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5 destinations for a romantic getaway in Chile

If you’re planning a romantic holiday with your significant other, consider Chile as your destination! From picture-perfect sunsets and glittering night skies to secluded beaches and luxury hotels, this really is the perfect place for couples to celebrate a honeymoon, an anniversary, or just being together. And it was voted South America’s most romantic destination in 2022 by the World Travel Awards! Whatever your idea of romance is, there is something in Chile for you and your half an orange, as Chileans say.

Sunrise on Easter Island

Easter Island has a certain magic about it that you have to experience to understand. With white beaches, crystal-blue sea and palm trees, it’s a Pacific island tropical paradise. But its history, culture, slow pace of life, and the romance that lingers in the fresh sea air make it a popular destination for couples. Besides delicious food and beautiful hotels, you can have a truly unforgettable trip here.

What do we recommend? Watching the magical sunrise over the 15 giant Moai statues in Tongariki is unmissable for any couple visiting the island. Don’t miss out on visiting the Ana Kakenga cave too. It’s rumoured to be the last hiding place of a young couple who fled punishment for their forbidden love. 

Stargazing in Atacama

Experiencing the wonders of the Atacama desert is a favorite amongst our travelers and we think it’s a top destination for couples too. Here, you can watch the sunset over the breathtaking Moon Valley or have breakfast as the sunrises over the Tatio geysers. But our favourite activity for couples here is stargazing. Does it get more romantic than watching the glittering stars in one of the clearest skies in the world? Be sure to stay at one of the local boutique hotels to enjoy a more exclusive feel. 

Boutique hotels and wines in Valparaíso

Wander through the charming city of Valparaíso and pass through its lively and famously colorful streets. You can dive into the culture as you sample its cafes and restaurants, take a walk through its galleries, or step into the past on a trolley bus to enjoy this UNESCO World Heritage site. Step up the romance by visiting the nearby vineyards to sample world-famous wines. Stay at one of the area’s luxury boutique hotels for intimate evenings overlooking the sea. Make sure to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city to enjoy the mix of enchanting beaches and intriguing pine forests too – the perfect getaway location!

Magdalena Island

Visiting a penguin colony may not be the obvious choice for a romantic getaway, but trust us on this one! Watching these penguins is sure to warm your heart. When you visit the colony, you can see the penguin couples work together as they bring food and care for their eggs and chicks. It’s even cuter when you know that penguin couples stay together for life? 

Luxurious Santiago

For a luxurious romantic retreat, staying at Las Majadas hotel on the outskirts of Santiago is a must. Tucked away in the Andes and dating back to the sixteenth century, this is a real romantic treat. Here, you and your significant other can at relax the on-site spa. Alternatively, you could sample the produce of the surrounding vineyards, enjoy the best local food, or take a stroll through the gardens. Why not escape to the nearby mountains for a beautiful backdrop to your special vacation? 

Did you know you can skip the Drake Passage?

The Drake Passage at the southern tip of South America is one of the most tumultuous seas in the world. Between Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands, it is the meeting point of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Southern Oceans. Here, waves are 2-3 meters high on a calm day and up to 13 meters on a not-unusual choppy day.

Some travelers choose to sail across the Drake by ship as a challenge or a rite of passage. For some itineraries, like those from Ushuaia or that include the South Georgia Islands, the Drake Passage is unavoidable. But for those with less sturdy sea legs (and stomachs!) heading directly to Antarctica, an air-cruise is definitely the better option! 

Flying over the Drake Passage

Choosing an air-cruise means you will take a short and smooth 2-hour flight from Punta Arenas in southern Chile to and/or from King George Island in the South Shetland Islands, skipping the turbulent Drake Passage waters. You can view the beautiful Chilean archipelago from the sky and land in Antarctica in just two hours before taking a short walk to your expedition vessel in the much calmer Antarctic sea. 

More time in Antarctica!

Not only is this a much more pleasant option, but it also means you can really maximize your time in Antarctica! Crossing the Drake Passage by ship takes at least two days and, besides the wonders of the open sea, there isn’t much to see during the journey. You may enjoy some great food, take the time to relax and join the optional lectures if you can. But wouldn’t you rather spend those two days kayaking alongside icebergs or whale spotting off the coast of Antarctica instead of gripping the ship’s railings?

Plus, taking off and landing in Punta Arenas means you’re already in Patagonia. Make the most of it and experience life on a Patagonian ranch. Or you can head to Puerto Natales to explore the magnificent Torres del Paine National Park.

Smaller is better

As well as saving your stomach and enjoying a calmer and quicker crossing, an air-cruise will allow you to sail around Antarctica on a smaller ship. This means that when the crew hear that there is a whale sighting nearby, all the passengers can hop on a Zodiac to see the whales for themselves.

International regulations limit the number of people allowed on shore at the same time to 100, meaning that passengers on larger ships built for the Drake Passage must wait their turn to disembark. But on an air-cruise, with a maximum of 71 guests, everyone can explore beautiful Antarctica! 

Your trip is still carbon neutral

Unless crossing the Drake Passage is a non-negotiable for the tour you choose (or even for you!), air-cruises are a great option. And you don’t need to worry about the carbon emissions of flying as the provider is a certified CarbonNeutral® company that supports Antarctica-based science projects to protect the environment, including providing green hydrogen for the bases on the continent and collecting scientific data during the expeditions.


(Note that flights returning from Antarctica may be cancelled due to weather conditions. This is a rare occurrence and will only happen if there is no improvement in the weather within two days of the scheduled return date, in which case the ship will sail to your destination.)