying at traditional estancias (ranches) along the way.
Explore Easter Island
Start your stay on Easter Island by getting acquainted with the moais (giant head-shaped monoliths) on a private tour that shows you the best ones on the island. Heading from the base of Rano Kau Crater to the Ahu Akivi cliff’s edge, and the shores of Anakena Beach, you’ll also get to enjoy some of its most breathtaking landscapes. Whether you’re hiking along a crater’s edge, roaming around caves, or eating delicious Chilean-Polynesian-infused cuisine in Hanga Roa, you’ll discover everything there is to know about one of the earth’s least-known cultures.
Create Your Dream Chile Adventure Tour
If you have been inspired to experience some of Chile’s most exciting adventure tours for yourself, then get in touch with our Chile travel experts who will help you weave them into a personalized vacation itinerary. As well as booking you on the most exciting and luxurious tours in Chile, we will arrange seamless luxury transport and high-end hotels to complete the trip. Contact us here or call toll-free at +1 855 217 9045 to find out more.