Chile is a land of diverse landscapes and natural wonders that attract travelers from all over the world. From the Atacama Desert in the north to the glaciers in the south, Chile has something for everyone.
In this post, we will take you on a journey through some of the most iconic landmarks that you must visit when discovering Chile. From exploring Cajon del Maipo’s turquoise waters to marveling at the Easter Island Heads, there is no shortage of breathtaking experiences waiting for you.
We have also included lesser-known gems such as Cochamó Valley and San Rafael Lagoon to make your trip even more memorable. So pack your bags and get ready to explore Chile like never before!
Located in Chile, the Atacama Desert is one of the driest places and most famous chile landmarks in South America. It is known for its hostile environment and breathtaking scenery. The Atacama Desert is a must-visit location for nature lovers visiting Chile.
Here you can witness stunning landscapes such as colourful geysers, salt flats, and lunar valleys that are unlike anything else on earth. Furthermore, visitors can also catch a glimpse of various plant and animal species that thrive in this unique ecosystem. Tourists can indulge in stargazing or astronomical observation while enjoying clear skies in this region.
Cajon del Maipo
Located just outside Santiago, Chile, Cajon del Maipo is a must-visit chile landmarks for anyone traveling to Chile. With its stunning scenery and wealth of outdoor activities, this region has something for every nature lover. It offers scenic hiking trails and river rafting, while hot springs provide the perfect relaxation spot for visitors.
The Embalse El Yeso reservoir showcases breathtaking views of the Andes Mountains and provides an ideal spot for landscape photography. One can explore the charming town of San Jose de Maipo with its historic architecture and delicious local cuisine. Cajon del Maipo is an unforgettable experience that will leave you mesmerized.
The Carretera Austral is one of the most scenic highways in South America that spans over 1,240 km through Chilean Patagonia, offering a treat to nature lovers from all around the globe. The road trip starts from Puerto Montt and goes through some of Chile’s most famous landmarks such as Marble Caves, an incredible natural wonder formed by centuries of water flowing through the marble rock formations; Queulat National Park- home to hanging glaciers, waterfalls, and virgin forests; Cerro Castillo National Reserve- a rugged landscape dominated by granite spires and towers.
Apart from these landmarks, tourists can witness other beautiful sights such as fjords, lagoons, volcanoes like Osorno Volcano and Villarrica Volcano along with Andes Mountains in the background. The drive also takes visitors through tiny villages where they get to interact with locals and get acquainted with their way of life.
Cerro San Cristobal
Located on a hill in Santiago, Cerro San Cristobal is one of most famous Chile landmarks. The stunning panoramic views of the city that visitors can enjoy while reaching the top via cable car or funicular railway are awe-inspiring. Once there, visitors can explore a chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary and see a statue dedicated to her. Cerro San Cristobal offers multiple hiking trails for nature lovers who want to explore its natural beauty.
Cuernos del Paine
Nestled in Torres del Paine National Park, southern Chile, is the land of Cuernos del Paine – towering mountains with a distinctive horn-like shape that offer breathtaking views of the landscape. These mountains are a nature lover’s paradise, offering a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, wildlife viewing, and camping. If you want to witness the beauty of Grey Glacier and Lake Pehoé up close, this is your chance!
Easter Island Heads
Centuries ago, the Rapa Nui people carved stone statues that represented their ancestors and are now known as the Easter Island Heads or Moai – an iconic landmark in Chile. The over 900 scattered throughout the island boast unique features such as being almost 33 feet tall and weighing up to 75 tons! Visitors have the option of exploring these ancient wonders on foot or taking a guided tour to learn about its mysterious history and significance.
El Tatio Geysers
Located in the Andes Mountains of Chile, El Tatio Geysers are a natural wonder that attracts thousands of tourists every year. Considered one of the tallest geyser fields worldwide, these Chilean geysers offer a dramatic steamy display early in the morning against the stunning backdrop of Andes Mountains.
You can explore this beautiful location by taking guided tours that will give you insights into its formation and history. Additionally, visitors can also enjoy relaxing in nearby hot springs or exploring unique wildlife while admiring breathtaking landscapes in this hostile environment. El Tatio Geysers are among the most famous chile landmarks in Northern Chile and are perfect for those who love nature.
Gran Torre Santiago
Located in Santiago, Gran Torre Santiago is the most towering skyscraper in Latin America providing visitors with breathtaking panoramic sights of both the bustling cityscape and the magnificent Andes Mountains from its observation deck on its 61st floor. In addition to providing spectacular views, the tower houses a shopping mall, offices and a hotel making it an ideal place to stay while exploring this vibrant city.
Located far off the coast of Chile in South America lies the famous landmark known as Isla Magdalena. This northern Chilean island in the Pacific Ocean is an UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s filled with amazing sights and sounds. It’s also home to a large colony of adorable Magellanic Penguins who call this place their home.
