I return to certain countries with keen anticipation, and Chile is among them. The scenery varies wildly along its length, ranging from merely impressive to absolutely sensational. No matter where you are, neither the snowy peaks of the Andes nor the dramatic Pacific coastline is far away. Just as important for the traveler, Chile nowadays is a remarkably safe, stable and prosperous country, with none of the corruption and economic chaos plaguing some of its neighbors. Chile stands apart from the rest of the continent, separated both geographically and culturally. Much of Chile was never conquered by the Incas or the Spanish, and it retains an independent spirit to this day.