Chile’s natural landscapes, flora, and fauna are fascinating and enchanting, but the country also has a cultural landscape, one transformed by human agency over the millennia. Few areas are truly pristine, but their landscapes are no less interesting for all that.
As outliers of the great Andean civilizations, the Norte Grande and Norte Chico, and even parts of the heartland, still show tangible evidence of those times. While their monuments are not so grand as Peru’s and Bolivia’s, many pukarás (fortresses), pircas (walls), and pre-Columbian roads survive, along with geoglyphs covering entire hillsides along ancient trade routes.
In the southern heartland, the Sur Chico, and Patagonia, shifting cultivators and nomadic pre-Columbian peoples left less-conspicuous landmarks, but there are some aboriginal rock art sites. One of the continent’s most important early man sites is at Monte Verde, near Puerto Montt .