For such a small sliver of land, Chile's Norte Chico (Little North) offers up fantastic diversity. La Serena, a coastal colonial capital and the region's largest city, is a must-see for anybody visiting. From there, move on to the mystical Elqui Valley: the verdant home to Chile's pisco producers, new-age communes and cutting-edge observatories. Further north are some amazing national parks, a trendy little beach hideaway, and kilometers of uncharted coastline just waiting for you to set up camp or charge out for an afternoon surf.
Wildlife lovers won't want to miss the playful penguins of Reserva Nacional Pingüino de Humboldt and Parque Nacional Pan de Azúcar. And high in the Andes, the seldom-visited Parque Nacional Nevado Tres Cruces is a great place to spot vicuña and flamingos. Despite its diminutive moniker, the Little North is actually quite a bit bigger than most people expect.