Chile Culture Guide
People have flocked to places of historical interest for as long as tourism has existed. Some of the most visited destinations in the world s are directly related to ancient civilizations, or home to a specific ruin. The major constructions of humanity, draw millions of tourists to remote parts of the world, one of these places could be Chile, which holds the remains of several pre-Columbian cultures. With the appointment of the new wonders of the world in 2007, the exploration of human history and visits to areas that house these buildings or structures has increased tenfold.
Trips to historical places and cultural tourism can be loosely defined as visits to transcendent places. Historic destinations can be interpreted as ruins, battlefields, cities, churches, temples, or simply the location of an important event. There are large sites, such as the new Seven Wonders of the World and on the other hand, there are smaller sites that are relatively unknown and many of them have never been visited. Sometimes, these destinations are located next to a highway or an airport, while others sometimes require a week hiking through jungles and forests or through the mountains to reach the final destination. Many of these sites represent the highlights of human history, but you can also visit places that are just memories of ancient unknown cultures. The first places, in general, are places that have seen extraordinary events like wars or unprecedented advances in the history of mankind. These are the places that you only know through television and books or in history class at school or college. These monuments of humanity can sometimes not be as great, but the story around them is what makes them worth visiting.<< Back to the top
Laws and Regulations
The laws are strict and are usually established to protect the ancient and historically transcendent sites, despite of this, they are rarely enforced. To ensure that future generations can see the same ruins and historical sites that we can see, today, there are certain steps to take that everyone should follow. Refrain from touching the walls, sculptures, try to stay on marked trails and roads, do not climb up the ruins, and it is very, very important, to respect plants and animals. These are the rules that one must obey. Take pictures, record videos or drawings, but don’t leave a trace.
In many poor countries, tourist travel guides and even the guards at these places often try to sell small stones or relics of the visited places for tourists. In most cases, these sales are highly illegal or simply based on the transfer of fake products. Most countries have severe restrictions that go against the trafficking of its cultural heritage and in some cases people have been sentenced to harsh prison or hefty fines.<< Back to the top
Training for your History and Culture vacation
Exploring a historic destination does not require an overwhelming amount of training, but basic training in different aspects. Most people who visit ancient ruins are there simply to see the size or beauty that they possess, while a guide gives lectures of historical events and structural details. Most people generally know very little about the historical destinations to which they are going. Take your time to read and understand about ancient civilizations and building techniques. Attending lectures by scientists and experts in schools, universities, libraries and clubs is also a good way to learn a little more about what is happening on the various tours.
A good general physical condition is important for walking in the hot sun all day. Most ancient sites require a lot of walking and climbing up and down stairs to be fully seen. Drinking plenty of water and eating balanced meals are musts to maintain your energy and health levels. If you go on excursions in isolated lagoon areas, you may be required to be in great shape as you need to walk up and down various mountains or hills in the heat or extreme cold, and besides all that, on these paths, you need to take a lot of food and equipment with you.
Equipment for a culture and history vacation
There are no pieces of equipments that you are in dire need of taking with you when you visit historic sites, except for an anxious mind. However, some accessories can help make the trip easier. A small backpack to carry items of basic necessity like water, sunscreen, sunglasses, maps, and a camera or phone. Guides for the sites and books about historic sites and related civilizations are a good idea to take with you, so you can use the time while waiting or flying to destinations in planes, trains and buses to read.
The rain can last for weeks, even during dry seasons, a strong rain shower may occur, so waterproof and fast drying clothing is a good idea. Ponchos, raincoats and umbrellas are also a good idea to take in your luggage. Sun protection in the form of hats, sunglasses and sunscreen is also important. Sandals with Velcro straps can be a blessing to many in the tropics. They are sturdy enough to climb the stone steps and across rivers without fear of rocks or branches damaging your feet.
Binoculars are an easy tool that can give you a much better view of a distant place, plant or animal. This tool allows you to see things that are hundreds of feet away and hidden among the dense foliage of the jungle. Similarly, a decent camera set-up is a good idea if you have spent a lot of money on the transcendent trip. Digital SLR cameras are getting cheaper these days and can turn your photos into works of art. Zoom lens cameras significantly improve your photos when shooting wildlife that is very small or simply too far away, but a good lens that covers at least 100 mm is sufficient. When shooting with no experience with a simple and inexpensive camera, even with a small zoom, you can still get some decent pictures, but do not expect national geographical photography awards.<< Back to the top
"Ethnic tourism" is a great way to discover and learn about the native cultures of a country. In the highlands of Chile, in Arica, Iquique and Antofagasta, you can explore small towns where people still practice the traditions and customs of the Aymara culture (including the colorful celebrations). Their daily life is a product of this culture’s contact with the Incas and the Spanish conquistadors. You will marvel at the churches, museums and archaeological sites of the area, where you can learn more about pre-Columbian cultures.
Easter Island offers the opportunity to see the mysterious Moai statues and have direct contact with the Rapa Nui culture, which can be experienced at peak during the celebration of the Tapati Rapa Nui, held every February.
Do not miss the chance to visit the old town of Valparaiso, it has been selected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, of regional parties, like the central regions wine harvest Quasimodo processions and rodeos, as well as holding the La Tirana celebration in the Atacama Desert.
In the southern part of the country, you'll find ethnic tourism options organized around Temuco and Osorno, where Mapuche communities will show you their traditions and offer tours of parks whose conservation is monitored by the Mapuche.
If you visit Chiloé, locals share their legends with you and allow you sample their culinary offerings. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit local churches, of which 16 have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
All cities in Chile, and many of its villages are home to interesting museums where you can learn about local history and culture, as well as beautiful churches and historic buildings.<< Back to the top