#25 best destination in the world

Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works

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  • 200 former saltpeter refinery town of communal pampinos culture
  • Situated in one of the driest places on earth, pampinos worked in the hostile environment for 60 years
  • The refinery produced the fertilizer sodium nitrate which transformed agricultural lands in North and South America, and in Europe which produced great wealth
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

El Tatio

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  • Geyser field located in the Andes Mountains, 14,170 ft above sea level
  • There are no recorded historical eruptions at the Tatio volcanoes
  • El Tatio is a geothermal field with many geysers, hot springs, and associated sinter deposits
  • These hot springs eventually form the Rio Salado, and are a major source of arsenic pollution in the river
  • The vents are sites of populations of extremophile microorganisms and have been studied as analogs for the early Earth and possible past life on Mars
  • It was prospected over the last century for the potential of geothermal power production, but development efforts were discontinued after a major incident in 2009 in which a drilling well blew out, creating a steam column
  • The blowout caused a political controversy about geothermal power development in Chile

Valle de la Luna

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  • Located in the Atacama desert
  • Includes various stone and sand formations that have been carved by wind and water
  • The range of color and texture resembles that of the moon
  • Considered one of the driest places on earth, as some areas have not received a single drop of rain in hundreds of years

Hand of the Desert

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  • Large scale sculpture of a hand located in the Atacama Desert
  • Constructed by the Chilean sculptor Mario Irarrázabal at an altitude of 3,608 ft above sea level
  • Its exaggerated size is said to emphasize human vulnerability and helplessness

Cerro San Cristobal

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  • Hill with a view, with a sanctuary at the summit, dedicated to the Immaculate Conception with a 22 meter statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary
  • Within the pedestal there is a small chapel in which Pope John Paul II prayed and blessed the city of Santiago in 1987

Sewell

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  • Uninhabited mining town located on the slopes of the Andes that constructed and exploited the largest underground mine in the world
  • Founded in 1906 to extract copper, the town was named after the company’s first president
  • In 1971, the mine was nationalized by the government and after 6 years they had moved families out of Sewell and demolished the buildings
  • In the 1980s, the government halted the demolition
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

Termas Geometricas

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  • Twenty-one slate covered pools with hot and cold thermal water in Chile’s lake district

Montaña Mágica Lodge

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  • In the jungles of Huilo Natural Reserve is a waterfall, hotel, and volcano that looks like it was built by hobbits
  • Very remote, the nearest airfield is 2 hours away

Torres del Paine National ParkValle_del_Frances.jpg

  • #9 of the top 25 national parks in the world
  • 448,280 acre park encompassing mountains, glaciers, lakes, rivers, and subpolar forests

Magdalena Island

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  • Small island that is part of the End of the World Route, a scenic touristic route
  • The island is the breeding location for several species of seabirds, most notably the Magellanic penguin
  • With the exception of the Park Rangers, the island is currently uninhabited

Rapa Nui National Park

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  • National park on Easter Island, known for its 887 stone statues attributed to the early Rana Nui people
  • The island has been inhabited since 300 AD
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

Costs

Number of Days: 49 days

Best Time To Fly: March-May, Sept-Nov

Airline tickets: $1,987

Seattle -> Santiago (round trip) $1,045
Santiago -> Iquique (one way) $31
Iquique -> San Pedro de Atacama (one way) $64
Antofagasta -> Santiago (one way) $30
Santiago -> Temuco (one way) $26
Temuco -> Santiago (one way) $26
Santiago -> El Calafate (round trip) $320
Santiago -> Punta Arenas (round trip) $93
Santiago -> Easter Island (round trip) $352

Food: $23/day x 49 days = $1,127

Rental car: $57/day x 13 days = $741

Gas: $44

Entertainment/tours: $840

Airbnb: $69/day x 41 days = $2,829

TOTAL: $7,568