The Natural Beauty of the Andes Mountains Chile

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Ever since learning about the Andes Mountains while studying geography at school, I have always wanted to visit and experience this incredible range. Not that it would be possible to see it all as it is just so vast, but on a recent trip to Chile, I was able to get up into the Andes and see its beauty in this region of Chile first hand. I was certainly not disappointed.

 

Andes mountains 2The big picture: Some Facts

Completely dominating the skyline of the large, modern city of Santiago, this area of the Andes is only one small section of this magnificent range. Created over 50 million years ago, when the South American and Pacific tectonic plates collided, the Andes is the world’s longest continental mountain range.

The range essentially dissects the whole continent of South America along its western edge, stretching over 7,500 kilometres (4,660 miles) from Venezuela all the way down to Patagonia. It crosses 7 countries in total, namely Venezuela, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina.

The Andes are the highest mountain range outside of Asia and contain the highest volcanoes including Ojos del Salado located on the Chilean-Argentine border, standing at 6,983 meters (22,615 feet). The average height of the entire range is around 4,000 meters (or 13,000 feet) and its width varies from 200 to 700 kilometres (or between 120 to 430 miles).

The Andes are home to over 1,000 species of fauna (two-thirds of which is endemic to the region) and over 30,000 vascular plants (half endemic), 1,700 species of birds (one-third endemic), 600 species of reptile (45% endemic) and 400 species of fish (rough a third being endemic or unique to anywhere else).

The Andes are also where the Amazon river starts within Peru and from which the world’s second-longest river crosses through another 7 countries until meeting the Atlantic Ocean to the east.

 

My trips to the Andes Mountains Chile

Starting from where we were staying and based at the time (Santiago), my fiancé James and I joined a couple of groups on two separate trips within the Andes.

To get to each destination, both trips consisted of driving in small (mini) buses provided by the tour company Turistik. We chose Turistik because they operate a number of excursions to the Andes mountains and knew the various routes and options really well.

Our journeys included travelling on quite narrow roads which seem to get narrower and more unstable the higher we climbed. This was particularly true on the second trip all the way up and out to Embalse El Yeso and all I can say is I’m pleased I wasn’t driving and that we had a very capable and experienced driver that got us there and back safely.

 

Andes mountains 3Valle Nevado

Located on the El Plomo foothills in the Andes Mountains, Valle Nevado is a ski resort around 50 kilometres (31 miles) east of Santiago in an area where the elevation varies between 2,500 and 3,000 meters (8,200 to 9,850 feet).

On the day we went, it started out being fine and clear but as we continued to climb in altitude, it got colder and colder. The roads were narrow and had extremely tight turns for most of the way. The great thing about that was you clearly got to see some great views as you went through different elevations, even though there were a few sheers drops along the route.

 

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A small community at the foot of this part of the Andes, as we started our ascent. Photo: Nicole Anderson.

 

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This was just one of many hairpin turns! Photo: Nicole Anderson

 

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There were some people that said they were starting to get a bit dizzy going up… Photo: Nicole Anderson

 

On the way, the bus stopped for a while to allow us to adjust to the change in altitude and stretch our legs for a little bit. One sight that amazed me as we climbed (in many areas quite steep angles) was the number of (obviously very fit) cyclists that powered up the side of the range and they didn’t even look that tired! I later learned they were training for a major race and the roads within the Andes mountains Chile region were the location for many to train! They were amazingly fit to say the very least.

 

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Pulling over midway up, to stretch our legs for a while and adjust to the change in altitude. Photo: Nicole Anderson.

 

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They make them tough here! Cyclist chugging up the mountain range showing very little effort! Photo: Nicole Anderson.

 

As we neared the top the temperature continued to drop and by the time we reached the resort, it was extremely cold even though snow was not present then. We were so thankful for the heating in the bus as well as the resort, once we had finished exploring the immediate terrain and vicinity.

 

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Getting close to the top now, looking back down on the road we used. Photo: Nicole Anderson.

 

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The end of the road in sight as the resort accommodations come into view. Photo: Nicole Anderson.

 

Arriving at the top of the road, the area was obscured by low-level clouds which meant you couldn’t really see that far in some places. The resort area itself is quite centrally located with a number of resorts, hotels, and holiday accommodation buildings.

 

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The main Valle Nevado Resort right at the end of the road. Photo: Nicole Anderson.

