Santiago and the
Central Coast

Santiago de Chile, the country‘s capital, is located in the centre of Chile. Because of its proximity to the Andes the snow-capped peaks offer a great stage for the happenings in this modern, clean and bustling city. Despite its size and liveliness it still offers a colonial atmosphere due to its architecture, streets and small squares. The „Valle Central“, a fruitful valley between the Coastal Range and the Andes, has an extension of 500 kilometres / 310 miles from north to south and many exciting places worth visiting.

  • Close to Santiago on the eastern mountain side, several world-class ski resorts open their slopes during winter.
  • On the seaside the Chilean central region awaits with numerous attractive cities and charming towns; Viña del Mar with its precious gardens and lively beaches, the historical port city of Valparaiso with its colourful houses or the tiny town Isla Negra, just to name a few. 
  •  The „La Campaña National Park“, a reserve of one of the last remaining forests containing endangered Chilean Palms, offers ideal hiking possibilities with beautiful and interesting trails.
  • The central region is also known for its rich wine valleys. Chilean wine is recognized internationally for its body and aroma. Some of the most famous vineyards are located between Santiago and Talca and are open to the public – some of the wineries offer lodging in their beautiful colonial guesthouses and hotels.

Here is a sample itinerary with private tours and boutique hotels:

Central Valley Sights

Day 1: Santiago – City Tour
Pick up from your hotel to explore the historic and modern sights of Santiago de Chile. We will start our trip at the Alameda Bernardo O’Higgins, Santiago’s main avenue, visiting La Moneda, the Government Palace, where your guide will explain to you the historical and actual meaning of this place. Following this we will enjoy a walk through the pedestrian streets of Huérfanos and Ahumada, where the main commercial activity of the city is concentrated. Afterwards we will visit the famous Plaza de Armas, the main square of the city, which is surrounded by the Metropolitan Cathedral and other historical buildings. We will continue by visiting the Santa Lucia hill, the hill upon which the Spanish founded Santiago in 1541. It is a lone steep rock, with many plants and an antique building rising steeply from the city below. From here you can see the Parque Forestal (park) on one side and the Mapocho River on the other. We will cross the river to visit Bellavista, the cultural and artistic neighbourhood of Santiago. Finally we will visit the Pueblito de los Dominicos, which began as an artists’ commune supported by the Dominican monastery within which the market resides. The small village counts 150 workshops and you will find the most representative sample of Chilean handcrafts. Overnight in Santiago

Day 2: Isla Negra – Pomaire – Valparaíso
This day you will be picked up from your Hotel and head towards the coast. Before seeing the ocean we will stop at the picturesque town of Pomaire, known as the clay capital of Chile where you will be able to experience the craftsmanship of the local people who create beautiful accessories in black clay. Moving on and after passing through some quaint coastal villages we will arrive to Isla Negra, where we will be able to see the House-Museum of Pablo Neruda (1904-1973) one of Chile’s most exceptional poets and the second one to receive the Nobel Prize (1970). An avid collector, Neruda gathered many different interesting objects during his travels. (closed on Mondays). Our next stop will show us craftsmanship again, but from an entire different order than the one in Pomaire: that of winemaking. We will stop at the Matetic Vineyard in the Valley of San Antonio where we´ll witness the winemaking process, taste the wines of course and enjoy a great lunch at the Bodega. After this we will head over to Valparaiso, declared monument of humanity by UNESCO in 2003. This port town is sure to impress any traveller; offering great sights of its colourful streets and houses on the Oceanside. Overnight in Valparaíso (B, L)

Day 3: Valparaíso – Viña del Mar – Santiago
Valparaíso’s picturesque layout, enhanced by the surrounding hills that seem to dive into the ocean, remind us that this was once the most important maritime destination of the Pacific coast before the Strait of Panama was opened to navigation in 1914. We will visit the downtown area with its new government house, the Plaza Sotomayor, the Plaza Victoria, the cathedral and the harbour area. Afterwards we will discover the colourful hill neighbourhoods. Here, high above the city, there is a fantastic agglomeration of brightly painted houses and a fantastic view over the city. The upper and lower parts of the city are connected with 16 funicular railways constructed around the turn of the century when the city experienced tremendous growth. Travelling north along the coastline of the bay we will reach the city of Viña del Mar, the most famous and visited seaside city of the area, with its many parks of huge trees and palms that gave Viña del Mar the well deserved name of ‘Garden City’. We will visit the beautiful park Quinta Vergara with its amphitheatre, the museum of fine arts as well as the beaches and the Casino, which was built in 1932. In the afternoon you will be dropped off at the airport of Santiago to continue your travels. (B)

Price in US$:

Single Supplement
Hotel Orly + Alto Mirador
till Aug 31  2013
till April 30 2014
Hotel Le Reve + Hotel Higueras
till Aug. 31 2013
till April 30 2014

 Program includes: 2 overnights with breakfast, transfers and private excursions with driver and English / German / Italian speaking guide (during some parts of the itinerary clients share the service with other travellers like visit to winery) entrance fees, wine tasting with lunch during wine tour.

Please note: Other itineraries available, including some with group day tours to reduce price. Other hotels are also available.