Chile is a South American country that is not as well known as other countries in this region such as Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, etc. It is a relatively small country with a population of only 18 million. Although Chile is one of the most earthquake-prone countries the government developed some of the best structural engineering and seismic building codes that result in earthquakes having less destructive effects in this country.
Not convinced yet? One of the world’s largest swimming pools could be found in Chile. You could also ski and surf within the same day here if you’re up for a 3-4 hour drive. Chile is the seventh-largest wine producer in the world. So you see, no matter what your definition of fun or good time is, you can easily find it in Chile. This 3 weeks in Chile itinerary will show you more reasons to visit.
BASIC TRAVEL TIPS FOR TRAVELLING TO CHILE
Chile consists of landscapes of contrasts, plains, valleys, waterfalls, and more. You can also experience the festivities firsthand. But before we jump right into the list of places to visit in Chile, there are some things that you need to know which I will list below.
Travelling around Chile is easy and inexpensive compared to Europe or North America. Most of the Chileans travel by bus but because of the thousands of islands and mountains, flying is hands down the best option. You can also opt to rent a car and drive as they have a good road network, driving around wouldn’t be a problem.
When is the best time to go to Chile
Chile has four seasons: winter, spring, summer, and fall. Remember, since it’s in the southern hemisphere, the seasons are the other way around. The winter season starts from June to August, followed by spring which starts from September to November, then summer from December to February, and fall which starts from March to May.
You should be familiar with the months of their seasons if you want to do any specific activities from your bucket list you will have the chance to do so. Depending on the season you plan on going, make sure to pack properly.
Passport holders from Latin America, North America, Europe, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia can enjoy a free visa either for 30 or 90 days. For Australian travellers, visas can be obtained online for a fee.
Chile is open for travellers. All tourists must follow entry rules such as full vaccination, health insurance coverage ( US$30,000) that covers COVID emergencies, must complete “Traveller’s Affidavit” online, must present negative PRC test (72 hours prior to boarding), and test upon arrival. Find out more about Chile entry requirements during COVID.
3 WEEKS IN CHILE ITINERARY
Chile is a country that occupies a long and narrow strip of land between the Andes and the Pacific Ocean. It is the southernmost country in the world and closest to Antarctica.
There are tons of interesting places to visit in Chile, including the tallest building in South America, the driest desert in the world, and the world’s oldest known mummies. Aside from that, there are a lot of great things that you could experience here, such as firework shows as they hold the Guinness record for the biggest fireworks show in South America, street foods that are to die for, and tons of ice cream shops.
You don’t have to follow our itinerary religiously, instead, use this as a guide in writing your own travel itinerary. Without further ado, here’s our chile travel itinerary customised for a 3 week-stay, starting with the city of Santiago.
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Week 1 – Santiago for 5 days
Santiago is the capital and largest city of Chile. It is the centre of Chile’s most densely populated region that’s why there are tons of establishments, landmarks, tourist attractions, and activities in this area, you could easily stay here for up to five days and not run out of places to visit or things to do. Some of which include:
Santiago Pinned Map
- Santiago Metropolitan Park
- Sky Costanera Level 61 & 62
- Metropolitan Cathedral of Santiago
- Cousino Macul Winery Tour
- Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino
- Don’t miss Cajon del Maipo
- Gran Torre Santiago
- Join a day trip to Valparaiso, Vina del Mar, and Casablanca Valley
- Santa Lucia Hill
- Laguna del Inca and Portillo
Week 2 – Patagonia for 6 days
3 weeks in Chile is not complete without visiting the famous region of Patagonia. It is a geographical region shared by Argentina and Chile. It has lakes, fjords, glaciers, tablelands, deserts, and steppers, depending on the area, as well as the southern section of the Andes mountain range.
I personally became very familiar with Patagonia because of a Korean travel show that I watched entitled “Traveler 2”. Although, they went to the area that is governed by Argentina as they had a vacation in that country. Nevertheless, here are some things to explore in Patagonia:
Patagonia Pinned Map
These marble caves are located on General Carrera Lake, which is the biggest lake in Chile. To visit the caves, you need to book a tour with a local travel agency. Boat tours are the quickest and cheapest option for those who are on a budget. Aside from that, they also offer ferry tours, as well as kayak tours which last for 3 hours. It is best to book a tour during the morning because the water will be calmer.
Parque Nacional Patagonia
Also known as Patagonia Park, is a private nature reserve that operates as a public access park. This park consists of various ecosystems including riparian forest, grassland, and wetland. There’s a wide diversity of flora and fauna in these ecosystems. Here are the things you could do and species that you’ll encounter when visiting this wondrous place.
- The hikes range from 4 hours to 10 hours
- Camping is allowed in Patagonia. In fact, there are a couple of campsites in each national park.
- Some of the animals that you can encounter here include mara, armadillos, tuco-tuco, fox, eagle, puma, huemul deer, Chilean flamingo, black-faced ibis, Southern lapwing, and austral negrito, among others.
Other spots on Patagonia
- Reserva Nacional Cerro Castillo
- Laguna San Rafael National Park
- Tamango National Reserve
- Mirador Cerro Castillo
- Mirador Confluencia
Week 3 – Punta Arenas and surround areas for 7 days
Punta Arenas is the capital city of the southernmost region in Chile. It is also the most populous southernmost city in Chile and the Americas. One of the things that Punta Arenas is known for is its sheep industry, the largest sheep company is based here.
It is also the gateway to the Antarctic continent and sailing is a common activity as well. Unlike other places, the things you could do at Punta Arenas aren’t that common anywhere else. That’s why it’s a vacation spot you want to spend 3 weeks in. It’s easy to spend 1 week in Punta Arenas, there are just so many amazing things to do here.
I recommend you plan to stay here for 7 days. Not only because there are loads of places to explore, attractions to visit, but also because going around the area can be challenging and takes more time than average.
Punta Arenas Pinned Map
Here are some places to visit and things to do in Punta Arenas during your stay:
- Sail the Strait of Magellan
- Spend time with the penguins at Isla Magdalena and Isla Marta
- Visit the Town of Porvenir
- Mirador Humedal 3 Puentes
- Alberto de Agostini National Park
- Visit the Nao Victoria Museum
- Try out crafted beers
- Book a Punta Arenas city tour
- Bulnes Fort
Puerto Natales and/or Torres del Paine National Park
Torres del Paine is a 3-hour drive from Punta Arenas. It is well-known for its mountains, golden grasslands, bright blue icebergs, and other scenic views which seem like they came straight out of a movie screen. It is also well-known for its diverse wildlife. Here are some things that you need to know about this national park:
- You can joi na 6-day hike in Torres del Paine National Park along W trek
- You can camp in Refugio campsites, free campsites, or remote campsites.
- There’s also a full day tour of Torres del Pain from Puerto Natales
- Some animals to see include pumas, guanacos, condors, huemul deer, skunks, foxes, and armadillos, among others.
FINAL TIPS ON BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN CHILE
If you have the time, I highly recommend you to visit Easter Island (also known as Rapa Nui National Park), it’s west of Santiago and the flight takes about 5 hours.
Chile is perfect for people who are fond of natural scenery and hiking as it has some of the best hiking trails in the world. In that activity alone, lots of tourists spend days hiking famous trails and routes.
Now all you’ve got to do is sit back, relax, and design your own three weeks in Chile itinerary with our article as an inspiration. We hope that we convinced you to take that well-deserved vacation for 3 weeks in Chile.