by Chris Thompson


Q   What was the purpose of your trip?


A   My own holiday.


Q   What time of year did you travel?


A   Over Christmas and New Year


Q   What is the best time of year?


A   Generally October to March, but don't forget Chile is a very long country with varying climatic zones.  This means you can enjoy areas at different times of the year.


Q   What destinations did you visit?


A   In Patagonia I was based just outside the Torres del Paine national park in a private reserve.  In the Atacama desert on the outskirts of San Pedro and in Santiago for the city and winelands.


Q   What were the highlights of your trip?


A   I think my husband's comment "that was the best trip- ever!" echoed my feelings exactly. Awaking the morning after a night time arrival at Awasi in Patagonia, the sight of the snow capped Torres against a deep blue sky and a glittering        lake was breathtaking. Along with my first ever sighting of icebergs!  In contrast the Atacama was a mix of lunar landscapes, volcanoes, hiking and riding amongst the dunes.  The night sky is said to be the clearest on earth and we had an      observatory at our hotel! After all that Santiago was a sophisticated wake-up call and private visits to some impressive wineries such as Lapostolle's architectural Clos Apalata was a great finale.


Q   Any tips?


A   Do remember Chile is a large country. To travel from the bottom to the top as I did means you will visit Santiago a number of times as it is the hub for all domestic flights.  Time allowing you could fit in the Lake District and/or coast,            also, you may wish to twin areas of Chile with Argentina.  You have so much choice!  It requires careful consideration and planning to get the most out of your trip but will be so rewarding, I would love to return!!