“Kathleen and Lief, wow! I have been to a place that you all have not visited! I feel like a seasoned traveler.
“Chile is the country I’ve visited the most. Five times in all From Punta Arenas in the south (twice) to Arica in the north (twice).
“I assume that with your contacts you know where you’d like to visit and report on. But if additional info might benefit, here are a few remarks:
“La Serena is nice, but it is decades past discovered and looks like San Diego with a historic district. Think beach high-rises and tourist restaurants. Nothing wrong with that, but definitely First World.
“Arica way up north is mainly a port and gateway to the northern Atacama. But it is a nice city, overlooked.
“I have stayed at Bahia Ingles and the nearby coastal developments just south of Caldera. Worth a look. I don’t recall any gringos.
“I like San Pedro de Atacama as a place to visit, but I don’t see living there.
“The lake district and Villarica and Pucon are more interesting. I could see retiring there: pleasant climate, pleasant people, good standard of living, good all around.
“I have not stayed in Iquique, but the downtown, on-the-water high-rise living looks spectacular.”
–Bob A., United States
Thank you, Bob, and to the dozen or so of your fellow readers who also wrote in with Chile contacts, recommendations, and travel tips. It’s all much appreciated.
Lief and I leave next Tuesday for our first Chile expedition. For this (too brief) getting-acquainted visit, we’re restricting our travels to Santiago. Will report from the road.