 

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The side of the resort up close where you can see they display a cable car outside. Photo: Nicole Anderson.

 

We hiked around a bit out to see the chairlifts, a fallen sign showing distances to other South American destinations and a wild fox (which disappeared just as I reached for my camera). The chair lifts were the first to be installed in the region back in 2001 and the resort also was the first to have a mountain cable car in Chile when it opened in 2013.

 

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The chairlifts not in use due to the absence of snow, leading back up to the resort. Photo: Nicole Anderson.

 

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Fallen sign showing the distances to other places in South America. Photo: Nicole Anderson.

 

When we had finished exploring the area, we came inside to enjoy some warmth and hot chocolate. As it was off-peak at the time, we had our pick of where to enjoy the lovely atmosphere and picked a spot right next to the fire.

 

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Just because there was no snow outside doesn’t mean it wasn’t freezing! It was so good to enjoy some time by the fire after exploring. Photo: Valle Nevado staff.

 

The Andes Mountains closer to Argentina

Our second trip into the Andes mountains Chile again started out from Santiago and travelled east through the Cajon del Maipo, an area well known for its ecotourism in Chile. Our final destination on this trip would be Embalse del Yeso a reservoir formed by the damming of the Yeso River. Part of the Maipo basin, this is situated just some 15 kilometres (9 miles) from the Argentina border.

Travelling there was an experience in itself. From a roads point of view, it got a bit bumpy the closer we got to the Yeso. Gone were the sealed roads, replaced by rocky paths that produced large dust clouds behind us as we drove. However, the scenery all around us certainly made up for a less than perfect road.

 

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Image By Carlos yo

San Jose de Maipo

San Jose de Maipo is a beautiful little municipality in the Cordillera Province that we visited on our way. It is such a picturesque place surrounded by nature and it was also such a clean town with some very friendly people.

The total population of the area is only just over 13,000 with 9,000 residing in the town area. The whole area had a wonderful feel to it and it was a pleasure to walk through the town with its cobblestone paths and lovely parks.

 

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The ‘central park’ area of San Jose De Maipo. Photo: Nicole Anderson.

 

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Different coloured buildings throughout the town area. The supermarket where we bought a few supplies. Photo: Nicole Anderson.

 

We also stopped off at a lovely roadside restaurant to have lunch on the way along the Andes. Again the friendliness and hospitality of the Chilean people came to the fore and the quality of the food was actually very good.

 

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The exterior of the restaurant we visited on the main road up that particular route to the Andes. Photo: James Visser.

 

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The interesting interior of the restaurant set on the side of a hill. Photo: Nicole Anderson.

 

Las cáscaras (or Campamento Minero)

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A shot of a few of the miner camping ‘shells’. Photo: James Visser

 

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The English translation of the Spanish las cáscaras is ‘shells’. This place again was on the way to Embalse del Yeso and is an abandoned mining camp built up within the Andes mountains Chile so that workers could withstand the harsh climatic conditions in the area.

You really had to watch your footing at this place as the ground was covered in rocks of all sizes which gave way under your feet as you walked. As we explored this old mining camp, James slipped and injured his ankle which gave him a significant bruise and he was in a bit of pain over the next couple of days.

The photo on the right is a shot of James as we were having a look inside the old miners camp buildings. Photo: Nicole Anderson.

 

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Life and working conditions certainly wouldn’t have been easy for the miners. Photo: Nicole Anderson.

 

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James and I at the site of Las cáscaras with the backdrop of more mountains and a sizable glacier at the top, just right of centre. Photo: Turistik guide.

 

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More of a close-up shot of that Glacier. Photo: James Visser.

 

It was hard to imagine how life was like here for the miners. Bitterly cold in winter and so isolated if anything went wrong. However today, it certainly made for some interesting photos at this location.

 

Embalse del Yeso

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Halting our hike to take in the beautiful scenery of this amazing place. Photo: James Visser.

 

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It was a lovely spread prepared for us once we returned from exploring the area. Photo: James Visser.

This natural attraction was certainly worth the trip. The water surface elevation of 2,568 meters (8,425 feet), surrounded by the majestic Andes mountains with their snowy peaks and glaciers beautifully contrasted with the deep blue body of water that makes up the reservoir.

I really don’t know if the pictures taken could possibly do it justice but we did our best to capture such an amazing place.

