Three Favorite Hikes In The Lakes Region Of Chile

Ask Upscape’s Manuel Bastidas if he’d like to talk about his favorite hikes in the Lakes Region and you can expect a very excited reply. He’s been hiking throughout Chile for many years and the south is his specialty. The Lakes Region holds a special place in his heart. Here are two hikes he thinks [...]

Hiking in El Chaltén

Pocket-sized El Chaltén might be just another small Argentine Patagonian town, were it not for the unparalleled access it has to many of the hiking trails within the Argentine national park of Los Glaciares. This is the same park where the Perito Moreno Glacier tumbles into the lagoon below, but the two parts of the […]

Visiting Malalcahuello Chile’s Volcano Alley

Chile has been long known for some of our bigger attractions including Torres del Paine and Easter Island. But much less far afield, practically in Santiago’s own backyard is one of the most geologically active and stunning valleys Chile has to offer: Malalcahuello (mal-AL-ka-WAY-o). This area, some seven hours’ drive from Santiago, or an hour […]

5 Typical Chilean Summertime Foods

While in the northern hemisphere, people are snuggling closer to warm fireplaces and bundling up before going outside, here in Chile we are enjoying the long days of summer. Summertime for many Chilean means trips to the beaches and mountains, to the north and south, to visit family and share meals. Here’s some of what [...]

Pucón – Among Volcanoes and Monkey Puzzle Trees

One of our favorite places to use as a base camp in the Lakes Region of Chile is the outdoor activity town of Pucón. There is a rich and varied landscape, including volcanoes, birdlife and a very special tree that for millennia has sustained the Mapuche, the original inhabitants of this land. On a visit […]

6 Most Romantic Destinations In Argentina

People go on vacations with many goals in mind, photography, relaxation, a total disconnect from their daily lives. Couples looking for a little private time and romance seek out unique experiences, privacy, and excellent service. Here are some of Upscape’s favorite picks in Argentina. We start with the west of the country, from north to [...]

Exciting Festival In Northern Chile: La Tirana

The stunning north of Chile, with its desert landscapes, seems otherworldly in so many ways. Many people come to visit the oasis town of San Pedro de Atacama, a great jumping-off point for visiting the vast and varied landscapes and a great starting point for any trip to the north. But what about the rest […]

The History of San Pedro de Atacama

Arriving, as most people do, by air to the pocket-sized town of San Pedro de Atacama (2500 inhabitants), visitors often remark on what they perceive as the barrenness of the landscape. Many different shades of ochre, beige and brown stretch as far as the eye can see, with the occasional tree-windbreak as visitors make the [...]

Hiking Cerro Castillo

Way down in the south of Chile, where the highway system winnows down to one sinuous road, much of it unpaved, lies one of our favorite parts of Patagonia. The Carretera Austral, or southern highway, connects the area near Puerto Montt with a string of tiny towns and hamlets through the region of Aysén. Here, [...]

Surfing In Chile

Make no mistake, when you visit Chile, the ocean makes an impression. Whether that’s driving one of the lonely coastal roads of the north, visiting Viña del Mar or Valparaíso or dining in some of the freshest seafood the world has to offer, the importance of the vast Pacific Ocean on the country cannot be […]

The Best Scenic Bike Routes In Chile

It’s hard for us to choose our favorite scenic bike routes in Chile. For us, the near and far south of the country draw us in again and again, where we cycle through the productive wine and agriculture valleys, over the coastal range, beside glittering lakes and past volcanoes near and far. Choosing our absolute […]

The Wine-o’s Guide To The Wine Valleys Of Chile

It is no secret that Chile makes some of the best wine in the world. Chile is famous for having “rediscovered” the lost vines of Carménère, hidden in plain sight, growing and having been mistaken for Merlot wine for years after the phylloxeria blight wiped out the original stock in France. Chile is increasingly becoming […]

