Punta Arenas, Chile
This port is on the Strait of Magellan, which is named after the
explorer who sailed these waters in 1520. Today, it is the
commercial center of southern Chile, although still closely tied
to the legend of the great explorer. Local custom holds that
visitors who rub the foot of the Magellan statue in the central
Plaza de Armas will have good luck -- and return once again.
With sculptured icebergs, soaring fjords and Andean peaks, Chilean
Patagonia is spectacular. The bird species include black-necked
swans and the nearly extinct giant condor. From the fishing
village of Puerto Chacabuco, you can visit the area capital,
Coihaique, and beautiful Reserva Nacional Rio Simpson.
Puerto Montt is our gateway to Chile's lake district, a land of
green rapids, waterfalls and magnificent scenery. Lake Llanquihue
is surrounded by majestic volcanoes, including the Osomo, which is
often compared to Mt. Fuji. The Osomo towers over Lake Todos Los
Santos which is often called Esmeralda because of its emerald
Located on a 1,706-foot plateau, with the Andes as a grand
backdrop, Santiago blends 18th and 19th century buildings, sleek
skyscrapers and Spanish colonial cathedrals. Chile is famous for
producing lapis lazuli, wicker and fine wines from area vineyards.
Rumor holds that Sir Francis Drake hid treasure in the caves
outside Coquimbo, port to the Spanish-colonial city of La Serena.
Both cities are favorite Chilean resorts, famous for their
beaches, seafood and surrounding vineyards.