A long way from north to south

After visiting the wonderful island of Cuba I wanted to see countries in South American and put some places in Bolivia and Colombia on my list. My friends were not really happy with this choice and telling me that there are cheaper ways to kill oneself. As I am always recognizing concerns of friends and didn’t know too much about the region yet I selected a very well developed and secure country: Chile.

What really attracted me was the fact to learn more about the Cold War and its aftermath on this continent. After being at the most important places of the Cuban Revolution I wanted to follow the trails of Salvador Allende – not yet knowing how beautiful the landscapes would be I was about to travel to. I left out the Atacama desert in the north and the natural reserves in the south (which might be a mistake) and concentrated on the central part of Chile.

Booked with the travel agency Aventoura in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany I started my trip in Santiago de Chile where I first got to know how dense traffic can be. I went to the west to see Valparaíso and Viña del Mar and then continued to the south – always along the Carretera Panamericana but most times not using it. I was crossing multiple times from the sea to the mountains and vice versa.

As Chile is a very long-stretched country I got to see different climate zones and regions used for different purposes: starting with the very European part around Santiago, continuing through the land of the native Mapuche to an area mostly used for wood growing and harvesting and ending in the gorgeous lake region around Puerto Montt and Puerto Varas.

Visiting Chile was a great experience; I got to know a lot of friendly folks, enjoyed beaches, volcanos, the Andes and different landscapes. I even got a big adrenaline rush when being stuck with my car at the dunes of Putú. Definitely a country to return to once in while – maybe the natural reserve of Torres del Paine can be combined with a visit to Argentina? For sure…