Along with Buenos Aires and Ushuaia in Argentina, Chile also acts as a departure point for some of our epic Antarctic expeditions. The country may not immediately spring to mind when you think of the types of terrain and weather conditions that you are likely to face during your trip, but Chile is home to around seven different sub-climates; including glaciers and frozen temperatures in the south.
Thanks to its diverse landscapes, Chile plays host to a wonderful array of beautiful natural sites. From desolate deserts to glorious maintains and lakes in partnership with each other, the country is overflowing with nature and is therefore the perfect place to start your adventure.
Just like its Argentinian neighbours, Chile was colonised by the Spanish in the 16th century, but has been regarded as an independent nation since 1844. The country saw significant growth between then and the mid-20th century, but a period of political instability, followed by a sixteen year-long dictatorship, plunged its people back into uncertainty and crisis. Despite this though, and after a 1988 referendum ridded them of their dictatorial government, Chile is now one of the most stable nations in South America and a founding member of the UN.
There are many schools of thought as to where the name ‘Chile’ first came from, but what we do know is that it was originally used by the Incas. Some of the contrasting theories include it being a reference to a valley in Peru called ‘Chilli’ which is geographically similar to the Aconcagua valley, along with the thought that it may originate from the call of a local bird which the indigenous ‘Mapuche’ people used to imitate.