If you’re looking to experience an adrenaline rush in the great outdoors, you’ve come to the right place. Chile features some of the best skiing in the southern hemisphere and the finest resorts lie just 40km from Santiago, in Valle Nevado and Portillo, while the Termas de Chillán ski centre in the middle of the country allows you to combine the longest run in South America with steaming thermal pools for après-ski relaxation.

Eventually due to span the 4320km length of the country, the hugely ambitious Sendero de Chile (Chile Trail; senderodechile.cl) currently consists of numerous sections running through spectacularly varied scenery and skirting some splendid volcanoes. Volcanoes are in fact a defining feature of Chile’s geography. In the Far North, experienced trekkers can tackle behemoths such as Volcán Parinacota and Volcán Ojos del Salado – the tallest active volcano in the world – while the Lake District’s Volcán Villarica and Volcán Osorno make spectacular day climbs for novices. The most challenging vertical ascents are the giant granite towers at the heart of Torres del Paine National Park. If the mountains aren’t high enough, climb aboard a hot-air balloon or paraglide above Iquique’s giant sand dune – a favourite with sandboarders.

Water junkies will undoubtedly be tempted by Chile’s veritable playground of rivers and seas. While Río Trancura and Río Petrohue cater to beginners, Río Futaleufú remains Chile’s most challenging river for whitewater rafting and kayaking, while the northern sector of Parque Pumalín, the Gulf of Ancud, the southern fjords and the turbulent Magellan Strait are all prime sea-kayaking territory.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Chile features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

In pictures: exploring the otherworldly landscapes beyond Santiago

In pictures: exploring the otherworldly landscapes beyond Santiago

Santiago has transformed itself over the past decade, with a burgeoning food scene and thriving nightlife to boot. But the city's real drawcard remains its oth…

15 Sep 2017 • Nori Jemil insert_drive_file Article
24 breaks for bookworms

24 breaks for bookworms

1. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas In 1971, fuelled by a cornucopia of drugs, Hunter S. Thompson set off for Las Vegas on his “savage journey to the heart of …

02 Mar 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge camera_alt Gallery
15 things everyone learns backpacking South America

15 things everyone learns backpacking South America

South America has become a favoured destination for the intrepid backpacker, and while it’s impressive in the astounding diversity of its nations, there are a…

02 Mar 2016 • Steph Dyson insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month