When it comes to natural beauty there is a certain cocktail of ingredients that definitely makes a country stand out. The most important ones are a low population density, a high variation in latitude, and varied climatic systems. There are several countries that check off these boxes. Naturally, the larger countries in the world have a distinct advantage. The USA, China, India, Norway, Canada, and many other countries can easily compete for the title of most beautiful country in the world.
For me, however, Chile is the most beautiful country that I've ever had the privilege to spend a lot of time exploring. Its terrific length of 4,300 kms takes it from sub-tropical latitudes all the way to the Antarctic.
On that note, Norway is a pretty solid contender and geographically looks a lot like the Northern-hemisphere Chile. Of course, Norway goes further North than Chile goes south so you can actually witness the wonderful northern lights from northern parts of Norway. But the similarities end there. Due to Chile being at a triple junction of geologic plates, the country tends to rock with earthquakes more often than almost any other place in the world. This also results in incredible landscapes with volcanoes rising up to touch the skies amongst ancient glacial lakes with ice that is over 20,000 years old!
We have extensively explored this extremely remote southern country over the past four years. What's astounding is that there is still a lot left to see! Chile is an Island nation with natural divides separating it from all its neighbors. To the north of this long country the Atacama desert separates it from its neighbors, to the south and west the Pacific Ocean cradles its delicate and ever changing coastline and to the east you have the mighty Andes mountains running the entire (4000km+) length of the country. I'll try to describe to the best of my abilities the stunning vistas that this country has on offer for any nature lover. Let's take a journey from the North of Chile to the South.
The North of Chile is dominated by the Atacama desert. It is the driest desert in the world. During the Mars mission NASA tested its rovers and other equipment in this environment since it closely resembles the environment on the red planet. Since we lived in Dubai, we are no strangers to desert environments. But the Atacama is so very different! I had never seen a desert backed by snow capped volcanoes rising from the sand! Since the Andes run the entire length of the country, the Atacama desert is no exception. You can take excursions to explore geysers and high altitude lakes that are formed due to melting snow and other natural processes. Yes, the driest place in the world has lagoons with fresh water high up in the mountains. There are also salt water lagoons which are formed due to ground water running through rock salt and eventually escaping to form pools where flamingos come to eat.