Hiking along the perimeter dividing the water’s edge with the mountain faces was a wonderful experience. Completed in 1964, the reservoir’s capacity is 250,000,000 m3 and together with the breeze present at the time, made it a perfect day.

Even more so when we enjoyed some wine with cheese and fruit platters that were brought along and set up on tables by a stunning view. No one in our group could fail to be impressed with this place.

 

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Savouring some Chilean wine and cheese in this beautiful spot with a lovely breeze. Things could certainly be a lot worse! Photo: James Visser.

 

And as if that experience wasn’t enough, have a look at a couple more of the shots we took of the sites that greeted us as we eventually started on our way back to Santiago…

 

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Beautifully clear, fresh, ice cold water in the Andes mountains that is perfectly fine to drink, which is something quite a few in our group did. Photo: Nicole Anderson.

 

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James and I in front of the beautiful waterfall that fed that stream of pure mountain water. Photo: Turistik guide.

 

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Everywhere you looked seemed to be a picture postcard. Photo: Nicole Anderson.

 

I was so pleased to have finally ticked off a place on my list that I had always wondered about, going back to my days of geography at school. Given the sheer size and stretch of the Andes mountains across multiple countries in South America, will I return to see these mountains in some other country? Who knows?

For now, I just know that I am happy to have seen and shared an experience I found so worthwhile. If you haven’t already done so, perhaps the Andes mountains will be something you will also want to experience one day. If so I hope reading this will have played a small part in encouraging your own journey to this magnificent range.

 

 

 

This article is part of the Natural Beauty Travel Series, authored by travel writer Nicole Anderson.
Founder and Publisher at | Website

Outdoor adventure enthusiast that loves nature having travelled locations across North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.

Passionate Travel Writer, Blogger and Influencer.

124 thoughts on “The Natural Beauty of the Andes Mountains Chile

  • March 1, 2019 at 4:47 pm
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    I haven’t been to South America yet, but best believe the Andes is on my list! I can’t wait to go and get my adventure travel on .

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    • March 4, 2019 at 9:13 am
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      I can definitely believe that Francesca and the Andes, of course, is a big part of South America. Hope you have a fabulous time and thank you very much for reading and leaving a comment.

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  • February 11, 2019 at 8:11 am
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    The mountains of Andes looks like those in many adventure movies. I am glad that I visited your page because I learned more about it, and feels like I am travelling with you guys.
    Your photos are breathtaking!

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    • February 11, 2019 at 11:19 pm
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      Thank you so much for such a lovely comment Blair and I’m so happy you enjoy my sharing adventures of the great outdoors in various places. I hope you will continue to stay connected as a reader/subscriber as there are some more quite interesting locations coming, with fabulous natural beauty to share.

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  • February 10, 2019 at 6:00 pm
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    I have always wanted to visit South America. The view of the mountains and the views around the water are amazing.

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    • February 10, 2019 at 10:20 pm
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      There’s no doubting that South America is an amazing continent with so much to offer. This is only a small part of it by comparison but extremely beautiful nonetheless. Thank you for reading and commenting Melissa.

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  • February 8, 2019 at 8:24 pm
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    The Andes are one of my favorite things to study and I should really plan a trip up there! It’s gorgeous.

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  • February 8, 2019 at 5:27 am
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    Wow! The Andes are certainly a magnificent sight to see! It seems that they definitely paid off and were worth the effort to get there! I can’t imagine living there as a miner, but it seems like an absolutely beautiful place to enjoy as a visitor!

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    • February 10, 2019 at 10:15 pm
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      That’s for sure Sierra! Life for the miners would have been extremely harsh but today it is a different story for curious visitors who are exploring the area. Worth the effort to see it indeed. Thank you.

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  • February 7, 2019 at 7:25 pm
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    I’ve only ever done basic travelling but I am Looking to do more in-depth travel. I would Love to go on adventures like this!

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  • February 7, 2019 at 4:54 pm
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    Isn’t it so much fun when we finally get to see a place that we’ve heard so much about, studied in school, or dreamed of visiting our whole lives? I’m so glad that the beauty of the range lived up to your expectations. It would have been a big bummer if they weren’t as grand and magnificent as you’d hoped they would be. And I always found it such a shame that the resorts don’t run their ski lifts in the off-season. They could make some money and allow visitors a chance to see the resorts/ranges sans-snow!

