The Magic of Chile | Trip Itinerary
Day 1 / Santiago. Arrival at Santiago airport. After clearing customs and immigration (note that you need to pay an entry tax in Chile before going through immigration & receive a stapled receipt in your passport) proceed outside the airport where our local representative will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel Arrival at Santiago Airport and transfer to hotel. In the afternoon we will enjoy a city tour to see the most interesting attractions of the Chilean capital. Overnight in Santiago at Hotel Fundador or similar
Day 2 / Santiago – San Pedro -Valle de la Luna After breakfast a transfer will take us to the airport to board our connecting flight. Upon arrival at the airport of Calama, we will be provided assistance and a transfer to San Pedro de Atacama. San Pedro is an unusually colorful village at 2,000 m / 6,560 ft above sea level, in the middle of a green oasis. Check in to the hotel Casa de Don Tomas. In the afternoon we will enjoy the eerily silent moonscape of Valle de la Luna with its backdrop of snow-capped volcanoes; here we will observe beauty of the scenery intensify during sunset. We will return to the hotel afterwards and stay overnight
Day 3 / San Pedro, historical sites & the Atacama Salt Lake. After breakfast you will visit San Pedro de Atacama - the centre of a Paleolithic civilization that built impressive rock fortresses on the mountains encircling the green valley. The colonial church was constructed in 1577 and is the largest and most beautiful church in the region. The extraordinary archaeological museum (closed on Mondays) of Padre Gustavo Le Paige shows, among its many archaeological pre-Hispanic artifacts, several amazingly well preserved mummies, including one known as "Miss Chile." After this visit you drive 4 km / 2,5 mi to reach the pre-Columbian village Tulor with an approx. age of 3000 years. The archaeological remains are the oldest evidence of human settlement in the valley. We will then continue our morning tour to Pukara de Quitor a fortress, which was conquered in 1540 by the Spanish conquistadores defeating the Incan troops who, in turn, had captured it from the pre-Incan cultures and extended the fortification. In the afternoon you will start your tour to Toconao, a village where locals dedicate themselves to the manufacture of white volcanic stone sculptures. You continue to the huge Atacama Salt Lake, an inland sea formed millions of years ago. You will be overwhelmed by the vast emptiness with the white salt crusts stretched out in front of you as far as your eyes can see. It simply is one of the most spectacular and dramatic landscapes in Chile. Return to the hotel. Overnight in San Pedro. (B, BL)
Day 4/ El Tatio – Machuca. Today we will depart at 4:00 a.m. in order to see the El Tatio Geysers, a geothermal field flanked by soaring peaks. Powerful spurts of steam shoot out at dawn from various blowholes and condensate in the cold air. The steaming ponds are encrusted with brilliant salt crystals that reflect the metal-blue sky at dawn; along with the rising columns of steam they make for a breathtaking sight. On the way back from the geysers to San Pedro, we will visit the settlement Machuca, located at 3,400 m /11,150 ft above sea level. Only a few shepherds still live in this former rest place for the ancient llama caravans that traveled the Inca Trail. It is an amazing place in the middle of the highland with a spectacular view of the Andes and the Atacama Salt Lake. In the afternoon we will return to San Pedro. Overnight in San Pedro de Atacama. (B)
Day 5 / Calama – Puerto Montt - Puerto Varas. After breakfast a transfer will take us to the airport of Calama to board our connecting flight. Arrival in Puerto Montt Airport, directly followed by a short city tour of Puerto Montt; a transfer will then take us to Puerto Varas,also known as the "City of Roses"; located on the shores of Lake Llanquihue, Chile's second largest lake, with the volcanoes Osorno and Calbuco reflected in the crystal clear water. Overnight at the Hotel Bellavista in Puerto Varas. (B)
Day 6 / Peulla. In the morning we will depart from the hotel and drive along the shoreline of Lake Llanquihue to Petrohué in the Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park. We can make an optional short stop to look at the famous Petrohué Falls. We proceed to Petrohué to board the catamaran to sail across Lake Todos los Santos to Peulla enjoying beautiful views of the surrounding mountains on the way. We will have time for lunch at the Hotel Peulla and/or a walk to the nearby waterfalls.Return to Puerto Varas and hotel. Overnight in Puerto Varas. (B)
Day 7 / Chiloé Island. Departure to Pargua and crossing of Chacao Channel by ferry to Chiloé Island. We will either visit Ancud, famous for its traditional market featuring a wide range of seafood and crafts, or the well known houses built on stilts in Castro and other sights of interest in this town.
Group Tour and optional upgrade for custom tour to a private tour: If weather conditions allow, we will be able to visit the penguin islands "Islotes Puñihul", situated on the northwestern coast, about 30 minutes from Ancud. During the 30- minute ride in our zodiac to the islands we will be able to see Humboldt and Magellan penguins.
In the late afternoon we return to Puerto Varas. Overnight at hotel in Puerto Varas. (B)
Day 8 / Puerto Varas. A free day in Puerto Varas. Optional excursions such as river rafting, a visit of picturesque colonial Frutillar or a trip to the hot springs of Puyehue can be arranged. Overnight in Puerto Varas (B).
Day 9 / Puerto Montt -Puerto Natales. In the morning, transfer to the airport in Puerto Montt for your flight to Punta Arenas. Afternoon arrival at Punta Arenas Airport and departure to Puerto Natales; on the way visit to the penguin colony (high season only!) at Seno Otway. Overnight in Puerto Natales.
Group Tour: Departs directly from Punta Arenas airport to Puerto Natales hotel. (B)
Day 10 / Punta Arenas-Torres del Paine. Early departure to Torres del
Paine National Park In the Torres del Paine we will pass Laguna Amarga and Lake Pehoé and enjoy the beautiful views of the Paine Massif, Almirante Nieto, and the famous Torres (towers) del Paine. We will be able to observe local wildlife such as guanacos, ñandús, foxes, skunks, black-necked swans, flamingos, condors, and eagles. Overnight in the park at Hosteria Lago Grey or similar (some lodges may have an additional surcharge) (B)
<<Note option to extend your stay in Patagonia by one night, adding one more free day for optional explorations>>
Day 11 / Torres del Paine-Punta Arenas. The morning will be at leisure, we have time for a stroll in the surroundings of our hotel. In the afternoon we leave the park and drive to Puerto Natales on the way we visit the Milodón Cave where archeologists have found the 12,000 year old remnants of a giant sloth. Overnight in Punta Arenas. (B)
Day 12/ Punta Arenas-Santiago. Transfer to the airport of Punta Arenas
and flight to Santiago. Transfer to hotel and vernight in Santiago de Chile. (B)
Day 13 / Santiago. Transfer out to the airport of Santiago for flights to US, or other destinations in South America. (B).
B=Breakfast; L= Lunch; D=Dinner.
Any day in season
Oct 29-Nov 10
Nov 19-Dec 1
Any day in season
Custom: $2500 p/p
Group: $2675 p/p