This phenomenal 7-day tour leads you through the heart of Chile’s gorgeous Central Valley. Winery tours and tastings of excellent vintages complement breathtaking scenery along the Pacific Coast and the contemporary flair of Santiago. Each activity is accompanied, as always, by warm South American hospitality, great accommodations, and the best of Chile’s outstanding gastronomy.
Explore Santiago’s important historical sites and lesser-known barrios
Savor the award winning wines of the Colchagua Valley
Roam vineyards with breathtaking views of Aconcagua Mountain.
Stroll among the lush gardens and palm-lined boulevards of Valparaiso.
Welcome to Chile! Your guide meets you at the Santiago (SCL) airport. Drive two hours south on the Pan-American Highway, through the marvelous agricultural heart of the Central Valley, before arriving at the eastern end of the Colchagua Valley. In the late nineteenth century, during the era of immense mining wealth in Chile, important families introduced fine wine varieties of French origin – primarily Cabernet Sauvignon, Carménère, Merlot and Malbec – to the long, thin country. Since then, and especially during the mid-1990s during Chile’s rebirth as a quality wine producer, this area has developed into one of the most important wine regions in South America.
Visit Casa Silva for a tour, tasting, and lunch. Now in its fifth generation as a family-run winery, Casa Silva strives to be a leader and innovator in a new generation of premium wines in Chile while maintaining a lifestyle which honors the people, traditions, and environment of the Colchagua Valley.
Afterward, check into the elegant Noi Blend Hotel. You are free to spend a leisurely evening soaking up the beauty of Colchagua or exploring the surrounding area. Dinner will be at your leisure.
The Colchagua Valley is emerging as the king of Chilean reds, and today’s winery visits can undoubtedly demonstrate the quality of wines coming from Colchagua, particularly Carménère, Syrah, and Malbec. This morning, make the short 3-minute drive by car to Estampa Winery for a tour and tasting. With a rich history dating back over a century, Estampa is the first winery in Chile dedicated to ensemblaje (blend) wines. The winery was designed by local architect Claudio Blanco and features a swooping, avant-garde design, which houses cutting-edge winemaking equipment.
From here, hop on your bikes and pedal to the family-run Viu Manent winery. Founded in 1935 by the Viu family, their core philosophy is centered around attention to detail, respect for the environment, and finding the balance between honoring history and tradition, and embracing innovation and modernity as they lead to excellence in their wines. Horse-drawn carriage rides around the property are a highlight. Enjoy a tour, tasting and delicious lunch here.
Your last stop of the day is at Neyen de Apalta Winery, which focuses all its production on one Bordeaux-style blend from 115-year-old Carménère vines. Neyen is the perfect blend of tradition and modernity, founded by the Rojas family in 2002 on the site of one of the area’s pioneering 19th-century wineries.
Return back to your hotel by vehicle.
Total Pedaling Distance: approx. 21 miles total (option to add more)
Day 3: Winery visits in San Antonio Valley
1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
Begin the day driving along the beautiful Ruta de Fruta, heading to the coastal San Antonio Valley until you reach at Casa Marín Winery. Founded in 2000 by Chile’s first female vineyard owner, Maria Luz Marín, Casa Marín has been described as one of the “most daring and innovative” vineyards in the country. In addition to the more commonly found whites, they also grow Gewürztraminer, Riesling and Sauvignon Gris, in an area with a unique terroir, highly mineral and with very cool nighttime temperatures. Casa Marin’s outstanding wines have received many awards, and for many years was one of the Top 100 Wineries in the World by Wine & Spirits magazine. You can enjoy a breathtaking tour of the vineyards and a premium tasting.
Afterward, make one more winery stop for the day to Viña Matetic. Matetic is a state-of-the-art winemaking facility designed to complement its beautiful natural surroundings. Here, sit down and enjoy a delicious lunch accompanied by wines from this vineyard.
Then drive the remaining few miles to the coast and the town of Isla Negra. Here you visit the former home of Pablo Neruda, now a fascinating museum, which looks out to the sea and provides a snapshot into the life and mind of Chile’s most beloved poet.
Day 4: Bike + Wine in Casablanca Valley
1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
Today’s journey is a cycling winery tour in the Casablanca Valley. The valley’s cool coastal breeze makes the climate ideal for growing Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Syrah, and Pinot Noir—and also for comfortable cycling. You can pedal from your hotel over rolling hills to Kingston Vineyards about 13 miles from the hotel. Kingston is pioneering the production of cool-climate, artisan-style reds. Wines from the 300-acre family ranch are handcrafted and bottled on site.
You can enjoy a tour and tasting before pedaling through the town of Casablanca and along a back road to Loma Larga vineyards. Named “Winery of the Year 2011” by Wine & Spirits magazine, Loma Larga sets the bar for quality cold-climate red wines with several award winners and consistent 90+ point ratings by such prestigious publications as Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. Enjoy a tour and private tasting of Loma Larga’s distinctive wines followed by a picnic lunch.
Day 5: Full Day Discover Valparaíso | Transfer to hotel in Santiago
Departing the hotel, drive approximately one hour to the historic port of Valparaíso, one of the first Chilean cities founded by the Spanish. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2003 for its architectural and cultural significance, the city is also one of Chile’s most interesting. Start in the downtown sector, learning about the history of “Valpo” and its importance in South American trade and commerce. Century-old hillside ascensores (elevators) transport you up into the city’s steep hills, where a labyrinthine maze of streets reveals brightly colored buildings, bohemian cafes and elegant restaurants, and spectacular views of the harbor below. You can also choose to add a stop to La Sebastiana Museum, one of the former homes of Nobel Laureate poet, Pablo Neruda.
Your lunch is at a local restaurant nestled in the hills, specializing in fresh seafood and local ingredients.
In the afternoon, drive to Chile’s dynamic capital city, Santiago. Chosen by the New York Times as 2011’s #1 destination to visit, Santiago is a vibrant city full of character, with a thriving arts culture, trendy restaurant scene, and lively nightlife.
Today’s adventure leads us to the Cajón del Maipo, a breathtaking natural retreat not far from Santiago. Spend the day hiking and enjoying the tranquility of the mountains. Evening at leisure in Santiago.
Day 7: Half Day Cooking Class in Santiago / Transfer-out
1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
Explore Santiago in a journey through the colorful markets and the culinary traditions which distinguish Chilean gastronomy. Start the day by visiting Santiago’s main produce and fish markets: La Vega Central and Mercado Central, to buy fresh ingredients for a fresh and tasty meal. Alongside your guide you select the best products from favorite vendors, or caseros. It’s also an opportunity to explore the variety of produce, products and culture at the market.
Next head away from Santiago Centro to the base of the Andes to a private home in either San Carlos de Apoquindo, a community at the foot of the looming mountains, or in the residential section of Bellavista. Here you can prepare a simple but delicious Chilean meal using the fresh fish and produce you just selected. The actual meal depends on the market and seasonal availability of products. Prior to the meal you can also prepare Chilean pebre and pisco sours. Rather than a formal cooking class with technical instruction, this is a collaborative effort to prepare a fresh meal and talk food and culture.
Your journey comes to an end as you are transferred to the Santiago (SCL) airport for your international flight home.
The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.