Chile stands for adrenaline! For the fourth consecutive year, the World Travel Awards crowned Chile as the Best Adventure Destination in the World, and we want to challenge you to experience Chile´s extreme adventures for yourself. Are you up for the challenge?
You must have heard of the diverse geography, privileged nature and sublime landscapes that Chile possesses, where adventures are lived by the thousands all year round and where there are experiences for children, adults and seniors that will never be forgotten.
So let´s get to work. Although there are challenges for all levels and ages throughout Chile, here we want to present only the most entertaining for the boldest. Those who seek to exceed their limits again and again will find the perfect landscapes, like natural amusement centers, in our country. Pay attention to this list and get to know the most extreme adventures available in Chile.
CLIMB UP THE TALLEST VOLCANO IN THE WORLD
Chile is a country of superlative nature. It has several of the most and the first in the world, and among them, here is the Ojos del Salado volcano, which is the highest active volcano in the planet, at 6,891 meters above sea level (22,608 fasl), just 60 meters less than Mount Aconcagua, the highest peak of the Americas, and also the second largest summit of the southern and western hemispheres.
To the east of the city of Copiapó, in the middle of the Atacama Desert, the driest in the world, you will see the Ojos del Salado volcano rising above the horizon and inviting you to admire its majesty and beauty and challenging you to conquer its summit.
It is not difficult to begin the ascent. Rather than great technical skills, the journey requires serious physical shape and preparation. But little by little the difficulty increases, as the temperatures drop below zero, freezing wind blowing in your face, and the risk of suffering acute mountain sickness from the high altitudes.
Reaching the summit can only be done in the morning, before the strongest winds begin.
SEARCH FOR MOAI UNDER THE SEA IN RAPA NUI
The story goes that in 1957 an old cargo ship wanted to take a Moai from Rapa Nui, but a strong storm caused the stone statue to fall overboard. The ship’s travel log indicates that they tried to keep hold of it, but the cable that was tied to the statue got cut and the giant stone fell and sank to an estimated depth of 80 meters (262 feet). It was never recovered, and could not even be located accurately.
But the story was such a shock for the people of the island, that it had a great impact on local tradition, and after some years and with the help of local artisans, a figure of the same characteristics was made and placed under the sea, at a depth of 40 meters (131 feet) and only 300 meters (984 feet) from the west coast of the island, in the bay of Hanga Roa.
If you venture to dive in Rapa Nui, you can see this and other underwater wonders, in addition to the many there are above the surface, such as three volcanoes. Under the sea you´ll find the explanation to the hidden secrets of the island, such as the justification for its exuberant and unique nature.
The western end of the volcanic chain of Easter Island is, in fact, made up of a group of submarine volcanoes, in addition to some low-elevation volcanic fields on the seabed.
The landscape under the sea is, as you can imagine, surprising. Its volcanic conformation displays a multitude of arches, caves, cliffs and lava platforms.
The water is so extremely clear and transparent, due to the absence of plankton and pollution, that you can have good visibility up to 60 meters under the water´s surface.
You will love this exciting experience of diving through a submerged volcanic chain!
SKI JOURNEY IN THE SUPER C
One of the main ski centers, not only in Chile but also in the entire southern hemisphere, is Portillo, located less than 170 kilometers (105 mi) northeast of Santiago and 80 kilometers (50 mi) from the picturesque city of Los Andes. But it´s not precisely the ski center we´re referring to, but rather the extreme challenge of the “Super C”.
This challenge involves mountaineering and skiing and it starts off by undertaking the ascent on foot, carrying a whole load of supplies and equipment for the occasion. Don’t forget to pack flares and emergency equipment in case of avalanches.
After the ascent and an initial easy walk, another 2 to 4 hours ascent awaits, until you reach the top (depending on your physical condition as well as the weather).
On the top you will find a fairly narrow throat (couloir) that opens up until you reach the El Estadio track. The Super C is one of the most difficult areas that can be accessed from the ski center but it isn´t within the ski area.
Doing this is always at your own risk!
The Super C is a difficult descent, technically intense and hard, so be prepared for the great physical demands, as well as your excellent skiing skills.
DESCENDING THE FUTALEUFÚ… THE MOST INTENSE RIVER FOR THOSE WHO LOVE RAFTING
The wild waters of the Futaleufú, or “Big River” in Mapudungún, the language of the Mapuche people, make this river one of the best in the world for practicing rafting and kayaking.
It is located 156 kilometers (97 miles) from the town of Chaitén, and just 10 kilometers (6 mi) from the border with Argentina. Arriving here is not so easy, but the effort will pay off big time for those who love beautiful natural landscapes and extreme challenges.
There are different sections, depending on the level of expertise of the athletes. The Puente-Macal section is classified as Grande V, the one with the greatest challenge and complexity, reserved only for the most advanced …
… But if you really are an expert adventurer seeking maximum emotions, the Río Azul-Macal stretch is for you as it includes Class-V rapids, maximum difficulty and is reserved only for athletes with the greatest expertise.
This section includes rapids known as “Terminator”, “Himalaya”, “Mundaca” and “Stone House”, among the most dangerous.
WALK OVER GLACIERS IN THE CHILEAN PATAGONIA
We already know that, sadly, glaciers are at risk of disappearing worldwide. But you can come to the Chilean Patagonia and live a unique experience of walking on the Patagonian glaciers that are still unique and beautiful.
But keep in mind that this is an extreme experience that you cannot do alone: the company of a guide is essential in order to avoid the greatest risks, such as falling in cracks and caves.
But the overpowering ice spreads before your eyes and under your feet with the most diverse forms and surprising shades of blue.
Being in good physical condition and have good balance is essential to endure the long walks as are the use of crampons and ropes to guarantee the safety of your experience.
Hiking on glaciers teaches you that the ice is alive, as you will even hear its crunching, its movements and see how it rearranges.
Two of the most important glaciers to explore in the Chilean Patagonia, because of their challenge, are the Gray and the Explorers.
Gray Glacier: if you go do the W circuit trekking in Torres del Paine you will see it from the same path and you can access it.
Exploradores Glacier: This is an incredible and demanding trekking route on the glacier. It´s an experience for the most daring since you constantly test your limits, and to arrive to the glacier you first have to take a long walk that begins in a magical evergreen forest.