Candombe, Afro-Uruguayan Culture in Montevideo

Of the things you may know about Uruguay, you may know that Montevideo is the capital, a city of interesting architecture and history, and that it has the longest continuous sidewalk in the world, the 22 km-long rambla which follows the Río de la Plata, and is a main meeting place for strollers and mate […]

The Mysteries of Easter Island

There are many things that give visitors pause when contemplating the realities of Easter Island. How did this tiny speck of land in the Pacific Ocean—2000 miles from the Chilean coastline—come to be populated? And how did the vast moai stone statues arrive at the ahus (ceremonial platforms) where they were erected? Visitors often find […]

Upscape’s Restaurant Picks for In and Near Mendoza, Argentina

Mendoza is a small, cozy Argentine city set against the Andes. It is home to four central plazas that define the downtown, where at any time of day you’ll see Mendocinos taking the time to sit and talk, and drink mate, that ubiquitous herbal drink that many Argentines would not be caught without. But most […]

Upscape’s Favorite Ski Resorts in Chile

As the spring equinox is upon northern hemisphere-dwellers, crocuses start to bud and warm summer days lurk nearby, there can also be a sense of loss of a killer ski season gone too soon, and a need to get stay on the slopes longer, to push harder, wishing you could extend the ski season to […]

A Highlight of Buenos Aires: The Recoleta Cemetery

There are few names that more readily bring a single city to mind than Evita. And María Eva Duarte de Perón, the former first lady of Argentina—who died in 1952 at just 33 years old—is buried in none other than the Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires. Few visitors to Buenos Aires will skip this important […]

Best Spots to Photograph in Torres del Paine

Let’s face it, only part of the reason we travel to some of nature’s most beautiful places on earth is to breathe the rarified air, to witness the sunrises and sunsets, and to feel the hugeness of the earth. For many of us, there’s another reason as well. Many of us are there for the […]

Capturing Nostalgia with Instant Tours in Santiago, Chile

Imagine taking in a city with your own two eyes. The art, the history, the quirky corners and unexpected sights. Instead of taking dozens of digital photos that will never see the light of day, think about picking up a vintage Polaroid camera and consider carefully which few moments you’d like to remember. What would […]

Charlie Villard on Vendimia in Chile’s Casablanca Valley

From the time the grape vines first start to sprout leaves, Charlie Villard, along with fellow enologist Anamaria Pacheco—at family-owned Villard Fine Wines in Chile’s Casablanca Valley—is keeping track of their progress. This valley, which is close to Santiago, between the coastal range and the Pacific Ocean, is recognized as one of Chile’s premium cool […]

Behind-the-Scenes: Planning for 2019 Solar Eclipse in Chile

It's July 2, 2017 and the team is setting off from Upscape's Santiago office early morning for one of many scouting trips. The destination is more unknown than usual, a set of coordinates in the Chilean desert. The purpose, to advance the plans for an event to come exactly two years from tomorrow--the total solar eclipse [...]

Astronomy and the 2019 Total Solar Eclipse: A Chat with a Chilean Astronomer

Tips from a Chilean Astronomer Astronomer and friend to Upscape José Miguel Fernández Contreras remembers clearly what first attracted his attention to space. In 1986, he was five years old when Halley’s Comet crossed the Earth’s path, turning all eyes skyward to witness the spectacle. Years later, when he was deciding what to study in [...]

What to do when Torres del Paine is crowded?

Alternatives to...Torres del Paine By now you’ve likely heard of Torres del Paine, Chile’s most visited national park. It’s vast wonderland at any time of year, which has stands of native trees, guanacos (a relative to the llama), and the occasional shy puma along its vast glacial valleys. But in January and February, crowds can [...]

Does Digital Detox Make a Better Trip?

We’re all bombarded by it. Every day, on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest. In search of the mini dopamine hits we get in the form of likes on photos of ourselves, home improvement projects, kids and pets. And when we’re not focused on our own feeds, we’re seeing other people’s photos.  Vacations are prime times for an [...]

