Updated: Feb 15, 2019
Travelling and seeking out adventure is something that is clearly in my blood. 140 years ago, my great-great grandfather sailed across to the UK from Chile, in search of a fresh start and new beginning. Fast-forward to now, a 21-year-old red-head spends her nights looking through a screen, writing about her travels and dreaming of booking her next adventure.
With all that considered, I still have yet to visit South America. As you’d expect, Chile has always been pretty high on my bucket list, as the thought of retracing my roots sounds pretty fun. What I didn’t realise until the other night when I was doing what I do best –browsing the web, fantasising about my dream destinations – is that Chile is actually kind of… insane. It caters for almost any type of travel adventure you can think of: hiking, skiing, scuba diving, surfing, you name it.
I knew that it may have a National Park or two, but the sheer beauty of its landscape is something I was totally unaware of. (And I totally underestimated the number of National Parks…36 in total - what?!)
I mean... come on!
Alright, now I'm drooling.
Okay I'll stop. (For now...)
My recent short but sweet trip to Yosemite in July sparked a slight obsession of National Parks. I only had 3 days to explore the place which was nowhere near enough time, but it was definitely enough to leave a piece of my heart there. I was road tripping around the West Coast of America, and being the avid adventurer that I am, I wanted to see everything I could possibly fit into three weeks.
I managed to also cram in visits to five other National Parks in the same trip: the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Antelope Canyon, Monument Valley, and Bryce Canyon. I could NOT get enough, but alas came the day I had to fly back to the UK and do nothing but reminisce over the photos and memories. I had a new-found obsession with how incredibly beautiful the world is.
So you can guess that when I stumbled upon the Tucan Travel website and saw those crispy blue waters and mountain skylines, I was even more hooked on Chile. Torres del Paine National Park was the first destination to catch my eye, which then lead me to research excursions around Patagonia – a vast landscape covering both Chile and Argentina with 6 National Parks, Torres del Paine included. Uhh, *dream trip alert*!
The Patagonia Highlights tour is currently giving me a serious case of wanderlust. 10 days of camping and hiking around “some of the most unspoiled views in the world”? Count. Me. In. That will, for sure, be first on my itinerary when I eventually make it over to South America.
If I really want to dive deep into my roots, I can’t miss Valparaíso off of my itinerary. This is the town that my mother’s side is originally from; the town that my great-great grandfather left behind for a new life. If you’ve seen my Instagram, you know I’m a sucker for a splash of colour, and let me say this town is FULL of it. As ‘The Culture Trip’ says, “If you love history, street art, and bohemian life, Valparaíso is must.” Tick, tick, aaaand tick!
The photos I’ve seen of this quirky town remind me a little of when I visited San Francisco – the painted houses scattered on the hillside, the street art and the old-fashioned buses. San Fran was my favourite city I visited in 2018 (amongst the likes of Prague, Los Angeles and Monte Carlo), so with that in mind, as well as Valparaíso basically being part of my blood line, I’m sure I’ll love it.
Despite being a 5+ hour flight from Santiago (Chile’s capital), it would be rude to not make the journey to Easter Island. Tucan Travel offer a four-day trip around this incredibly historic and isolated island, so that’s a ‘must’ for my itinerary. As well as the famous Easter Island Heads or ‘Moai’ statues, the island also features pink-sand beaches, volcanoes and caves. Can I book my flights already?
Before visiting Death Valley last year, I never imagined I would have the opportunity to experience such a barren environment. Hiking through 47-degree heat was an awesome thing to tick off my bucket list, (as well as seeing where a bunch of scenes from Star Wars were filmed!) Being a natural red-head means my pale skin never tans, so of course, the only place where I successfully had a noticeable tan was, you guessed it, the hottest place on Earth.
Witnessing such extreme conditions really opened my eyes to how diverse the world’s natural environments are. I mean, yeah, the heat was a bit much at times, but it didn’t compare to how incredible it felt to stand in such a vast and desolate place. After that, I can’t NOT have Chile’s Atacama Desert on my list. I mean, just look at it.
Okay, I think I better stop listing anymore places before I spontaneously combust. If these photos don't inspire you to add Chile to your bucket list, I don't know what will! I had originally been planning a solo trip to the Philippines in a few months time, but I think South East Asia will have to wait.
Chile, I'm coming for you.
NB: This post is an entry into the Trips100 Tucan Travel Blogger Challenge
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