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Activities & Transport
- Wildlife Watching
- City Tour
- Car with driver
Main travel focus
In-Depth Chile Tour
- Day 2: Discover the beautiful Chilean capital
- Day 5: Witness geysers spurting into the dawn sky
- Day 7: On emerald waters worthy of all the saints
- Day 10: Make friends with a giant pack of penguins
What do you really know about Chile? Well, no matter how much of a Chileno know-it-all you may be, this trip will still be full of incredible surprises. From walking through a moonscape, to being present at the natural ritual of geysers spurting at dawn, to packs of penguins and the cultural treasures of an up-and-coming capital with a long colonial past, the surprise meter is constantly going off in this wildly, beautifully varied country. This is your chance to get to know a broad sweep of the different extremes Chile offers the world, and to do so in the depth it really deserves. Forget normal: this is Chile, and this is how it should be done.
- Lodging at selected hotels with breakfast
- Regular transfers and excursions with English/Spanish-speaking local guides
- Visit to penguin colony in Magdalena Island October - March (subject to weather)
- Entrance fees to parks
- Meals not mentioned in itinerary
- Travel Insurance
- Voluntary tips
Example Trip to customize
Things are about to get a little Chile, and this is something you're going to be quite happy about. From the airport, you'll head to Santiago itself to check in to your selected hotel. Once you've settled in, the afternoon will be devoted to a city tour of this captivating city, checking out the Main Square, the Cathedral, Post Office Headquarters, and Santiago City Hall. This tour will also encompass the Government House La Moneda and some of the older neighborhoods bursting with historical charm. You'll then fast-forward to the future, when you head to the more modern, swankier East Santiago. Then, it's time to get back to your hotel to rest up for what's to follow.
Pacific Ocean coast
Make sure you're good to your stomach this morning by stocking up on your breakfast, because today, you'll be headed to on a full-day tour to check out Viña del Mar's Quinta Vergara Amphitheatre, where the International Song Festival is held each year; plus San Martin Ave., Peru Ave., Sotomayor Square, El Peral Funicular, and the Yugoslav Corridor. All in all, you'll be tired, but satisfied by the time your head hits your Santiago hotel pillow tonight.
Walking through the Valleys of Moon and Death
After a breakfast that will be nothing short of sumptuous, you'll leave the hotel, and then, continuing the trend, leave Santiago too. Don't worry: this is only so you can get to some of the world's most dramatic scenery. You'll be dropped off in Calama, in the middle of the Atacama Desert, and then head to San Pedro, passing the spectacular Domeyko Mountain Range as you do. And then, in the afternoon, you'll be heading out of this world, as you first moonwalk through Moon Valley, then pass the Salt Mountain Range, to get a panoramic eyefull of Death Valley. It's then a climb up to a towering dune to say hello to the Tres Marias, all followed by a sunset of magical proportions over the valley. You'll still be marveling about all you've seen today as you head back to San Pedro for the night.
The dramatic Atacama Salt Flats
After your first breakfast after your life-changing walk through the valleys of Moon and Death, you'll continue with the spectacular, with a trip to Atacama Salt Flat, Chaxa Lagoon, and the Flamingos National Reserve. The latter spectacle is where you'll spot half of the six different kinds of flamingos that can be found anywhere on earth. From there, you'll head on up to the high plain lagoons of Miscanti and Miñiques, before a luscious lunch in Socaire. The super sightseeing doesn't stop in the afternoon, as you check out the town of Toconao, San Lucas Church, and Campanario Tower. It's then back to good old San Pedro for the night.
Geysers blowing at dawn
Sometimes, you need to get up early in the morning to see something incredible. Today is one of those days, because, once you've done rubbing the sleep out of your eyes, you'll rub them again in amazement at the El Tatio Geysers, which happen to be located in the world’s highest geyser field. These old geysers burst up into the atmosphere every day at dawn, causing beautifully unusual mineral formations and spouting towering clouds of steam. After a trek through this freak of nature, you'll be treated to a freakishly good breakfast, and then soak your bones in the freaking natural hot springs nearby. From there, it's back to old faithful San Pedro, followed by an afternoon visit to Cejar Lagoon, smack-bang in the middle of the Great Salt Flat. The high concentration of salt and lithium in this lagoon leaves the Dead Sea for dead as far as beauty and floating ease go. Float to your heart's content, and then head back to your hotel for a contented sleep.
Time to head South
Dig into your delicious hotel breakfast, and then get ready for a day of travel, as you zip off to Puerto Montt by plane, before transfering to Puerto Varas. Once you get there in the afternoon, you'll have a fruitful little excursion to Frutillar, and then sleep in comfort at your Puerto Varas hotel.
Go chasing majestic waterfalls
By now, you're probably getting used to the sumptuousness of your breakfasts, but again today, Chile won't fail to delightfully surprise. Today's source of wonder is Ensenada, which borders Lake Llanquihue. Here, you'll go to the Petrohue River Waterfalls, and then a wondrous boat tour over Lake All Saints' emerald waters. The destination is Peulla, as this affords a panoramic view of Osorno, Puntiagudo, and the sublime Tronador Volcanoes. Lap up a luscious lunch, before returning to Puerto Varas for the night.
Off to Chiloe Island
Today after breakfast, you'll be heading to a land of myth, the gorgeous island of Chiloe, home of numerous distinguished churches and festivities. They also make a pretty fine lunch here, as you'll soon find out. It's then back to Puerto Varas and bed.
To the next port
Stock up at breakfast today, because you'll be moving on. This is a day for going places, as you head to Punta Arenas, where you'll transfer to your new hotel for a good night's sleep. You'll need it for the treats in store for you on the morrow.
Magellan Penguins! Everywhere!
Break your fast well at the hotel, and then jump on a boat that will take you through the Magellans to Magdalena Island. This isle is the home to the largest colony of Magellan Penguins in the world, which certainly justifies a visit, don't you think? Have a leisurely mosh with your penguin friends, and then waddle back to Punta Arenas, so you can get on the bus to Puerto Natales, which you'll reach before nightfall.
A world of (Torres del) Paine
Welcome the day with a hearty hotel breakfast, and then head on your merry way to the majestic Torres del Paine, where you'll explore the Cave of the Milodon, where 12,000-year-old remains of this mysterious prehistoric herbivore were discovered. The saga then continues in the National Park, taking in Nordenskjold Lake, Pehoe Lake, and Salto Grande. Trekking through a forest of lenga trees towards a viewpoint of Grey Glacier with its impressive ice floes, is what's next on this jaw-dropping day, and then you'll be dropping it again at Amarga Lagoon. Do your best to put it back in its normal position is you return to Puerto Natales: you wouldn't want to drool all over your nice hotel bed, now, would you?
Border hopping over to Argentina
Well, even if you didn't drool all over your bed, you'll be hard-pressed to not do the same when presented with your delicious hotel breakfast this morning. Then, you'll be jumping country, heading across the border to Argentina, with a trip to the Perito Moreno glacier your fine reward for such efforts. Don't fret, though: you'll be back in Chile sweet Chile tonight.
Back to the Capital
Another splendid morning, another splendid breakfast. You could get used to such things. From there, you'll go to the aiport, from where you'll whisk away to the nation's capital once more. You'll be in your Santiago hotel before you know it. (Optional: Farewell dinner at a typical Chilean restaurant with folk music and dances: including transfer out/in from the hotel: US$ 100).