Discover Chile's awe-inspiring geographical and natural extremes on this premium 13-day, multi-destination adventure. From the world's driest desert to the volcanic peaks, the wild Patagonian steppe, the country's vineyards, unique activities and exclusive boutique accommodation, this trip has everything for a deluxe scenic Chilean adventure. From the otherworldly, terracotta terrain of Atacama Desert in the north, to the evergreen forests and snowy volcanic peaks of the lakes district, to the picturesque Patagonian wilderness, this is the perfect trip for those wanting an in-depth and scenic Chilean adventure!
After landing at Santiago airport and clearing customs, meet your guide and transfer to the hotel. After a little time to relax head out for a City Walking Tour.
The tour begins with you and your guide traveling downtown via Santiago's subway to explore the famous landmarks including the central fish market and ‘Plaza de Armas’, Santiago’s main square and kilometer zero (the point from which all distances in the country are measured). Visit the ‘Alameda’, the main street of the city centre, via busy pedestrian walkway ‘Paseo Ahumada’, famous for its crowds, shops, and diversity of people. After visiting Chile's presidential palace ‘La Moneda’, a symbol of Chile’s political past and its famously turbulent history, climb Cerro Santa Lucía, where Santiago was founded in 1541 by Pedro Valdivia. The tour finishes by visiting the bohemian Lastarria neighborhood, lined with cafés, restaurants, small theaters, bookstores and boutique shops. This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner at the renowed Peumayen Restaurant, a popular establishment which seeks to take every customer on a delectable, gastronomical journey through the Aymaran, Chiloean and Mapuchean cultures indigenous to Chile.
Today begins with a visit to Perez Cruz, a boutique winery located on the estate grounds of the Perez Cruz family in the Maipo Alto valley. The vineyard is surrounded by beautiful scenery which complements the modern, elegant architecture of the manor. After sampling the finest wines of the Maipo Alto valley at Perez Cruz we continue to the legendary Concha and Toro winery in Pirque. An interesting tour awaits you, covering the company history while walking through the extensive vineyard grounds. Visit the famous wine cellar, home to many legends, then enjoy a special tasting session of four varieties of the vineyard's prestigious, internationally-aclaimed Marques de Casa Concha wine. The wine is accompanied by a selection of cheeses, nuts, dry fruits and freshly baked breads.
After the tasting, enjoy a delicious lunch in one of Pirque’s local restaurants, Tesoros de Chile. A beautiful restaurant housed in a heritage-rich Chilean casona from the nineteenth century, Tesoros de Chile was originally the house in which the estate of Pirque was administered. The house is decorated with elements of Chile's most important cultures and is home to a delicious tasting menu with recipes from different regions of the country, offering an entertaining and authentic journey throughout Chile and its different cultures.
The tour then continues with a visit to the Aquitania Winery*, founded in 1984 by two Bordeaux residents looking for high-quality Chilean land to plant a vinyard. Here take a tour of the vinyard and told of its successful history. After visiting the wine cellar, enjoy an exquisite tasting of their different wines before being driven back to your hotel in Santiago.
*Aquitania Winery is closed on Saturdays and Sundays. If you book the tour on one of these days, the morning’s second wine tour and lunch will be at the prestigious Santa Rita winery and the pm wine tour at Concha y Toro winery.
This morning fly to Calama. After a short scenic flight you are transferred to San Pedro de Atacama, in the middle of the desert, to overnight for the evening.
In the afternoon, spend time acclimatizing before being whisked off on tour to Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley), located approximately 8 miles (13km) west of San Pedro in the Salt Mountain Range. The valley has beautifully strange lunar landscapes and is considered one of the driest places on the planet. This tour to Valle de la Luna in time to witness a spectacular sunset, you'll feel the immensity of the desert stretching out all around you. Light refreshments and a specialist guide will be provided.
Today venture into the highlands to explore the unique landscapes, colorful Altiplanic Lagoons and otherworldly salt flats. Miscanti Lagoon (the largest in the region) will surely catch your eye among the dazzling expanse. Unique flora and fauna can be seen and the area is also home to many legends about the Atacama Desert.
End your day by visiting the town of Socaire, a nearby village with ancient architecture and inviting locals who produce fine wool knit products. where old Andean traditions still exist .
The very early wake-up call from the hotel will be well worth it when you arrive at the amazing Tatio Geysers and see them in action. From almost 3000 feet (900m) below the earth, boiling steam bursts up to 130 feet (40m) over the surface of these spectacular geysers. A scrumptious breakfast will be served upon arrival before we walk through the geothermal fields with the geysers erupting nearby. As you drive back, there is a magnificent view of the Tocopurri and Sairecabur volcanoes. Arrive back in town in time to have lunch and the afternoon will be free to rest after the early start, high altitude and low temperature we faced in the morning.
Today travel from one extreme to another as you head from the dusty Atacama desert to Chile's luscious Lake District, lined with vast lakes and active volcanoes. After checking out from the hotel head to the Calama airport and board a flight to Puerto Montt, connecting in Santiago. Upon arrival in Puerto Montt, continue on to nearby Puerto Varas, a beautiful town with a marked German architectural style located on the shore of Lake Llanquihue, where you overnight.
Day 7: Perez Rosales National Park | Trek though Solitario Path
Depart Peurto Varas for Ensenada and drive to the Osorno Volcano and ski center, with incredible views of Lake Llanquihue and the surrounding volcanoes. After taking in the view, head back down the hill and start trekking along the El Solitario trail, a small track formed by lava which weaves its way through ancient native forest. After approximately 3.5 miles (6 km) of this undulating trail, with constant views of the volcanoes and the lake, reach Saltos de Petrohue, close to Lake Todos los Santos.
This morning head out for white water rafting! Drive to the Petrohue sector, in Perez Rosales National Park, located at the foot of Osorno Volcano next to the flowing turquoise waters of the Petrohue river. Upon arrival, meet skilled guides who equip you with all the rafting gear needed (wetsuit, helmet, paddle jacket and life jacket) and then talk you through safety instructions. Board the rafts and start paddling down this beautiful class III river, enjoying the rapids and the views. After completing the designated river section, have a snack on the river banks and then return to Puerto Montt for your flight to Punta Arenas.
Today board a flight to Punta Arenas. You are picked up from Punta Arenas airport in the morning and driven to EcoCamp Patagonia, located in the world-famous Torres del Paine National Park, where you spend the next three nights in a suite dome.
En route make a couple of stops - First in Puerto Natales, a small, lively town on the shores of Seno de Ultima Esperanza, to enjoy a hearty local lunch, and second at Cueva de Milodon, a massive prehistoric cave where the remains of a giant ground sloth were discovered in the 1890’s. The whole journey is very scenic, with plenty of wild birds and wonderful landscapes to be seen. The day ends with your arrival and overnight stay at EcoCamp Patagonia, nestled in the heart of the park with a view of the Torres. During summer the sun sets around 11pm, so upon arrival there's plenty of light to admire the Patagonian steppe with its guanacos and snow-peaked mountain horizon.
For the next two days you have the choice between active or easy excursions. EcoCamp Patagonia provides you with a chart of excursions provided each day of the week. The excursions vary depending on weather and the season. (For a detailed description of all excursions please click here.)
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 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 (2900m) - 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.
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