South America The Outlandish

51 Unique + Fun Things to do in Chile | Chile

Photos of Chile - Valparaiso City View

If you’re traveling down the Gringo Trail, Chile might feel unexpectedly familiar. There are no ramshackle busses or alpacas wandering the streets. Instead, there are arbitrary laws, expensive cups of coffee, and high speed internet connections. In some weird way, you might miss the chaos. I wondered whether I was making a mistake by blowing the rest of my travel budget on a place that looked so much like home (and cost as much, too).

But there’s something special about Chile. After I really got to know it, Chile became one of my favorite countries. Perhaps it was because I finally started to speak Spanish or was traveling on my own for the first time in years, or perhaps it’s just because Chile is diverse,  dynamic, and completely fascinating. Want to experience Chile beneath the surface? I bet you’ll dig it too. From geodesic domes where you can spend the night to the otherworldly nature of Patagonia, here’s are some of the weird, wild, and totally fun things to do in Chile.

Very Chilean Experiences

1. Start up north for the gentle surf & sun in Arica (Arica y Parinacota)
2. Head into Valle de Elqui for a pisco tasting tour by bicycle (Coquimbo)

Valle del Elqui - Elki Magic Bike Rentals
3. Sprawl out on Chile’s very own Miami — Viña del Mar (Valparaíso)
4. Ride the ascensors of Valparaíso for the best city views (Valparaíso)
5. Explore street art covering every wall in the city on a Valpraíso street art tour (Valparaíso)

Vaparaiso Street Art - Taylor in front of a wall
6. Experience the international lineup at Lalapalooza Chile (Santiago Metropolitan)
7. Go underground for an adventure in local transport on el Metro de Santiago (Santiago Metropolitan)
8. Roll your own cigarettes and check out the hipster hangouts in Lastarria (Santiago Metropolitan)
9. Venture up Cerro San Cristóbal to see Christ the Redeemer of the Andes and the entirety of Santiago (Santiago Metropolitan)

Fun Things to do in Chile - View of Santiago

Fun Things to do in Chile - Christ the Redeemer of the Andes

Fun Things to do in Chile - Christ the Redeemer of the Andes

10. Learn about the Pinochet regime at the Museo de Derechos Humanos (Santiago Metropolitan)
11. Improve your photography skills on a photo tour of Santiago (Santiago Metropolitan)
12. Go inside Chiloé’s wooden churches on a Sunday for a glimpse at mestizo culture (Los Lagos)
13. Experience the best long-haul travel ever on a cheap ferry through the Patagonian fjords (Aysen)

Fun Things to do in Chile - Naviera Austral Ferry
14. Hitchhike your way along the Carratera Austral (Aysen)
15. Head way south and visit the 120,000+ penguins of Los Pingüinos Natural Monument (Magallanes)

Eating Chile

16. Feast on seafood and 400+ types of potatoes in Chiloé (Los Lagos)

Things to do in Chile - Market in Chiloe

17. Eat meat with your fingers at a backyard asado (Anywhere)
18. Slurp up a big bowl of cazuela — the classic Chilean soup with meat, potatoes, and corn (Anywhere)
19. Load up on condiments with a street order of choripan (Anywhere)
20. Figure out what the hell Chilean food really is in a cooking class with Chilean Cuisine (Valparaíso)

Fun Things to do in Valparaiso - Cooking Class Valparaiso

21. Shop at one of Chile’s most locally loved markets — La Vega (Santiago Metropolitan)
22. Fill up with a bowl of charquicán, one of Patagonia’s homiest specialties (Magallanes)
23. Dip into the fish markets in Valparaiso and check out the catch of the day (Valparaíso)

Fun Things to do in Chile - Valparaiso Fish Market

Drinking Chile

24. Explore the bar scene in Santiago with locales ranging from punk to traditional (Santiago Metropolitan)
25. Sip some of the finest craft beers in South America (Anywhere)

Fun Things to do in Chile - Guayacan Brewery
26. Drink Carménère by the bottle and discover what this lost grape varietal is all about (Anywhere)
27. Get a major hangover from your first terremoto — a cocktail made with sweet wine and sorbet (Anywhere)

Adventures in Chile

28. Rent a bike and sweat the 17km to Valle de la Luna in San Pedro. Not your style? Take a tour instead. (Atacama)

Fun Things to do in Chile - Rent a Bike in San Pedro de Atacama

29. Venture out to the eerie Mano del Desierto by car (Antofagasta)

30. Gear up in Puerto Varas and plan a hike up the Osorno Volcano (Los Lagos)

Fun Things to do in Chile - View from Puerto Varas

31. Try your first Workaway at a local hostel or farm (Anywhere)
32. Embark on a boat trip to Chile’s own Galapagos alternative — Isla Damas (Coquimbo)

Fun Things to do in Chile - Isla Damas
Fun Things to do in Chile - Isla Damas
Fun Things to do in Chile - Isla Damas

33. Go kayaking on the rushing rivers of Futaleufú (Los Lagos)
34. Hike up Villarica, one of Chile’s most active volcanoes (Araucanía)
35. Experience the surreal on an excursion to the Marble Caves of Puerto Rio Tranquilo (Aysen)

Marble Caves Chile - Outside the Caves
36. Spot vicuña from your bus window (Magallanes)
37. Watch the sunrise from your sleeping bag at Torres del Paine (Magallanes)
38. See the backside of Torres del Paine with an 8-day trek along the O Circuit (Magallanes)

Fun Things to do in Chile - Torres del Paine Trekking Routes
Buff Headwear - Sunrise at Torres del Paine
Fun Things to do in Chile - Sunrise at Torres del Paine

Into hiking? Explore more: The 15 Best Treks in South America

Keeping Chile Weird

39. Spend the night in WineBox Valparaíso — a container hotel with its own wine store (Valparaíso)
40. Catch a plane to Easter Island to see the mysterious megalithic Moai (Easter Island)
41. Scope out the stars through your personal stargazing hatch at the Elqui Domos (Coquimbo)

Fun Things to do in Chile - Elqui Domos

Just Because

42. Get an edgy haircut or facial piercing to look more local (Anywhere)
43. Make friends with the surprisingly sweet street dogs (Anywhere)

Fun Things to do in Chile - Street Dogs
43. Get assertive and speak your mind when someone cuts you in line (Anywhere)
44. Stay strange at one of the unusual Huilo Huilo hotels (Araucanía)
45. Experience an earthquake in real life (Anywhere)
46. Witness Latin charm firsthand and flirt with a Chilean (Anywhere)
47. Pick up some Chilean slang, weón (Anywhere)
48. Watch the sea lions scrum for scraps outside of Feria Artesanal (Los Lagos)

Fun Things to do in Chile - Local Market Chiloé
50. Venture to the end of the earth in Usuhuaia (Magallanes)
51. Get inspired by the profound prose of Pablo Neruda (Valparaíso)

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What are your favorite offbeat or fun things to do in Chile? Any suggestions we should add to the list?


  • Reply
    Dolly Southerland
    June 26, 2018 at 12:26 am

    Oh! Definitely planning Chile now. Your photos and articles inspired me more. I’ve done solo traveling but still very conservative at putting myself out there. Kudos!!

  • Reply
    Aymara People
    October 19, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    Great artcile and amazing tips!
    Thank you all the information shared and congratulations on your blog!

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