The best hikes in Chile through extraordinary landscapes


No matter where you go in Chile, an epic hike through blockbuster nature is waiting to be discovered.

Stand at the geographic heart of the country near Santiago, and you’ll find the tallest mountains in the Americas snaking along the horizon to your east. Out west, over another mountain range, you’ll hit the pounding surf of the Pacific Ocean.

Down south, beyond a few dozen lakes and volcanoes, you’ll reach the temperate rainforests, crackling glaciers and foggy fjords of Patagonia. Up north, past an array of verdant wine valleys, you’ll discover the desiccated salt flats, steaming geysers and soaring sand dunes of the Atacama Desert.

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From multi-day circuit treks on remote islands to half-day hikes up Andean volcanoes, the hardest decision will be choosing which route to tackle.

For travelers with disabilities, local company Wheel the World has made trails up and down Chile (even complicated ones like the W Trek) accessible, thanks to specially trained guides and lightweight trekking wheelchairs.

A group of trekkers cross a mountain stream on the W Trek in Torres del Paine, ChileWheel the World offers treks in Torres del Paine using all-terrain wheelchairs © Pilar Elorriaga / Wheel the World

W Trek

Best hike for a classic Patagonian experience

80km (50 miles) one way, 5 days, moderate

If Chile is known for just one hike, it’s the W Trek, one of the most popular routes in all of South America. This five-day path through Torres del Paine National Park, which can be extended to eight days by completing the O Circuit, is a highlights reel of Patagonia with soaring granite spires, milky-green moraine lakes and…

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