TRAVEL
08/17/2011 06:41 pm ET Updated Aug 08, 2012

Destin-Nation Chile: An Adventurer's Southern Playground (PHOTOS)

When it comes to adventure travel options, few places on the planet can rival Chile. Squeezed between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes, the South American country has long been a popular destination for backpackers, climbers, and paddlers looking to explore some of the most remote and beautiful wildernesses on the planet.

Over 4,000 miles long, but averaging just 110 miles wide, Chile offers widely varying climates for visitors to enjoy, from the incredibly dry deserts of the north to the windswept mountains and fjords of the south.

The gateway to Chilean adventure is Santiago, the country's capital and cultural hub. Centrally located, it can be reached by overnight flight from several U.S. cities and its airport offers regular domestic flights to Tierra del Fuego and Punta Arenas in the south, as well as Calama in the north. Visas are available on arrival and are good for the life of a passport, making adventurers' inevitable return visits a breeze.

Photo: Kraig Becker/HuffPost Travel

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BEFORE YOU GO
Adventures in Chile
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Adventures in Chile