Running right the way down South America’s coast, Chile is celebrated as being one of the most pristine places on earth. From winding clear water fjords to the arching backbone of the Milky Way high in the sky, icefields and glaciers that sparkle in the sun, and peaks so pointed, you fear they may puncture the sky – nothing can prepare you for the wonder of Chile’s natural beauty. Spilling into Patagonia and serving as the gateway to Antarctica, the island of Rapa Nui, and the wildlife glut of the Galapagos, few yacht destinations in the world can compare to the might and splendour of Chile.
Reasons to Charter a Yacht to Chile
While the mainland of Chile is a long tapering edge that runs on forever, it boasts easy access to some of the best islands in the world. Notably, the gorgeous Galapagos and the former glory of the mythical Easter Island. While the Galapagos is within striking distance, Easter Island would need to be part of a bigger trip, but the shores of Rapa Nui are worth the journey. The mystical heads make it an open-air museum, but beyond the Moai, there’s endless adventure to be had in surfing, snorkelling, and riding horses across the breadth of this raw and wild place.
Creatures Great and Small
From Patagonia with its penguins, condors, and whales to the glory of the Galapagos with its honking sea lions, thousands of birds, and giant tortoises – Chile is one of the wealthiest wildlife destinations in the world. The dramatically diverse landscape provides hearth and home to a multitude of different creatures, mountain mammals, desert birds, and sea life of all sizes. You can ride horses, snorkel with every kind of water dweller imaginable, and marvel at endless displays of rare flora and fauna.
Wild adventures and fine wine are two hallmarks of an amazing yacht trip and fortunately Chile believes in a gold standard of grapes. With vineyards in every backyard, open cellar doors, and a long history of going from branch to bottle, you can expect exceptional wines to be placed upon every table. Wine is life here, its all about uncorking something special and toasting the art of a good conversation.
Where to Visit in Chile
Chile’s capital is a cultural metropolis and achingly trendy. Sitting beneath grand mountains, Santiago serves up an eclectic collection of things to do. You can hit up incredible restaurants in slick and sophisticated neighbourhoods around Providencia, stroll through the parks, and dance and drink the night away in the sublime sidewalk haunts of Barrios Brazil.
The endless eco charm of the Galapagos marks Chile out as a must-see destination for yacht charters. A natural paradise, where animals great and small can roam unfettered, seemingly unbothered by human presence. With 61 atolls and islands, you can island hop for weeks. See the Giant Galapagos Tortoises trundling around in Santa Cruz, brush up on your local knowledge at the Charles Darwin Centre, marvel at the wingspan of the waved albatross at their breeding grounds in Punta Suarez, and fall in love with the blue-footed boobies on San Cristobel.
Beyond the thunder of horse hooves and the pampas, Patagonia’s waterways and wild islands are a vision of desolate drama. Towering icebergs, pure remote anchorages, and a gateway to the great unknown of Antarctica, sailing beneath the icy peaks is earth shattering. The fjords that flow through are filled with diving dolphins and rocks spring to life with the curious eyes of fat lazy seals. Endless inlets provide plenty of tucked away shade and the spray of the scattered waterfalls provides the perfect soundtrack to the wild. Sail up the Strait of Magellan to see penguins, parakeets, and the perfect arc of the milky way.
When to Charter a Yacht to Chile
The months between October and March are the most accessible for those looking to duck into Patagonia down in the south. December to March is the time to also drop anchor on the shores of Easter Island for those willing to make the journey. For those visiting the Galapagos, December to May brings warm temperatures and wonderful wildlife viewing.