bianca rods
bianca rods
An Expat's Guide through South America


Chile is arguably the world’s skinniest country, running more than 2,500 miles North to South. Its geographic diversity is a nature-lover’s delight, ranging from the Atacama Desert in the North to the blustering winds of the Patagonian South. I have called Chile my home for the past year and have been lucky enough to experience the country’s spectacular diversity and wildlife.


Don’t let the lukewarm descriptions of Chile’s capital city deter you from adding this to your travel bucket list. Santiago is a hidden gem in Latin America, with countless museums, restaurants and hiking spots to keep you busy for weeks on end.


Chiloe Island is an under-the-radar destination in South America. Chiloe is made up of a series of archipelagos in Chile’s southern Pacific coast. Its stories of mythical lore still thrive among its inhabitants in the sleepy towns throughout the region. It is best known for its indigenous culture, ravishing culinary delights and a deep respect for nature and faith. 


“Valpo”’s grit and colorful, graffiti-stained walls have earned it the title of World Unesco Heritage Site. This port city, affably nicknamed “Valpo” by its locals, has garnered respect from thousands of travelers and residents alike, including the famous poet Pablo Neruda.


La Serena is famous for its pisco distilleries and abundant stargazing opportunities. It’s a short 5 hour ride from Santiago, but a world away in terms of the hustle and bustle of a big city. It’s a true retreat for someone who appreciates a stiff drink, clear skies and a small town charm. See why so many travelers make their way to this hidden gem.


Chilean Patagonia has been a source of adventure and wanderlust for decades now, and its allure seems to grow stronger each year. This large swath of land is made up of exotic flora and fauna and is my Top Destination in South America. Come check it out for yourself.


Pucon is most famous among the kayaking community, many who have settled semi-permanently as local guides in the area. It is an adventure lover destination for all seasons, including world-class skiing in winter and glorious hikes in the peak of summer. Don’t skip on the surrounding bucket list destination of Huilo Huilo, a biological reserve you have to see to believe.