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    • February 7, 2019 at 9:25 pm
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      I am so relieved that the Andes did live up to my expectations (and more) as it is a bit of an effort to get there – but thankfully it was definitely all worth it in the end. I certainly understand your comment about the ski lifts but I guess that is a business decision for the owners. Thanks so much for reading and leaving your thoughts.

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  • February 7, 2019 at 2:43 pm
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    The Andes mountains are really legendary and have read about them in books. Reading your experience was quite fascinating. The landscapes look really out of this world and it must have been an incredible experience for you. We too hope to get to the Andes some day.

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    • February 7, 2019 at 9:20 pm
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      The Andes are indeed covered well in so many travel and geography books as it is a natural feature just too massive to overlook. There are so many beautiful landscapes throughout the range and I am so happy to have seen a part of it. I do hope you see it as well and thank you for reading and commenting.

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  • February 7, 2019 at 9:58 am
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    You evoked memories of thinking exactly the same when I was studying Geography in school. Andes was on my list to see some day but have forgotten about. So definitely thanks and its now back on.

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  • February 5, 2019 at 7:40 pm
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    I have never planned or thought of visiting the Andes I must be honest but reading this post makes me put it on my list for sure. Seems like you had a great trip and the visuals surely vouch for it. The Andes are beautiful and the photo of your stop in between to stretch your legs surely gave you some great views too. The food looks great as well with the fruits and platter Thanks for sharing a unique place I must say.

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    • February 7, 2019 at 7:08 am
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      Thank you so much Amar. I’m so pleased that you would consider putting the Andes on your list from reading this post. I guess the photos do speak a thousand words in respect to what it’s like and I’m not that good a photographer! There is so much beauty here, I am confident you wouldn’t be disappointed.

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  • February 5, 2019 at 5:51 am
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    Just realize you’re really good in describing nature in different places, and I love mountains and hiking in nature. I just stopped recently since I started working at home. Andes Mountain would be a great for camping and hiking as well. Thanks for sharing.

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  • February 5, 2019 at 12:39 am
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    So much beauty in this trip! I absolutely love seeing and reading all about your trips!

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    • February 7, 2019 at 7:02 am
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      Thank you so much Danielle. I really do appreciate you being a loyal reader and I will also do my best to include as much information of value as I can. Thank you again.

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  • February 4, 2019 at 5:57 pm
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    I am so jealous! I love hiking but I haven’t been able to go in a while. All of these look so amazing!!! I wish I could be there right now with my own wine glass. haha! 🙂

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    • February 7, 2019 at 6:58 am
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      Thanks Ashley! I must admit I don’t often have a wine glass and wine with me when I hike but this was a special occasion that I think warranted it. I hope you will be able to get back to hiking and your own adventures soon.

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  • February 4, 2019 at 12:50 pm
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    Chile and Andes are a big dream to me. I do hope I will visit it one day. So beautiful, so unusual and ancient!

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  • February 4, 2019 at 12:15 pm
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    Wow, astounding scene, and delightful pictures. I realize you truly delighted in a great deal there . Thanks for sharing your experience.

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  • February 4, 2019 at 5:12 am
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    WOW. These are such amazing sites to see. I would love to visit a majority of South America some day.

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    • February 7, 2019 at 6:53 am
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      Thanks Adriana. As a continent, South America certainly has so much to offer people who love the great outdoors. From its impressive mountains, waterfalls, rivers, lakes, glaciers etc, there is just so much to see and experience. All the best for your future adventures there.

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  • February 4, 2019 at 2:30 am
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    Holy cow! Those roads look crazy. I definitely would not want to go driving on them. But those views are spectacular. I have always wanted to visit South America.

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    • February 7, 2019 at 6:49 am
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      I definitely agree with you Melanie! We did absolutely NO driving ourselves when we were on this trip – we just wouldn’t be game at all. Fortunately, we didn’t have to and were so pleased experienced local drivers were able to take us to experience all that we did. Hope you do get to South America soon and thank you for your comment.

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  • February 4, 2019 at 2:05 am
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    I love reading travel blogs! I love learning about the different places people travel to. The Andes Mountains look absolutely beautiful! Your captured your trip very well! I added this on my list of places to travel to!

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  • February 3, 2019 at 11:52 pm
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    I’ll be visiting Chile later this year and this has made me so inspired. It’s a very long country with such diverse topography and climates.