A Few Top Picks for Your Visit to Chile’s Wine Valleys

Our Vineyard Recommendations for Every Type of Visit Wine is one of the main attractions for many visitors to Chile, and at Upscape, we’ve spent a lot of time visiting wineries to curate exactly the type of wine experiences our guests want. There are many ways to approach planning winery visits, which include seeking out [...]

Hecho a Mano, Chilean Crafts Hotspots

Hecho a Mano, Chilean Crafts Hotspots For collectors of curiosities and handicrafts, there are some great items unique to Chile that you can pick up at some of the local handicrafts markets. But if you’ve got a little more time, and want to meet the artisans themselves, a bit of travel may be in order. [...]

Neighborhoods of Santiago, Chile

Passage in Time, Santiago Old and New People who visit Santiago often comment that while it seems like parts of the city are very old, other parts are surprisingly modern. We like the contrast, and think you will, too, which is why we’ve put together this list of some older and newer neighborhoods that you [...]

Where to Find Coffee and Cozy Cafés in Santiago, Chile

In Santiago in general, downtown and Providencia seem to have the highest concentration of Upscape-approved cafés, though nearby Ñuñoa and Las Condes also have some noteworthy places to get a coffee, tea, or hot chocolate as a pick me up any time of day. In some cases, it’s the coffee that draws us in and [...]

MOVI Night with Upscape

We attended MOVI Night 2017 to chat with our friends at MOVI about whats up and coming in the year of 2018. Established in 2009 by twelve founding members, the Movement of Independent Vintners (MOVI, for short) is an association of small Chilean wineries sharing a common passion to create meaningful vintages on a personal […]

Q&A with Four Local Business Owners in Santiago’s Hippest Neighborhood

We spent Small Business Saturday with our favorite neighbors in Barrio Italia, Santiago’s hippest neighborhood (though we may be biased). With a history of Italian car shops, creative furniture restoration woodworkers and a current rush of small restaurants, boutique hotels and stores, Barrio Italia is gem of contemporary Chilean culture with a charming undertone of […]

The Green Guide to Wine: Organic vs. Biodynamic vs. Natural

Consumer demand for high-quality, sustainable, organic, non-GMO, eco-friendly and fair trade food products has never been higher. And it’s no wonder that that driving force seeking out the best, most naturally-produced and purest foodstuffs for human consumption has overflowed into another field with a very discerning public: the world of wine. There have been many […]

Five Alternatives to Chile’s Most Visited National Park: Torres del Paine

By now you’ve likely heard of Torres del Paine, Chile’s most visited national park. It’s vast wonderland at any time of year, which has stands of native trees, guanacos (a relative to the llama), and the occasional shy puma along its vast glacial valleys. But in January and February, crowds can turn parts of this […]

The Ghost Towns that haunt the Southern Cone

If you happen to be in the Southern Cone during this Halloween season and are in search of a spooky experience, you are in luck. Throughout Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay, you can find Ghost Towns that are both viscerally haunting as well as rich in history.  Chaitén, Chile In May 2008, the former capital of […]

A Brief History of Santiago’s Street Art Scene

On a corner near my house in the República neighborhood of Santiago, there is a continually shifting display. On a solid brick wall, built to protect whatever’s inside (and I have no idea what’s inside), there is space for anywhere from one to six murals, depending on how big they are. I passed by the […]

Traveling the Length of Chile in Ten Typical Dishes

This culinary journey through Chile from north to south, takes you from one extreme to the next over the course of a delicious meal made up of traditional Chilean dishes. Many of these meals are found throughout the length of Chile and can be found at most Chilean restaurants. But they originate where these ingredients […]

When Chile’s Desert Bursts with Color

If there is a single natural phenomenon that plant-lovers and beauty seekers spend a lifetime waiting for, it is the flowering desert. This event, which tends to happen infrequently, and only after rains uncharacteristic in the desert, is known to happen in three main places in the world: Australia, the United States, and the north […]

