Chile's dynamic coastal border inspires spectators with some of the most remarkable sights found anywhere on Earth, including many that can be viewed as part of a South America cruise. Visitors to this breathtaking country are treated to views of massive glaciers, sun-soaked landscapes, colossal mountains, dramatic night skies, and a culture steeped in history.
Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory
Chile offers stargazers some of the best celestial views in the Southern Hemisphere. At the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, nestled in the foothills of the Andes Mountains, visitors can glimpse at a unique view of the night sky and learn more about the universe on a guided tour. On an excursion to Cerro Tololo, you'll have the opportunity to see astronomers' tools of the trade up close while admiring awe-inspiring views of the Andes.
Museo Arqueológico de Santiago
Visit La Serena, and you can opt to explore Museo Arqueológico de Santiago, which holds a remarkable treasure trove of pre-Colombian relics. Much of the museum's collection is a cache of artifacts from the Diaguita people who began inhabiting the region at around 1,000 CE when they descended from the Andes into the valleys below. Other exhibits feature Atacameña mummies and a colossal moai from Easter Island. When you're finished, you can peruse over 140 artisan stalls for the perfect souvenir at La Recova Market.
Penguins of Otway Sound
Southern Chile's landscape is intensely beautiful, with craggy snow-capped peaks, ancient glacial lakes, and, of course, happy-go-lucky Magellanic penguins. This particular penguin species usually breeds for life in the same location. During the mating season, males will return home a few days before the females arrive. Even among thousands of pairs, partners can identify one another by just the sounds of their voices!
Trekkers can get a close look at these capricious creatures on an excursion to Otway Sound. Stroll along the shoreline toward the burrows penguins call home, and you'll get a firsthand glimpse into their daily lives. Who knows? While you're there, you might even make a friend or two.
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