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    • February 7, 2019 at 6:43 am
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      It sure is Taryn. Thank you for reading and letting me know of your impending trip. I wish you all the best and I hope you get the chance to get up into the Andes as well while you are there.

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  • February 3, 2019 at 11:50 pm
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    There is so much beauty in South America. My step mother is from Brazil and my parents make a trip there every year. One year they decided to venture out during their time there and decided on Chile and ended up going to the Andes Mountains. They still talk about the trip today! Maybe one year I’ll have to join them and go see for myself.

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    • February 7, 2019 at 6:41 am
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      I sure hope you do Kristen as I’m sure you would love it also. While there is no denying that Brazil has its fair share of natural beauty, the Andes in Chile does is seriously stunning in many places. I would be signing up to go with them on their next trip for sure!

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  • February 3, 2019 at 10:40 am
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    I have always read about Andes mountain ranges in my Geography lessons during Middle school time. But it is so good that you are going there and enjoying all the beautiful landscape. The journey through hairpin turnings of mountainous roads are sometimes tiresome but they are beautiful also. The colorful buildings San Jose de Mapio are very cute and it is good that Chilian people are very hospitable and friendly.

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    • February 7, 2019 at 6:37 am
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      You bet Yukti! I can honestly say that Chile is one of my favorite countries to visit so far. The beauty of nature here is indeed matched by the warmness of the people. It is a place I really could recommend to anyone. Thank you so much for commenting.

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  • February 2, 2019 at 11:20 am
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    Wow, this sounds like such an adventure! I can see how people could get dizzy on the roads initially! I’ve always wanted to visit Chile so this was right up my street. The Andes might be a stretch for me though!

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    • February 7, 2019 at 6:35 am
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      Thank you for your comment David. The beautiful thing about the Andes is that it runs virtually along the entire stretch of Chile’s (comparative) narrow width, making it very accessible from multiple points. If you are keen on visiting Chile, the Andes will definitely be in reach for you.

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  • February 2, 2019 at 2:56 am
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    What lovely trips through the Chilean Andes! Those hairpin curves and the drops are too much for someone like me so I enjoyed living vicariously through you. Those cyclists sure are hardy! And what great views you got to see – pretty amazing from the mining areas to the lakes.

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  • January 31, 2019 at 5:55 pm
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    I love that you have wanted to visit the Andes since learning about them in school! I am a geography teacher, so that warms my heart to hear that you followed your dream of seeing them! I haven’t been to South America yet, but the Andes are high on my bucket list. I would love to visit from either Chile and Argentina, so your post is perfectly helpful. That mining town looks fascinating. Your photos are beautiful!

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    • January 31, 2019 at 11:20 pm
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      Thank you so much, Leah, your comments are really appreciated, coming from a geography teacher. I was also a teacher for a while but teaching Japanese rather than geography. I’m sure that you would love visiting them just as much as I did. Thank you again for reading and for your lovely comment.

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  • January 30, 2019 at 9:56 pm
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    I’m the same Nicole! I have always wanted to visit the Andes Mountains since I studied geography at school too! When I saw the mountains from the plane when we were landing at Santiago I was so thrilled. But I have only seen the Bolivian side of the mountains, as we took a hike trip from San Pedro de Atacama and crossed the border. Amazing landscape, one of the best I have ever seen! But I definitely need to go back to Chile and explore also the Andes Mountains by the Chilean side as the places you pointed out in your post look incredible. Especially Embalse del Yeso. It looks so magical. I totally get when you say that pictures may not do justice to what you are actually seeing with your own eyes, but even just with your pictures you can tell how beautiful these places are!

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    • January 31, 2019 at 1:24 am
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      Thank you for such a lovely comment Sara and for sharing your experience in Chile. I hope you do go back to explore the Andes from the Chilean side as you say – do let me know what you think and whether your experience is as good or better than what I have shared here. Photos are sometimes not that good at completely conveying what you can actually see when you are there. Embalse del Yeso was absolutely a favourite of mine in Chile. The Andes overall were so lovely and the air was so fresh and clean compared to being in cities. Thank you again and I wish you all the best on your future return to Chile.

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  • January 30, 2019 at 11:14 am
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    I have obviously always known that the Andes were massive but when you put all the stats around it and it stretches across such a big region, it puts it in a whole new perspective. And for some reason I always associate South America as a hot continent so seeing that it has ski resorts is so foreign to me. Much like people don’t realise there are ski resprts in Australia! I love Chilean wines btw….. great drop!

