Located in South America, on the west side of the Andes Mountains, and in the heart of the Pacific Ring of Fire, sits Chile. The land in Chile varies among what section you are in. But, overall, Chile is full of rich forests, grazing lands, volcanoes, vast lakes, mountains, and a labyrinth of canals. Since the terrain varies, a variety of activities can be done in Chile. Instead of listing every extreme sport that can be done in Chile, we have decided to create a list of the top extreme sports in Chile, and where the best locations to do them are. We have included everything from something you may not think of doing in Chile, such as Chile skiing, to a more common activity, like hiking.
Chile Skiing Adventures
We are kicking off our guide to extreme sports in Chile, with a classic extreme water sport (or, in this case, two)! Chile is full of rivers, streams, and white waters. This makes it the perfect spot to go rafting or kayaking. The great thing about rafting and kayaking is that it can be as extreme as you want it to be. You can choose gentler routes to raft or kayak on when you need to relax and relieve some stress, or you can choose to descend down white water, which is a true adrenaline rushing experience.
Where to raft and kayak:
There are so many great places to raft and kayak in Chile, it’s hard to pick a few! If you want the quintessential Chile rafting or kayaking experience, check out the Rio Bio or the Rio Futaleufu (both are challenging rivers). For gentler water, check out the Rio Maipo, the Rio Trancura, or the Rio Petrohue. You can raft or kayak on any of those rivers. Aside from rivers, sea kayaking has become increasingly popular. Just be careful when kayaking in the ocean around Chile, because there are a lot of military bases, and they may become alarmed. If you are planning on kayaking around a military base, make sure to inform someone, such as the Chilean consulate in your country before you venture into the waters.
Despite having amazing terrain for hiking, you would be surprised to know that hiking isn’t popular among locals. But, hiking is popular among outdoor enthusiasts who travel to Chile. Chile is basically an empty country. There are not a lot of metropolitan areas, or factories, or anything along those lines. Since it is practically untouched, there are vast amounts of wilderness, which is perfect for hiking. As for the scenic beauty, Chile’s hiking trail sights are similar to California and New Zealand.
Where to hike:
The northern section of Chile tends to have harsh climate and rough terrain, thus, it is recommended for hikers to stay away from the northern section. But, as for the southern section of Chile, it is full of lush forests, waterfalls, hot springs, and volcanoes. Thus, it is great for hiking! One of the most popular locations to hike in Chile is Torres del Paine.
It should be noted that forest and bush fires are a very real and dangerous hazard. Be careful and cautious of forest and bush fires while you hike and camp.
Chile is full of volcanoes and cliffs, aka a climber’s paradise. There is a large variety of climbing possibilities, which are also suitable for various climbing levels. It should be noted that it can be difficult to get approval to climb some areas of Chile. You may need to get permission to climb some areas from the Direccion de Fronteras y Limites (DIFROL). If you are interested in climbing in Chile, research every area you plan on climbing and take the proper steps before climbing that designated area.
Where to climb:
In the northern section of Chile Volcan Parinacota, Volcan Llullaillaco, and Volcan Ojos del Salado are extremely challenging climbing trails. They are only suitable for the most experienced and skilled climbers. Also, there are only a few rock climbing companies that offer excursions to these areas, so most of the climbing in these areas are done by independent parties.
If you are a fly-fishing enthusiast, you most likely know that Chile is one of the finest fly-fishing destinations in the world! Chile’s crystallized waters are home to rainbow, brown and brook trout, and silver and Atlantic salmon, which are the ideal fish to catch while fly-fishing.
Where to fly-fish:
The traditional spot to fly-fish in Chile is in the Lake District. Recently, the more modern location to fly-fish in is around Alsen. There are even a large number of fishing lodges in Alsen!
While skiing may not seem like your ideal Chile extreme sport, Chile skiing locations offer some of the most challenging ski courses in South America. Thus, only the most experienced and skilled skiers should venture out and experience Chile skiing.
Where to ski:
While there are a few Chile skiing regions spread throughout the country, the best Chile skiing locations are within the range of Santiago. These Chile skiing courses include; El Colorado, La Parva, Valle Nevado, and the infamous Portillo.
If you want a less challenging Chile skiing experience, head to the southern section of Chile and try the Termas de Chillan!
While Chile skiing is definitely an extreme way to tour the country, there is a less extreme way to view Chile while still experiencing an adventure aspect. For people who want a more laid back experience, try horse-trekking! Of course, horse-trekking can be extreme, depending on where you travel, but the majority of the terrain you will travel on in Chile is pretty gentle. Also, horse-trekking in Chile is a magical experience. After all, you get to tour the dramatic landscapes while on horseback, and most companies offer an excursion where you get to spend a night in a tent transported by mules.
Where to horse-trek:
While you can horse-trek almost anywhere in Chile, the best areas to horse-trek around are in Santiago and in the Central Valley!
Overall, Chile is a unique country that offers a variety of terrain, which is suitable for a variety of extreme sports. Some of the sports on this list are more extreme than others, such as Chile skiing but other sports are more laid back and better suited to experience the moment and view the scenery, such as, horse-trekking. Whatever you choose to do while in Chile, hopefully, this list has given you a few good ideas!