If you're looking for a luxury travel destination in South America, it's hard to top Chile for its well-run tours, good facilities, and widespread English proficiency. Plus there's great wine...
This South American country occupies a long sliver of land between the high Andes and the Pacific Ocean, stretching some 2,800 miles north to south, but only 265 miles across at its widest point east to west. This hasn't stopped the country's citizens from becoming some of the wealthiest in South America, however. Because of ample natural resources (especially copper) and the most transparent government in Latin America, Chile is a strong and stable economy with a well-developed infrastructure. This is a good "first stop" for travelers just starting to venture out to the region. These days the overall tourism facilities are good, trouble spots are rare, and tourists will avoid many of the delays and hurdles experienced in less developed neighboring nations.
The main travel attractions here are the natural ones: the Tierra del Fuego region in the far south, the salt desert of Atacama, the ski resorts and hiking opportunities in the Andes, and the wine regions. This narrow country borders three others (Argentina, Bolivia, and Peru), so many visitors with ample time combine a visit here with one of its neighbors.
Much of the population is in the Central Valley around the capital Santiago, leaving the rest of the country as a string of mountains, volcanoes, and lakes that don't get crowded. Remote Easter Island is a part of Chile and the country shares the Patagonia region at the bottom of South America with Argentina.
Despite all the positives, a decade ago there were very few world-class luxury hotels in Chile. Thankfully the situation has improved dramatically in the last few years, with Explora hotels on the mainland and Easter Island, notable debuts like Cliffs Preserve in Patagonia, several upscale boutique hotels in Santiago, and many terrific lodges in the Atacama region to choose from. We're continuing to add any notable new luxury additions to the lodging scene and will continue to add feature stories on luxury Chile travel tours.