Just in the first half of 2016, tourist arrivals to Chile have increased by 28%! It seems that everybody wants to go to Chile these days and, honestly, how could they not?
Chile is an amazing country that has a unique variety of climates and landscapes- from the driest desert on earth in the far north to the fjords and ice floes of the Patagonian south. And on 18 September it is celebrating its 198 years of independence! If you happen to be there during Fiestas Patrias, herea’s some things you definitely want to do:
1. Take a roadtrip
Head on to Carretera Australia, the scenic Patagonia route that covers over a thousand kilometres of natural beauty. Otherwise, ride through the lakes crossing where you will awe at towering volcanoes and pristine lakes. Tiny hamlets and villages evoke the Swiss Alps, with the architecture to match!
2. Try the mouth-watering food and drink
Chileans cook using time-honored recipes and techniques that season the food with ancestral wisdom. Enjoy a traditional empanada (filled with ground meat sauted with onions, cumin, and spices) and accompany it with a Chicha (a sweet cider-like drink) or a Terremoto (white wine topped with pineapple ice-cream and grenadine), traditional Chilean drinks.
3. Go to a Fonda
Fondas are locally-organized parties that take place in local parks to celebrate the 18th. The 19th celebrates the Chilean military with a large parade in Parque Higgins, but parties start from the 15th onwards. Expect traditional music, food, games and lots of laughs.
4. Twist and shout
One of the games you’ll see at a Fonda is called Emboque. In this, each player has a wooden toy that has two parts connected by a string and the goal is to make one part fit into the other with one hand. Competitions are common and very entertaining. Other games include rayuela, the greased pole climb, and kite-flying. Apart from these, traditional Chilean folk music and dance, called the cueca, is the order of the day. The cueca represents the mating dance of rooster and hen and involves lots of fancy footwork. Go ahead and have a shot! Whatever your dancing skills, you are sure in for a big round of applause.
If you’d like to know more about Chile and the best time to travel, give us a call or contact us! We’ll be happy to help!