Nils Schlebusch: From Spain to Chile

Life is all about choices. You collect information, then weigh the pros and cons. If you’re lucky, you ask some experts along the way, and get good advice before making the decision. If you do the right research and talk to the right people, and add a dash of luck, the stars align and you […]

Eye-Catching Architecture in Chilean Hotels

With the 2016 Pritzker Prize awarded to Chilean Alejandro Aravena some eyes have recently shifted to Chilean architecture, its historical influences and modern day revival. From the regeneration of buildings across Santiago’s barrios to the modern construction along the coast, Chilean architecture is indeed having a moment. When traveling, experiencing the architecture and design of […]

The Vendimia: A Guide to Chile’s Harvest Festivals

The Vendimia: A Guide to Chile’s Harvest Festivals If you ask anyone when the most exciting time is to visit wineries and wine festivals in Chile, they’ll tell you it’s during the vendimia, or the harvest festival. Vendimias are locally-held events that are hosted by municipalities with the idea of bringing together wines from nearby […]

Hidden Gems of Buenos Aires

Any tour can take you to Buenos Aires’ Tango Milongas (dance halls), or to El Caminito, or through the surprisingly cat-filled Recoleta cemetery to visit Eva Perón (of Evita fame)’s grave. Once you’ve done all that, and strolled looking for antiques in San Telmo, and maybe even visited the theater-turned bookstore at Ateneo, and eaten […]

The Best Restaurants in Latin America 2016

Watching for the results of the World’s Best Restaurants is always exciting. But when it’s for Latin America, it starts to feel personal. Here’s a quick rundown of the Top 50 Restaurants in Latin America. On September 26, 2016, the fourth annual awards were announced for restaurants from all over Latin America and as in […]

Eight Can’t-Miss Restaurants in Buenos Aires

There are a few givens for visitors to Buenos Aires. You will hear music. You will see tango. You will see historical sights. And you will eat ridiculously well. On September 26th, 2016, The World’s 50 Best awarded 8 of Buenos Aires’ restaurants places in Top 50 Restaurants in Latin America. Coming for a visit? Here’s […]

Seven Essential Elements of 18, Chile’s National Holiday

Spring comes to Chile in September, and with it, the 18th, or dieciocho, as we fondly call our national holiday. It would be impossible to miss the ramp-up, with red white and blue bunting, plates, ribbons and decorations on cars and buildings around the country, but the real fun starts in the days before the […]

Chilean Culture 101: Everything You Need To Know

Visually, Chile may not look that different from other places you’ve lived or visited. Some spots in Santiago might remind you of the skyline from back home, for example. And with English-speaking hosts and guides it’s easy to stay ensconced in that easily-accessible Chile. But if you’ve come with the idea of exploring the country, […]

Animal Sightings in Argentina

An abundance of wildlife accompanies you wherever you go in Argentina. In seemingly the most unlikely of places, in the high desert, on long stretches of empty highway, animals are all around. You might spy a herd of llama-like guanacos grazing on a ridge, or surprise a family of ñandues, South America’s ostrich-like species, who […]

Our Favorite Bike Routes in Chile

Great cycle routes are one of the things we at Upscape pride ourselves on; Both Brian (Owner) and Manuel (Operations Manager) are passionate cyclers and constantly debating the best new routes. For travelers who want to keep active, Upscape offers several different trips in Wine Country and the Lakes Region. Like with family members, it’s […]

Meet Laura Moreno: A Story of Food, Wine and Spirit

“Without people,” Laura Moreno, part of the mother-son team that runs Espiritu Santo, one of the best restaurants in Valparaíso, “a city is a ghost town.” And without her, this restaurant—which sits on Cerro Bellavista, a hill in part of Valparaíso that gets a fair amount of foot traffic, from Chileans and foreigners alike—might be […]

