Lonely Planet Writer

Pathfinder pics: the landscapes of Chile


Lonely Planet Pathfinder Macca Sherifi, recently took some time out to visit Chile and explore its vast landscapes. Here he shares some of his favourite Instagram snaps he took while exploring, and shares his tips on how to make the most out of your visit.

‘Being over 4000 km long, Chile has some of the most varied landscapes of any country in the world. From the jagged peaks of Patagonia and the wonderful waterfalls of Los Lagos to the desolate landscape of the Atacama Desert, Chile really does have something for everyone, not-to-mention it's a photographer’s paradise.

Recently I spent three weeks travelling around Chile and I truly got to see nature at its finest. With a population of only 17 million people (almost half of which live in the capital of Santiago alone), the vast landscapes you see here are how they’ve always been; untouched by mankind – raw, rugged, yet enchantingly beautiful.’

A walkway to paradise

‘There are a number of waterfalls around Pucon in the Lake District, but none more beautiful than Salto del Leon. Here you can spend a magical afternoon splashing around in the rock pools while the waterfall cascades down next to you.’

The blue eye

‘Taking a trip up into the Atacama Highlands in northern Chile is well worth it just to see some of the mountain lakes. This one, Laguna Miniques, has such a deep blue colour with a white salt rim, it's absolutely jaw-dropping. You can even see a number of volcanoes in this region too.’

Mirror image

‘Chaxa Lagoon is one of the few places where you can find flamingos in Chile, and you can’t ask for a more stunning setting to see them in either. Considering flamingos eat for up to 20 hours a day, you’ve got a good chance of catching them feeding too!’

Guiding the way

‘Being a country of over 4000 km in length, getting around Chile takes some serious research. I found it was best to book things like flights and overnight buses well in advance to nab the best possible deals. It saved me lots of time and money in the long run!’

A fiery beast

‘Chile has over 130 volcanoes, none are more famous than Villarrica. This is one of Chile’s most active volcanoes, but despite this you can still climb all 2680m to the top, giving you some of the most amazing views of Pucon and the surrounding countryside.’

Magical mountains

‘No matter where you go in the Atacama Desert you won't be able to miss views like these. You'll find yourself stopping every ten minutes to take photos of the ever-changing landscape, but it’s always worth it.’

Do you love to write about your travels? Or perhaps Instagram is your thing? Find out more about our Pathfinders programme and how you can contribute to Lonely Planet here.