Fly to the Calama airport and meet with the lodge staff. Arrive at the lodge and settle into your room before setting off to explore with your guide. Depending on which day you arrive, you might take an archaeological and cultural tour of the area. You can also visit the giant sand dunes and polychromatic rock formations of the Valley of the Moon.
Spend a few days familiarizing yourself with the Atacama with several a la carte excursions. Choose between visiting a stone craftsmen village, the famous Tatio Geysers, the world's largest open pit copper mine, or Atacama's salt flats, volcanoes, lagoons, and other wonderful and otherworldly landscapes. Most excursions depart after breakfast and return in the early- to mid-afternoon, leaving plenty of time to enjoy a good book from Terrantai's library, relax in the shade of the garden, or take a dip in the lodge's swimming pool.
If you choose to visit El Tatio Geysers, be prepared for an early morning. Watch the sun rise over the world's highest Geyser field. As the dawn breaks, you'll be treated to a stunning sight of steaming geysers set against the azure colored antiplano backdrop. A short hike around the geothermal field brings you to the thermal pools. As you walk, take care so as to avoid falling through the thin crust!
Depart from San Pedro de Atacama and return to the Calama airport. Fly to Santiago and explore the beautiful city of Santiago this afternoon! Visit historic downtown, including La Moneda, and the main square. Visit the famous Cerro Stana Lucia; make your way through the web of pathways and lush landscaped plazas. Finish your Santiago tour exploring the residential areas of Bellavista, Providencia and Las Condes.
Spend the day free to explore the area. Opt to visit the coast with a trip to Valparaiso, or visit the Santa Cruz valley for a winery tour today. Arrange an activity in advance or leave this day open to explore as you like.
Arrive at Puerto Montt at any time of the day. Meet your guide at the airport and set off towards Puerto Varas. En route, leave the main road to visit Lahuen Nadi, a private reserve where you can take a thirty minute walk in the native rainforest. View the famous Alerce trees - the second longest living tree species in the world at up to 4000 years old. Continue to lakeside Puerto Varas and stay in a renovated mansion. In the early twentieth century, Puerto Varas experienced significant German immigration and has a very unique architecture to show for it. Enjoy the rest of the day exploring the town.
Travel along the shores of Lake Llanquihue to the base camp near Ensenada. Receive a safety briefing and get fitted into your raft gear before enjoying a two-hour float on the beautiful and thrilling whitewater of the Rio Petrohue. The trip takes you through old growth forests and past cascading falls. Breathtaking views of the surrounding volcanoes and thunderous Class III-IV ride make this trip a perfect option for amateurs and enthusiasts alike. Return mid-day and enjoy the rest of the afternoon to explore Puerto Varas.
Take the day to explore Perez Rosales National Park, Chile's first named national park. Drive through picturesque farms along the lake to the Saltos de Petrohue, a lookout to the rushing waters of the Petrohue River which cascade over ancient lava flows into emerald pools below. Continue to a nearby walking trail on the lower slopes of the Osorno Volcano and ascend to get a view of the turquoise waters of Todos Los Santos Lake. Take in the numerous breathtaking vistas on your hike of the other nearby volcanoes and beautiful scenery. Enjoy a picnic lunch on your hike before retracing your way back to your vehicle and Puerto Varas.
Mount up on bikes with your guide and ride along the lake shore from Puerto Varas towards Frutillar, a German settlement which still features many buildings from previous generations. Passhistorical houses and quiet bays while experiencing stunning views over the three volcanoes across Lake Llanquihue. Ride into some well preserved areas of Frutillar before meeting up with a van to bring you back to Puerto Varas. Total ride time: 2.5-3 hours. Return To Puerto Varas and continue on your trip. Transfer back to the airport in the afternoon and catch your flight to Punta Arenas. Arrive in Punta Arenas and settle into your hotel.
In the morning, board a zodiac and take a trip from Punta Arenas to Magdalena Island to view over 100,000 Magellanic penguins! Spend your time along the shore of the island or take a walk to the lighthouse which is located up the winding trail through the penguin colony.
Enjoy some free time in Punta Arenas before your transfer to Torres del Paine National Park. Arrive at the EcoCamp, a deluxe camp of large igloo-shaped tents which were built to minimize environmental impact while providing a comfortable setting. The EcoCamp provides candlelight, feather comforters, composting toilets, and plenty of quiet to enjoy your spectacular surroundings.
Your time at the EcoCamp is flexible and includes a menu of guided excursions. Based on your interests and energy levels, choose the activities which will outline your days. Excursions range from a more relaxed pace to a strenuous hike. Set off with your guide to travel across the park to Grey Glacier. Along the way, stop to visit the Salto Grande waterfall and take a quick hike (one hour roundtrip) to the Mirador Nordenskjold for stunning views of Los Cuernos and the French Valley. In the afternoon, board the ferry and set off across the Lago Grey.
Hikers can also venture to the foot of the gigantic spires of El Paine (8 hours roundtrip). Weather permitting, witness the most famous sight of the Torres del Paine - the three granite monoliths which reach 9,400 feet - a testament to the massive glacial forces which carved them out of the earth.
Some travelers prefer to relax and stay at the EcoCamp to enjoy the vistas and tranquility, or take a walk apart from the guided group. Horseback riding and spa services can be arranged at the nearby Hosteria Las Torres during any free time or as an optional activity.
Early in the morning, transfer to Punta Arenas and board your late afternoon flight to Santiago (must be a flight departing after 3:00 pm from Punta Arenas). With a few more days, you can add extensions to the Atacama Desert, Isla Chiloe, a cruise around Tierra del Fuego to Argentina, or rafting in the Lakes District. We can also arrange for travelers to transfer from Torres del Paine National Park into Argentina to El Calafate to continue your Patagonia travel adventures.
$2420 single supplement