The Story behind Chile Off Track
Hi! I am Suzanne, originally from the Netherlands and the proud owner & founder of Chile Off Track since 2008.
Animals and Nature
I am a huge animal & nature lover, which is the main reason I started Chile Off Track: to share the beauty of Chile’s nature and specifically the area around Santiago, that has many beautiful but hidden spots, which you can only get to know through a local.
Moving to Chile
Leaving the political lobby industry in Brussels, I moved to Chile in 2008. This was before smartphones, whatsapp and google maps. It was the time of finding your way through road maps and illegible mini city street maps. It was one big adventure. Once, while simply driving around Santiago, I was pulled over by the police because I was apparently driving against the traffic. After explaining, I was let off the hook by one policeman, while the other policeman tried to make small talk,. He asked what I thought of the Chilean people and I candidly replied that I thought they were very ” caliente” (warm/ hospitable). At once I saw him grimace and I realized I had said something wrong. I realized I had said the Chileans were very “passionate”…
Falling in Love
Anyway, my Chilean adventures had just started in my 4×4 with my newfound street dog Spanky. I explored all of Chile’s 4000 km long country, making trips left and right into the country. I drove from Santiago to the Atacama Desert, with Spanky in the back. I drove as far as possible to the South and fell in love with the Lake District and the wild scenery.
Passion for Wine
Chile for me is the country where I discovered my passion for wine and learned a lot about it at many of the great wineries. It’s also the country where I can saddle a horse and disappear for days, horseback riding either through the rugged Andes Mountains near Santiago or into wild native rainforest for days, crossing fields of dried lava rivers without meeting another soul. This country, where you can meet native Mapuches who live so isolated, it takes them at least 9 hours on horseback to reach the nearest point of civilization. It is the land of volcanoes & natural hot springs. And it is magical.
Through our tours we want to share our passion for Chile’s breathtaking nature, animals and wine with you! With a background of over a decade of adventure tours we will guarantee you have a unique experience!
See you soon!
When Chile Off Track first started, we were exclusively offering tours in nature – think of sunset horseback rides in the Andes and day-treks amidst flora and fauna found only in our beautiful corner of the world. Then our clients started to request city tours, winery tours and excursions to Valparaiso. So, still following our ethos of creating unique, personal adventures, we widened our scope to the array of experiences we offer today!
Our mission, however, is still to take you outside the city to green and happy places, and to share Chile‘s amazing nature sights, which are sometimes located just out of the city of Santiago! Even when we take you on a city tour, we still take you on the roads less traveled through back streets, full of local life, and share our inside knowledge of this wonderful place.
- We use the leave no trace policy for our tours & clean up after ourselves
- We use hiking trails in national parks with which we support for their maintenance, cleanness and preservation
- We teach visitors & locals about nature here in Chile and make them aware & care
- We teach our visitors about local culture, customs & history
- We use local providers for our horse tours and support their families
- We take our visitors to small artisan shops & communities to support their initiatives
- We use accommodation facilities owned by local families in the South of Chile for our longer tours and help to sustain them
- We use the newest vehicles with the least possible emission
- We use local drivers to help to support them & their families
- We use recycled paper bags for our visitors with healthy snacks & fruit
- We purchase local artisan ceramics as a small gift to thank our visitors for traveling with us
- We use local people to assist us in our daily activities, such as finance & web maintenance
- We run a virtual office and do 99% on the computer = less paper work
- We have a virtual office; our people work from home = no commuting
- We have a supportive work environment with personalized working arrangements