This list just keeps on growing! Hopefully we’ll be ticking things of this list one by one.
1. Climb Cerro (mountain) El Plomo. Dirk’s wish is to climb the highest peak in the Andes mountain range, Aconcagua. In preparation for that, he’ll have to climb a lot of peaks with icy and snowy conditions and a high altitude. Cerro El Plomo is one of the peaks where you need crampons and ice picks to walk in the snow and ice. You need a good tent to camp in the snow – it’s not possible to reach the summit in one day. The snow covered peak is visible from Santiago.
✔2. Spend time in Vina del Mar. We have spent a few hours in this beautiful city next to Valparaiso, but we need more of this city by the sea! We had a great stroll through Vina and have our picture in front of the Watch of Flowers to prove that we were there!
4. Climb Volcano San Jose in Cajon del Maipo. We’ve been to Cajon del Maipo and this Volcano is of a similar level of difficulty to El Plomo. We need to buy some serious hiking equipment for our plans.
✔5. See Penguins somewhere. I assume that the penguins are in the South of Chile. All the souvenir shops sell penguin souvenirs, so I guess it’s something we have to see. Turns out that a very touristy activity to do in Ancud on the Chiloe island is to take a trip to watch penguins, so we did this the day after Christmas in 2013!
6. Hike the ‘W’-trail in Torres del Paine. This picturesque nature reserve in Patagonia in the South has been named the eighth wonder of the world. The ‘W’ trail is a very popular four day hike.
7. Eat a kilo empanada in Pomaire. Pomaire is famous for the pottery made there. A fun day trip from Santiago is to go there and eat traditional food. There are empanadas (chilean pastries) there that allegedly weigh a kilogram! Yikes!
8. Learn how to prepare a seafood dish (preferably cerviche). There are so many different types of seafood and fish for sale at the markets! I must just man up and learn to prepare seafood dishes. Cerviche is a delicious Peruvian dish made of raw fish, onion, lemon and cilantro.
✔9. Surf. Dirk needs to surf. Anywhere. Soon. We went to the beach in Curanipe!
10. Visit La Sebastiana in Valparaiso. The famous Chilean poet, Pable Neruda has many houses across Chile. I loved visiting his house in Santiago. I’m curious to see his casa in Valpo.
✔11. Visit the Chiloe Island. This island is more isolated than Chile and has a lot more culture than Santiago. There are houses and churches built from timber all over this large island. We were in Chiloe for 5 nights starting on Christmas Eve in 2013. The wooden churches are beautiful! Yes, it is true. It rains a lot on the island.
12. Touch the Rapa Nui statues on Easter Island (or Isla de Pascua). the island is a quick plane ride away from Santiago.
13. Learn Spanish. One day at a time.
14. Learn to knit a Chilean toy. The knitted toys are so cute! I bought needles and wool. It takes some dedication. I’ll have to start with something simple though.
15. Spend a weekend in Pichelemu. One of the nearest surf spots to Santiago.
16. Attend Lolapalooza. A fantastic international music festival! We’ve already bought our tickets for 2014! We’ll be seeing Red Hot Chillipeppers, Arcade Fire, Pixies, Imagine Dragons and a lot more bands over the last weekend in March! I’m super excited!
17. Go to Iquique.
18. Go to Bahia Inglesa.
19. Go to Coyhaique.
20. Do Rock Climbing in Rock climbing in Cajon del Maipu.
21. Camp on snow.
22. Take a ferry between the glaciers in the South.
23. Go to Chaiten.
24. Do the San Antonio wine route by train.