Swimming in the thermal lake of Sejar in the middle of the driest desert in the world,
north Chile’s Atacama, in November.
Chile’s five top attractions
Hiking to the Grey Glacier in Torres del Paine National Park, southern Chile. Photo by Liam Quinn
• The Atacama desert, the hub of which is San Pedro de Atacama, which is hundreds of miles north of the capital of Santiago.
• The World Heritage port of Valparaiso. This, in turn, is hundreds of miles north of Chile’s premier activity base of. . .
• Pucon and the gorgeous Lake District. Pucon and its rival action centre, Puerto Varas, are hundreds of miles north of incredible mountains and treks in. . .
• Torres del Paine National Park, while all of the above are thousands of miles east of the wildest Chile sights of all on Easter Island.
• Easter Island, a bleak, blasted and fascinating island scattered with extraordinary ancient art. If you can afford the time and money to get there, go.
Chile’s best weather is October-November (spring), March-April (autumn).
El Tatio geysers, Atacama, Chile
Which of these seasons suits you depends on your destinations and activities.
Worst: January, February (midsummer, extremely hot in the north/centre and crowded, expensive everywhere), also June, July, August (rain in the centre or extreme cold in the south; busy and expensive up north).