Chile's central region, focal point of its political, economic and cultural life, is where we find the largest cities with the biggest population, including the capital, Santiago. This big city has the Andes and its winter sports centers to the east, and a series of seaside resorts along the central coast to the west. This is the reason why most foreign visitors, especially businessmen, focus on this part of the country.
From a geography and climate point of view, the country's central region is a parenthesis in the long, narrow strip of land known as Chile. Its two distinctive features are an agreeable Mediterranean climate and beautiful valleys where the well-known Chilean wines are produced. This is the country's main wine-producing zone.
In the agricultural south of the capital, the countryside is very enjoyable, generous with its fruits and beautiful landscape. Near Santiago in places like Pirque, life on the farm continues being part of local tradition.
The northern boundary is La Serena, a favorite place for local and foreign tourists because of its beautiful beaches, casino, night life and a well preserved colonial architecture. La Serena has a broad spectrum of hotel and tourist facilities, allowing visitors to go on all types of excursions to the nearby beaches and national parks or practice water sports on its beaches.
Laura, We finally got back from our long trip, of which our Patagonia tour was just the beginning. The self-drive part to Torres del Paine certainly was one of the main highlights and your arrangements served us very well. The Hertz people could not have been nicer; we got a brand new Montero (which we returned totally dirty inside and out after driving through mud for two days) and both checkout and return were easy. The hotels in Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales were fine. OK,........ Ulrich M, USA