Visitors can take guided tours of the island, which include learning about the penguins’ behavior and habitat while enjoying stunning views of the surrounding sea and coastline from Faro Isla Magdalena lighthouse. As one of the only ways to reach Isla Magdalena is by boat from Punta Arenas or Puerto Natales, visiting this place gives you a sense of adventure and exclusivity that you can’t find anywhere else.
La Chascona is a must-visit destination for literature enthusiasts visiting Chile. It’s a unique museum in Santiago that showcases the life and legacy of one of Chile’s most beloved poets, Pablo Neruda. The house was named after his third wife, Matilde Urrutia, who had curly hair (chascona in Spanish).
This stunning landmark offers visitors a glimpse into the personal lives of Pablo Neruda and Matilde Urrutia through their original art pieces, furniture, and personal belongings. This UNESCO World Heritage Site features winding staircases leading to hidden rooms that showcase some of their most treasured possessions.
Located in the beauty of General Carrera Lake lies one of the famous Chile landmarks- The Marble Caves. Unique natural wonders made entirely of marble showcasing vibrant colors that change with the water levels and lighting conditions.
Tourists can experience these beautiful formations through kayaking or boating on the lake. Beyond being a popular tourist attraction, it’s also an essential scientific site for researchers studying geology and geomorphology.
Museum of Memory and Human Rights
Located in Santiago, the Museum of Memory and Human Rights is a notable landmark in Chile that commemorates the victims of Chile’s dictatorship. The museum offers visitors an opportunity to delve into Chile’s history and gain insights into the human rights violations committed during this dark period. You can explore the museum’s exhibitions which include historical audiovisual material, photographs, documents, and objects from the time.
Plaza de Armas in Santiago
A visit to Santiago, Chile would not be complete without exploring Plaza de Armas. Founded in 1541, this famous landmark holds significant historical importance to the city. The plaza boasts iconic chile landmarks such as the Metropolitan Cathedral of Santiago and the Central Post Office Building that make it an ideal spot for photography enthusiasts. Visitors can also enjoy street performances, live music or craft markets on weekends.
Apart from being a hub for public transportation, Plaza de Armas serves as a perfect starting point to explore other tourist attractions that Santiago has to offer; you can experience nature’s marvels like never before at Valle de la Luna or take a cable car ride atop Cerro San Cristobal for breathtaking panoramic views of Santiago’s skyline!
San Alfonso del Mar
Located in Algarrobo, Chile, San Alfonso del Mar is a famous landmark known for housing the world’s largest swimming pool. This luxurious resort utilizes an innovative water treatment system that filters seawater before pumping it back into the massive pool.
Visitors can indulge in various fun-filled activities like kayaking, sailing, and scuba diving while experiencing world-class hospitality amidst stunning vistas of the Pacific Ocean. From indulging in exciting aquatic adventures to enjoying breathtaking sunsets by the sea or exploring other top attractions on offer in Chile such as Santiago or Patagonia; San Alfonso del Mar is a must-visit for nature lovers who wish to explore South America’s vibrant culture.
San Rafael Lagoon
Located in the southern region of Chile, nature lovers cannot miss visiting the iconic San Rafael Lagoon. This famous chile landmark is known for its mesmerizing turquoise waters that contrast beautifully with the stunning glaciers of the San Rafael Glacier.
A boat tour here is an absolute must. While traversing through this waterbody in Chile, you can witness different species of sea lions and penguins basking in their natural habitat. Additionally, if you embark on a hike through Laguna San Rafael National Park’s hiking trails or camp at one of its many campsites amidst the pristine wilderness here, you can experience this enchanting place like no other.
The Hills Of Valparaiso
As you explore Chile, don’t miss out on Valparaiso, a colorful city with vibrant houses lining the hills. Take a ride on one of its many funiculars to see breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and the bustling cityscape. For some history, go on a walking tour to visit La Sebastiana, which was once home to Pablo Neruda, a famous Chilean poet. This UNESCO World Heritage site is one of many iconic landmarks in this South American country.
Nestled in southern Chile lies the breathtaking Cochamó Valley, one of South America’s best-kept secrets. This hidden gem boasts stunning natural beauty and a rich cultural heritage that’s perfect for those seeking solitude away from crowded places like Santiago or Valparaiso. The valley is home to some of the most famous Chile landmarks such as Andes Mountains, crystal clear rivers, indigenous communities and much more.
Sustainable tourism practices make it one of the best eco-friendly destinations for travelers minimizing their carbon footprint. Cochamó Valley offers an array of outdoor activities such as hiking, rock climbing, kayaking & exploring several waterfalls nearby making it ideal for adventurers seeking tranquility amidst nature’s bounty.
Where To Next?
Chile offers a plethora of iconic landmarks to explore, such as Easter Island, the Atacama Desert, and Torres del Paine National Park. Valparaiso, Santiago, and Chiloé Island are also popular destinations. The ideal time to visit depends on your interests and destination preferences. Personalized travel recommendations can be obtained from a travel guide or agency.