12 Images

Adventure, due south

The Land Rover LR3 pushes on through the slack tide on a Chilean beach near Pichidangui, just north of Valparaiso. (Dan Neil / LAT)
A courtyard fire warms patrons dining alfresco at the Café Adobe, a rather chic outpost in San Pedro de Atacama. (Dan Neil / LAT)
The rolling pampas along a section of the Chile-Argentina border can be a welcome respite for those passing through arid landscape on the long road south. (Dan Neil / LAT)
The Pan-American Highway stretches thousands of miles, ending in Chile at the island of Chiloé. (Dan Neil / LAT)
Driving Chile
A photograph of the author’s wife kept him company on the adventurous driving journey. (Dan Neil / LAT)
Chile’s string-bean dimensions make for a varied driving experience for auto writer Dan Neil, traversing Volcán Sinbad in a Land Rover. (Dan Neil / LAT)
Carretera Austral
Along the Carretera Austral, farmers and ranchers still rely on oxcarts (Dan Neil / LAT)
Driving Chile:
Dawn breaks on Lago llanquihue, from the window of the aptly named Bellavista Hotel. (Dan Neil / LAT)
Driving Chile:
Tourists walk along the shore of Lago llanquihue in Puerto Varas, in the Chilean Lake District, with Volcan Osorno in the background. (Dan Neil / LAT)
Driving Chile
South of Santiago, the author stops to buy boiled-milk pastries from one of dozens of roadside sellers. (Dan Neil / LAT)
Driving Chile:
South of La Serena, following an unmarked, wobbly dirt road west from Ruta Cinco, the author finds a maritime cactus garden ending in cliffs plunging into the Pacific. (Dan Neil / LAT)
Driving Chile:
Pink flamingoes seek sustenance from a salt lagoon in Salar de Atacama. The largest salt flat in Chile defines the heart of the Atacama Desert (Dan Neil / LAT)