Planning Your Ultimate Heli Ski Trip to Chile

Deciding to heli ski in Chile might be one of the best decisions you make on your trip down to the Southern Hemisphere. Chile has unparalleled helicopter access to some of the world’s sickest terrain, with 1,000 to nearly 2,500 meters of vertical drop per run. Skiers and riders average about 7,000 meters of vert […]

Boragó is One of the Best Restaurants in the World

Boragó restaurant in Santiago, Chile, takes prize in World’s 50 Best Restaurants competition, announced earlier this week. In all of Chile, you won’t get any more careful, exquisitely prepared or unusually presented food than Chilean Rodolfo Guzmán’s uptown Santiago restaurant, Boragó. But you can still get a reservation, provided you plan ahead, for his multi-course […]

Where to Find the Best Skiing in Chile

If you were to fold the world map in half, on the handy seam that is the equator, you would find Chile occupying the space that stretches from California up through Western Canada. The similarities don’t stop there. Our rocky Pacific coasts could be mistaken for one another at times, our Atacama Desert is represented […]

What’s New in the Chilean Food & Wine World

The last couple of years have brought big changes in gastronomy and wine culture, with lots of innovation and reclaiming of the old ways, as well as some newcomers doing their part to put Chile on the map. These are some of the recent additions that are worth getting excited about in the Chilean food […]

8 Reasons to Ski Portillo This Southern Winter

You know Chile’s got great access to the Andes, as they’re the backbone of this long, skinny country. But with so much powder, how can you be sure to hit some of the best runs and off piste Chile has to offer? Here are eight reasons to think about Portillo, with family or friends, and […]

12 Things You Didn’t Know About Uruguay

Uruguay, the diminutive nation mostly bordered by Argentina, is sometimes overlooked by visitors to South America. But what it lacks in size, it makes up for in location, easy access, and a wealth of culture, art, food and drink, including its iconic wine, Tannat. Here are twelve things you probably didn’t know about Uruguay. 1.    […]

Our Favorite Ski Slopes, Sleeps & Spots

We sat down with Brian Pearson, owner at Upscape, to find out about his top ski-related picks in Chile, where he has more than 15 seasons’ experience. Below are his top spots for everything from where to ski or snowboard on untracked snow, to where to get the American-style burger, or how to get the […]

World-Famous Street Art Culture in Valparaiso

Graffiti and street art are so intertwined in the identity of the port city of Valparaíso that, “if you’re coming to Valparaíso and you’re not seeing this, you’re not really getting the city.” So says Al Ramirez, who I met in an old walk up building in the “plan” part of Valpo. That is to […]

Unusual Wine Pairings with Derek Mossman

Doing a guided tasting with Derek Mossman, Canadian and part owner of Garage Wine Co., is dissimilar to any other you’re likely to experience. As he and his team buck the trends of conservative winemaking in Chile, he’d like you to drop some of your assumptions about wine as well. For Upscape’s clients, Derek does […]

A Beginner’s Guide to Chilean Wine

It might be enough to tell your casual wine-loving friends that you’re going to Chile to visit some wineries. But the people you know, who look to you for advice on where to go wine tasting, or to help them fill up what little empty space is in their cellars, are going to want to […]

Timeless Patagonia

Brian Pearson, owner of Upscape knows that he’s in Patagonia, he tells me, when the plane is flying in over the Balmaceda airport. Visible below is the broad Patagonian pampa he first visited when he was on a 7 month long backpacking trip with his wife, almost fifteen years ago. “It’s here,” he says, pointing […]

Wines of the Aconcagua Valley

On a trip up and out of Santiago to the Aconcagua Valley, you can’t help but notice how very South American it is. If you close your eyes, you couldn’t be in Napa, or anywhere else. The trees become sparser and the landscape becomes more desert-like and adobe buildings start filling in as you travel […]

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