There are almost 100 Chile national parks dotting the length of this South American country. With an aim to preserve the region's natural beauty, each national park in Chile can be visited for adventure activities such as kayaking or hiking, or for a picnic with fine Chilean wine. From the Atacama desert in the north to the Patagonian icebergs in the south, a variety of landscapes can be seen while visiting national parks in Chile. Pack your durable gear, and get ready for an adventure vacation full of wildlife, soaring mountains, and unspoiled beauty.
Approximately 19 percent of the country's land is taken up by Chile national parks, so no matter what part of the country you are exploring on your trip, there will be a wild landscape nearby. Some of the national parks in Chile are easy to access, such as those in close proximity to Santiago, where the major international airport is located. Others are more remote, but in South America especially, the journey itself is half the fun. While many visitors find themselves simply in awe of the scenery, there are lots of activities to occupy your visits to these beautiful destinations. For those with an interest in volcanoes, there are dozens of dormant and active volcanoes to explore; two of the more famous volcanoes are Villarica and Cerro Azul.
While many people would debate about which are the best Chilean national parks, one park has undisputed beauty. Torres del Paine National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the beautiful subject of many photographs. Its jagged peaks and multiple lakes make it an adventure-seekers paradise. For hiking or kayaking, Torres del Paine also provides a magnificent backdrop, and some kayaking tours even bring visitors up close to glaciers and icebergs. Established as a national park in Chile in 1959, Torres del Paine is famous for its ice fields, lakes, and granite spires.
The oldest national park in Chile was created in 1929. Parque Nacional Vicente Perez Rosales is also home to a beautiful lake and volcano. Other popular options for Chile national parks are Archipelago Juan Fernandez, Laguna San Rafael, Puyehue, and Rapa Nui. Spread across the country, you could easily plan an entire trip on just exploring national parks in Chile and still barely make a dent in all there is to see. Some of the best views are from the water, and many visitors choose to go fishing or kayaking to gain access to the nooks and crannies of the parks. Hiking is also an option for getting an intimate look at the landscape.
From national parks to national reserves, it is clear that Chileans value their natural landscapes. They have done a wonderful job of preservation, while still granting travelers access to the wonders the land offers. From adventure activities to wildlife tours, the options for exploring Chile’s national parks are endless. A great alternative to a city or beach vacation, breathing the fresh air of Chile’s national parks will leave you planning more outdoor, adventure-based vacations in the future, as well as a return trip to this lovely country.