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Strolling Through Chile

俞祎君 Aggi Yu 2018-04-08 11:54


Glorious, Glorious. 


This year is the 200th anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Chile. Lonely Planet lists Chile as the most recommended travel destination in 2018. 


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Chile stretches through 38 latitudes with over 4300 kilometres in length from north to south. It’s no wonder to see vastly different weather in different parts of the country: the north is dry and cold and gives rise to the amazing Atacama Desert; the middle is mild, making it perfect for wineries; the south is rainy, with forest expanding over miles and miles of land. The scenery in result is quite diversified – deserts, plateaus, lakes, volcanoes, canals and icebergs, you name it. Part of Chile is within the range of Andes, hundreds of high cliffs are dream spots for fervent rock-climbers who can enjoy amazing Pacific sceneries during their ascent. 


The Villarrica volcano, located in the national park bearing its name, is regarded as the most photogenic volcano in the world by CNN. As an active volcano it’s both beautiful and dangerous. If the weather permits, visitors are able to see the flowing lava at the crater. Another notable advantage of the volcano is that it’s perfect for rock climbers and also the most voted destination for hikers and adventurers alike in Chile. Climbers need to be well equipped and fit, while expertise or experience is not a must. Choose a clear day and reach the top of the volcano, and you will be marvelling at the panoramic view of Villarrica Lake. 


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After the exciting outdoor sports, you can plunge yourself into Termas Geométricas – one of the biggest natural hot springs in the world, to fully relax your fatigued body. The hot spring is located in the Villarrica National Park in Pucón, with a total area of 240 square kilometres. Twenty-some hot spring pools are surrounded by forests. The wood pavements create a red labyrinth among the steam and rainforests. 



The Paradise Valley 


Valparaíso was declared a World Cultural and Natural Heritage by UNESCO. Here you can immerse yourself in the local culture through a tour of the cultural heritage. Before the Panama Canal was put in use in 1914, the only shipping route from American west coast to Europe must pass Valparaíso, and eventually turned it into the most important trading port in Chile. 


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In the 19th century, European immigrants flooded to the port city looking to start a better life. Poverty-stricken labour workers couldn’t afford a proper house, so they built their own huts with cheap corrugated paper and colourful paint on the slope. At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, dozens of cable cars were built along the slopes to connect the flat seashores and the downtown slums. Now, the city still prides itself on its colourful shanties, graffiti and legends, which lure in millions of tourists. 


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Pablo Neruda, the famous contemporary Chilean poet, wrote in his memoir, “If we have treaded upon every step in Valparaíso, it means we have travelled through the globe.” Neruda’s old house is on the hill top, and visitors just need to take a cable car to get there. In September, 1961, he held a house-warming party here. And right here he cast his glance over the Pacific and crystal sky, and penned, “The southern rain lands upon the black island, the drops clear and heavy, while the ocean embraces with grace, and the land knows how the goblets realise their humid destination.” Neruda set his final steps on Isla Negra, an island facing the sea in Valparaíso. 


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Stylish houses clinging to the mountains, narrow alleys and stairs, colourful graffiti, fascinating sea view and artistic cafes, all these elements interpret the charisma of Valparaíso, the ancient port city on a cliff. 



FLIGHT SCHEDULE 


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LATAM Airlines operates Melbourne – Santiago direct flights 


From 5th of October, 2017, LATAM Airlines began to operate LA804 from Melbourne Intl’ Airport (MEL) at 19:55 every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday, to Santiago Arturo Merino Benítez Intl’ Airport (SCL) at 19:00 local time. Flight takes approximately 13 hours and 5 minutes. 


Return flights (LA805) operate every Monday, Thursday and Saturday at 12:55 from Santiago and land in Melbourne at 17:55 local time. Return flights take about 15 hours. 



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