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    • January 31, 2019 at 1:17 am
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      I can definitely relate to what you are saying here, Amy. The Andes, of course, stretch much further at any point than the eye can possibly see and you don’t think of it being so massive as to essentially stretch the length of South America. South America is definitely hot in many places but it is a large continent and certainly the further south you go, (and in the case of the Andes, the further up you go in altitude), the colder it gets. That’s also a fair analogy with Australia as well – and I am definitely with you on the Chilean wine – they do have some wonderful wines indeed. My next post on Chile scheduled for publishing next month touches on a winery I managed to visit which I hope you will enjoy. Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

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  • January 30, 2019 at 10:14 am
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    The Andes Mountains in Chile are on the top of my bucket list and this article is a great reminder of why that’s the case! It will definitely be the first adventure I’ll take on when I make it to South America. Your picture of the Andes towering above the city is spectacular!

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    • January 31, 2019 at 1:10 am
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      Thank you so much Daniel – this was definitely on my bucket list as well and I must tell you that I would love to go back again at some time in the future. Chile is a beautiful country, very clean and with lovely people. The Andes are truly majestic and something that is quite accessible from Santiago.

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  • January 30, 2019 at 8:16 am
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    Wow the roads looks scary and when I saw there is someone riding up there on the bike I couldnt believe. The places look a bit empty, is tourism popular there? I have never been to any country of south america, but surely would love to go.

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    • January 31, 2019 at 1:07 am
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      Santiago in Chile is certainly a popular tourist destination Anita, but you don’t notice it that much when you get out of the city and out into the wilderness. The road infrastructure in Chile is also very good overall and there always seems to be a lot of public space which is great. That road heading up to the resort area is certainly scary but the locals are used to it. Their highways and main roads though are safe and in great condition. Hopefully, you will make it to Chile one day as I think you would really like it also. Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

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  • January 28, 2019 at 11:09 pm
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    Oh my goodness. Those winding roads with hairpin turns look scary. I would not drive on them. Thankfully, there are tours that can take you to the top. I love your photos. It must have been so exciting to explore nature’s beauty at that elevation!

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    • January 29, 2019 at 11:11 am
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      It certainly was Kristine. I wouldn’t be game to drive there either! But as a passenger I got to feel elated by the beautiful sights and terrified of the sheer drops by the road… all at the same time! It does make for an interesting story after the fact. Thank you very much for reading and commenting.

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  • January 28, 2019 at 9:32 pm
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    I had no idea the Andes spans 7 countries! WOW. I love the outdoors, especially the mountains, and the Andes are absolutely somewhere I want to visit one day. Your photo at Embalse del Yeso is particularly beautiful, and sipping on some wine and sampling some cheese there sounds like the dream!

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  • January 28, 2019 at 2:15 pm
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    It’s such a picturesque view up there. It looks so cold with all the mist (or cloud). Overall an unforgettable experience, I’m sure.

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  • January 28, 2019 at 3:45 am
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    Being a mountain lover and someone who is dying to visit Chile, I loved reading your post. I had heard a lot about Santiago but had no idea that the Andes is the world’s longest continental mountain range. Savouring some Chilean wine and cheese with that backdrop is mindblowing.

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    • January 28, 2019 at 9:14 am
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      Thank you so much, Archana and I hope you do make it to Chile soon. The Andes is indeed massive and their wine and cheese are very good indeed, and the backdrop just speaks for itself.

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  • January 27, 2019 at 9:32 pm
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    The first time I heard of Andes was in school and after that I hadn’t heard much about it at all!
    Of all the ways to explore Andes, I guess my fav is the Las cáscaras . As a history buff, the abandoned mines look just so intriguing in that landscape!

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  • January 27, 2019 at 8:33 pm
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    Nature offers so many beautiful, scenic places for us to enjoy! This trip of yours to the Andes mountains is something I would like to do too! I don’t usually do hiking but for a view like that, I certainly would!

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    • January 28, 2019 at 2:55 am
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      I totally agree with you Annemarie – plus it’s fun to explore and take in the fresh air while being surrounded with beautiful views everywhere you look. Thank you.

