Historic sites in Chile

Originally inhabited by the Mapuche, partly incurred into by the Inca and a one-time Spanish colony which fell into political instability in the early 20th century, the fascinating history of this nation is mirrored in the Historic Sites in Chile.

If you’re looking to explore Historic Sites in Chile and the surrounding area then you can browse our interactive map above or navigate further by using the links below.

Our selection of Historic Sites in Chile lets you plan some great things to see on your trips and, once you’ve explored these Historic Sites in Chile you can use our itinerary planner tool to plan out your trip and print off a free pocket guidebook.

Our database of historic sites keeps growing, but we may not cover them all. Remember, if you know of other Historic Sites in Chile, you can always add them to Trip Historic now by visiting our upload page.

Chile: Site Index

Photo by rewbs.soal (cc)

Cementerio General de Santiago

Containing some two million graves lining whole avenues and streets, Cementerio General de Santiago is one of the more unusual yet well-known historic sites in Chile.

DID YOU KNOW?

Cementerio General de Santiago is a vast cemetery in Chile’s capital which is the final resting place of many of the country’s leading political and social figures. Almost a city within a city, Cementerio General de Santiago is a labyrinth of elaborate tombs and avenues.

Amongst its over two million graves, Cementerio General de Santiago houses those of most of Chile’s former presidents including Arturo Alessandri (1868-1950), Eduardo Frei Montalva (1911-1982) and Salvador Allende (1908-1973).

Cementerio General de Santiago also has numerous monuments, such as one to the victims of the dictatorship of General Pinochet.

Photo by Historvius

Easter Island

A tiny island isolated in amidst the ocean, Easter Island may not seem like one of the historic sites in Chile, but its special territory status does make it one of them and with its iconic moai stone heads, this UNESCO World Heritage site is also a popular one.

DID YOU KNOW?

Easter Island (Rapa Nui) in Chile is a remote island surrounded by 4,000 km of ocean and with a mysterious past.

Discovered by Dutch explorers in 1722, Easter Island – so named because the explorers landed on Easter Sunday – is thought to have been inhabited since 700AD and perhaps even as early as the fourth century AD. This is still disputed, as is the origin of the people of Easter Island. Most scientists now believe that the first inhabitants were of Polynesian descent.

Perhaps the most famous aspects of Easter Island are its almost 900 head shaped statues, known as moai. Originally known as the “living faces of our ancestors”, the moai are incredibly large and heavy stone statues which are thought to have been built in around 1000AD to protect the islanders. When they were found, the moai were not standing and a large number have since been erected upright.

Much of the reason behind the mystery of Easter Island is due to the vast reduction in its population over the years. When found, Easter Island had around 12,000 inhabitants, since diminished to around 110 for a variety of reasons.

Prior to the arrival of the explorers, evidence suggests that, in the seventeenth century, Easter Island underwent a period of civil war, even cannibalism. During this time, the moai were pulled down. However, the people of Easter Island were found to be healthy and at peace when the Dutch arrived. It was only afterwards that disease and natural disasters took their toll.

Today, Easter Island makes up the Rapa Nui National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Once there, visitors can explore the sites, including the moai heads and the quarry at the Rano Raraku volcano. Easter Island is quite small, so it can be toured within a day or two.