Chile’s Natural Paradise

Chile is a long, thin country that goes from deserts and mountains to lakes and even icebergs. When my husband and I spent a year there, we made sure to cover the major zones south to north. We lived in Santiago and made weekend trips to see what Chile had to offer. There are 36 national parks sprinkled throughout the country. We saw spectacular landscapes, ancient geology, Mesozoic era trees and peculiar animals.

Southern Chile National Parks we visited:

Laguna San Rafael National Park. In the heat of her Chilean summer Christmas visit, we took my sister south to see a frozen landscape. No one looks better in a life jacket. The boat trip was long but worth it. See how small the raft looks by the glacier.

C to San Rafael
We’re on our way to a glacier
C by the glacier
Sorry, sis, the film camera focused on San Rafael ; )
San Rafael Glacier with Boat
Laguna San Rafael Photo credits: Rebecca Cuningham


When my parents visited three months later, we also went south of Santiago, to Torres del Paine National Park. The mountains look sculpted by giants.

Torres del Paine
Torres del Paine National Park  Photo credit: Rebecca Cuningham

Torres del Paine M, D, ETorres del Paine M & B

E, B, D Y M Torres
Hubby, me, Dad and Mom   Photo credit: Random Stranger

Chile is a bit bigger than Texas; between the sizes of Turkey and Morocco. Big for a state, not very big for a country. It is larger than Germany and the UK combined (not including protectorates). We saw more variety in one small South American country than we’d ever seen.

One day as we walked across a Santiago courtyard, a young Chilean called out, “Bienvenidos al país más hermoso del mundo.” Welcome to the most beautiful country in the world. We smiled, thanked him and said in Spanish that we agreed it was very hermoso. Every land has its own attractions, and Chile has a treasure trove of them; the Andes Mountains, the ocean, the lake district, dry deserts, blue ice masses, flamingos, penguins and Arucaria trees. More family adventure stories later this month!

Gracias for reading Fake Flamenco! Olé! –Rebecca

Guanaco, wild llamas, who hopped over the 6′ fence to graze on this side   Photo credit: Rebecca Cuningham



Rebecca Cuningham

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