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  • January 27, 2019 at 8:25 pm
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    The landscape is just amazing. Wine and cheese with a view, and what a view !
    We are considering South America for our honeymoon and I know we won`t be disappointed.

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  • January 27, 2019 at 10:11 am
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    Very adventuring post and so beautiful pictures. I guess you really had very amazing trip and enjoyed a lot there.

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  • January 27, 2019 at 4:20 am
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    The hike that you took in Embalse del Yeso looks a lot like it could be in the Himalayas in India, what a gorgeous blue lake with snow-capped mountains in the backdrop. I can only imagine how cold it would get in the winter time. I would love to take a road trip to the Andes Mountains in Chile. Can’t wait to begin exploring South America soon!

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    • January 27, 2019 at 10:49 am
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      I’m sure you would love it Medha and that is an interesting comparison to the Himalayas in Northern India. Both offer such beauty and I hope you begin your South American adventure as you suggest soon. Thank you very much for reading and sharing your comment.

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  • January 26, 2019 at 11:53 pm
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    Looks like an amazing trip. I love that misty shot of the chairlift – very eerie.

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    • January 27, 2019 at 1:18 am
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      Definitely, Carley, although I didn’t realise it would come out looking that way at the time. I just remember how cold it was at the time and at that altitude. It was just lucky to end up with that effect. Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

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  • January 26, 2019 at 6:25 pm
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    Andes Mountains look absolutely gorgeous. The views of Valle Nevado look spectacular. I would love to take a ride on the cable cars. Love the mystic touch everywhere in the mountains.

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    • January 27, 2019 at 1:15 am
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      For sure Sinjana! It really does add that additional feeling of mysticism. It would be interesting to come back one day in the middle of winter to see the resort in full swing with all their slopes covered in snow.

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  • January 26, 2019 at 5:24 pm
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    Wow! I love mountains because to see wonderful views from the top, it really makes me feel so amazing and seeing the beauty of the place. Love this post so much!

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  • January 26, 2019 at 3:42 pm
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    Those mountain roads in the first part of your adventure appear a bit terrifying! But I’m sure the amazing views (and hot chocolate) at the top made the ascent worth it. Your trip to the miners’ camp looks fascinating, and finishing with the wine and cheese by that gorgeous lake sounds like a perfect ending to the day!

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    • January 27, 2019 at 1:12 am
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      A bit terrifying it certainly was Carrie Ann! I found everything about the Andes mountains to be fascinating and a little challenging in areas, but so worth it. Thank you so much for reading and leaving such a lovely comment.

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  • January 26, 2019 at 10:13 am
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    What an amazing experience Nicole! My dream is to see this part of the world hopefully this year, and you’ve really inspired me to do so. I could feel the cold from just looking at your photos lol! It’s so great to read about the smaller towns there too, I felt I was there!

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    • January 27, 2019 at 1:09 am
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      That is so lovely of you to say Lisa and I know that your travels have taken you to some fabulous places as well. I do hope you do travel here soon and that you let me know how it all goes. Thank you for your kind comment as always.

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  • January 26, 2019 at 9:19 am
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    I have read of Andes mountains in Geography when I was small. Never thought of visiting it. It’s like the massive God of mountains. It’s a spectacular sight. I am so glad to have known someone who had been there. You go, girl!

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  • January 25, 2019 at 9:58 pm
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    such a detailed post on this beautiful spot on earth.. Chile is a place I do want to visit.. (well, most of S America for that matter) and you make it so much more tempting

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  • January 25, 2019 at 8:19 pm
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    I imagine someone might feel a little dizzy going around those hairpin turns. Can you imagine how treacherous they’d be iced over?

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    • January 26, 2019 at 7:24 am
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      That’s something I wouldn’t even want to think about Anna! And of course there are times that does happen – but fortunately not on this trip! I do notice though that you never get told about these things BEFORE you agree to make the journey though! Thank you sharing that thought.

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  • January 25, 2019 at 6:57 pm
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    I would love to visit the Andes Mountains in Chile! Some of your photos look similar to Venezuela which I have visited. Wow, that is one crazy hairpin turn!

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    • January 26, 2019 at 7:21 am
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      You bet Lori! There were quite a few of those turns and I was quite pleased to hear that our driver was very experienced on that particular road. I would not be able to have driven at the same speed he did and feel confident. Great views though from a passenger’s point of view, both ascending and descending. Thank you for reading and commenting.

