Originally Posted by Billy
Chile has always fascinated me.. The loooong coastline and the variety of climate. Seems it could offer a lot of natural beauty. Anyone been there?
My wife is chilean.* I went with my wife to Chile for new year's in 2000.* Fireworks over the bay in Valparaiso.* Parts of the country were amazing, parts forgetable.* My favorite part was in southern Chile, we took a plane from Santiago down to Puerto Montt, which is basically the last bastion of civilization before going down towards Antarctica.* Near the volcano Osorno, lots of beautiful small towns in the south.* Also, lots of germans, descendents of ex-nazi's I assume, and some of the mountain villages reminded my wife of her trip to Switzerland after college.
In any case, my ratings would be:
Puerto Mont and southern Chile is a must.
Vina del Mar is a beautiful coastal city and neighboring Valparaiso is just as beautiful, if a bit seedier.
Santiago reminded me of any southern European city surrounded by mountains; think Athens with no access to the sea and without the historical significance but just as polluted and significantly poorer.
We basically covered the central part of Chile so I missed out on some of the spectacular sights both north and south since we had to visit family she hadn't seen in 17 years or so, so when I go back it will be to visit one of those areas.