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  • January 25, 2019 at 5:30 pm
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    This would be an amazing place to visit. We went to Ecuador about 10 years ago and it was incredible. I would love to visit South America again!

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  • January 25, 2019 at 5:21 pm
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    How beautiful! I love the picture of the Andes Mountains above the city. I’ll have to add this to my bucket list!

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  • January 25, 2019 at 4:19 pm
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    Definitely a place I’ve never been, but it is on our bucket list. It is gorgeous and I’ll bet looks even better in person!

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  • January 25, 2019 at 3:36 pm
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    Visiting off-peak is a wonderful idea. I think its more relaxing than having a lot of tourists around. Did not realize how beautiful the Andes Mountains are. Will include this on our bucket list.

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    • January 26, 2019 at 7:12 am
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      I think off-peak is often the better way to go as well John, depending on the location of course. The Andes are indeed beautiful all year round if you ask me but I am so happy to have visited when I did.

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  • January 25, 2019 at 3:11 pm
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    Beautiful pictures! What an adventure! It’s on our bucket list of places to visit.

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  • January 25, 2019 at 2:48 pm
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    I really want to visit the Andes mountains one day! I still have to visit a lot of Latin american countries

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    • January 26, 2019 at 7:09 am
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      Well as the Andes Mountain Range is spread over 7 different countries in South America, you have a lot of choice when it comes to deciding where you would like to explore them. And I certainly agree that South America as a whole offers so much to see in so many countries. Thank you so much for reading and leaving a comment Chloe.

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  • January 25, 2019 at 9:57 am
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    Nicole how gorgeous. Eye-catching shots here. The Andes in Peru boggled my mind. I recall descending and feeling like we had cruised just a tiny bit above the 2 mile high mountains.

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  • January 25, 2019 at 12:50 am
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    What a beautiful place. I never realized just how beautiful the Andes are. Thank you for sharing this.

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    • January 25, 2019 at 6:51 am
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      Thank you very much Sandra. I was looking forward to seeing it and I only really appreciated it’s real beauty once I was there. It’s a place I would happily visit again (and again!).

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  • January 25, 2019 at 12:31 am
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    I’ve really not been that outdoorsy, but your post makes me want to reconsider that! The Andes seems to be such a great idea for a new experience.

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    • January 25, 2019 at 6:49 am
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      Even for outdoorsy people, the Andes are considered a great experience Gena. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment and I hope you do embrace the outdoors more as I think you will really enjoy doing so.

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  • January 24, 2019 at 10:49 pm
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    This looks like a really interesting trip! my husband really wants to visit Chile but currently saving for other adventures! It’s on our list at least!

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    • January 25, 2019 at 6:47 am
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      I know what you mean Jenn – so many places in the world, so little time! I think you will find Chile a really worthwhile destination on a future trip sometime and thank you for commenting.

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  • January 24, 2019 at 10:01 pm
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    Wow, a trip to the Andes sounds so interesting and it definitely looks beautiful! I can’t imagine what the altitude felt like!

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    • January 25, 2019 at 6:45 am
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      It was definitely cold Sarabeth – especially the first trip to the ski resort. Oddly enough though we saw more snow and ice on the second trip, and it didn’t feel anywhere near as cold.

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  • January 24, 2019 at 9:57 pm
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    Oh wow I have always wanted to go to Chile. Your pictures are so beautiful! Great post, I learned a lot.

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  • January 24, 2019 at 9:40 pm
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    The Andes Mountains look like a lovely place to visit. I haven’t been here before, but now I want to add it to our family travel bucket list, for sure.

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  • January 24, 2019 at 9:30 pm
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    Oh wow! SO beautiful! WHat a great adventure to go on. I would love to visit Chile at some point!

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  • January 24, 2019 at 8:30 pm
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    How blue is that lake! We have just travelled from Ushuaia to Santiago and it was hard to show how blue the lakes are in that region just from a photograph. We never enjoyed a lake view with wine cheese and a fruit platter. That sounds like my type of tour. The Andes are a beautiful but rugged mountain range. Thanks for the information.

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    • January 25, 2019 at 6:37 am
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      Your welcome Jane and thank you for reading and leaving a comment. I agree the water there is incredibly blue and the wine in Chile along with cheese and fruit was very nice for sure. If you are still in Santiago you should try to get up into the Andes – it is certainly well worth it.

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