Independent 13 Day Tour
Day 1: Santiago
Upon arrival we will have some time to relax before starting a city tour through Santiago Chile. This metropolis shows great contrasts between modern skyscrapers and old adobe buildings dating back from the early 18th century; the perfect backdrops as our first approach this lovely country. We will visit the old quarter where some of the most important buildings are located such as La Moneda and the presidential palace.
Day 2: Valparaiso and Casablanca
Today we will head over to the coast and explore one of the most fascinating cities in Chile; Valparaiso. With rolling hills and one of the most colorful layouts, Valparaiso reminds us of its importance during the colonial times as one of the most significant ports in South America. The architecture combined with a fantastic cultural atmosphere offers one of the best urban experiences in Chile. On the way back to Santiago we will briefly explore the Valley of Casablanca; the second biggest wine producing region of Chile. We will be able to stroll around a local vineyard, taste its fantastic products and have a great countryside lunch. (B, L)
DAY 3: MOUNTAINS OF THE MAIPO CANYON
Our day will begin by heading east towards the Andes, the second biggest mountain range in the world and a prominent scene when visiting the central valley of Chile. We will follow the Maipo basin up to the agricultural town of San Jose. This location is also known as a gateway for locals and offers a variety of activities. Here we can walk around and learn more about the famous Huasos and their unique lifestyle. We will relax enjoying the silence of the countryside. (B)
DAY 4: SANTIAGO-CALAMA - SAN PEDRO AND THE MOON & DEATH VALLEY
Transportation will take us to the airport to fly to Calama. After arriving at the airport you will be transported to the town of San Pedro de Atacama. This colorful village is located 2.440 m / 8.000 ft. above sea level in the middle of a green oasis. Later that day, in the afternoon you will adventure out to the mystifying Death & Moon valleys boasting incredible stone and sand formations. There at sunset you will have the opportunity to view the beautiful fading light over the vast landscapes. (B)
DAY 5: SAN PEDRO, ARCHEAOLOGICAL TOUR TOCONAO AND THE ATACAMA SALT LAKE
After breakfast you will explore the town of San Pedro de Atacama – the center of a Paleolithic civilization that built impressive rock fortresses on the nearby mountains encircling the green valley. From there you will take brief drive to reach the 3000 year old pre-Columbian village of Tulor. The archaeological remains that can be viewed here constitute the oldest evidence of human settlement of the valley. After your visit you will then continue the morning tour to the Pukara de Quitor a fortress, which has seen many battles. In the afternoon you will visit Toconao: a village where white volcanic stone sculptures are made by locals. Afterwards you will continue on to the Atacama Salt Lake; an inland sea formed millions of year ago and an impressive sight dominated by rock formations and crystalized salt. (B, L)
DAY 6: EL TATIO AND MACHUCA
Before dawn break you will depart from San Pedro and head north to the famous El Tatio Geysers; a geothermal field flanked by soaring peaks. El Tatio is situated at 4.300 m / 14.108 ft. above sea level on the Altiplano. It is the highest geothermal field in the world and boasts spectacular scenery. Make sure to bring warm clothes as temperatures at this altitude are considerably low this early in the morning. At dawn you will observe powerful spurts of steam that shoot out from various geyser blowholes and steaming ponds that are encrusted with brilliant salt crystals reflecting the metal-blue sky. After this nice visit to El Tatio you will drive to the village of Machuca known as the resting place for llama caravans that traveled the Inca Highway. Afterwards you will return to San Pedro de Atacama to enjoy the afternoon at leisure. (B)
DAY 7: SAN PEDRO - CALAMA - Puerto Montt - Puerto Varas
After breakfast, a transfer will take you to the airport to board your departure flight.
Upon arrival at Puerto Montt Airport you will be taken to Puerto Varas, known as the „City of Roses“, located on the shores of Lake Llanquihue - Chile‘s largest lake. Here you can stroll along the shore and enjoy a wonderful panoramic view of the volcanoes Osorno and Calbuco and the lively beach in the summer months. Overnight in Puerto Varas.
Day 8: Peulla
Driving along the shores of the Lago Llanquihue past various beaches and Ensenada to Petrohué, you will reach the National Park Vicente Pérez Rosales. You can make an optional stop at the famous Petrohué Falls with their emerald colored water. Then you will proceed to Petrohué where the catamaran awaits you to sail across the beautiful lake Todos los Santos to Peulla. You will have time for lunch at Hotel Peulla and/or walk to nearby waterfalls. Return to Puerto Varas to stay the night. (B)
Day 9: Chiloé Island
Departure to Pargua and crossing of the Chacao Channel by ferry to reach Chiloé Island. You will visit the little village of Chacao, with it's main square and wooden church, right in front of one of the first Spanish settlements on the island. Then you continue to Dalcahue, which features a colorful market and a typical Chiloé style wooden church built in 1858. Time to walk along the waterfront. Then you will stop in Castro, famous for its houses on stilts and the San Francisco Church, completely built from native wood. Don't miss the local fish market! Return to Puerto Varas and overnight stay. (B)
You will depart for Pargua and cross the Chacao Channel by ferry to reach the Island of Chiloé. After arriving, you will visit the town of Ancud famous for its museum, the San Antonio Fortress and the local market featuring a wide range of seafood and handmade crafts. After an optional lunch you will continue your trip to the penguin islands (only from November to March) located on the west coast. After a short introduction you will board a boat for a 30 minute tour of the penguin islands to see the only nesting grounds in the world where Humboldt and Magellan breed side by side. Other species that we may spot are sea lions, pelicans, and cormorants; and if lucky even the occasional whale. Afterwards you will return to Puerto Varas. (B)
Day 10: Puerto Varas - Puerto Montt - Punta Arenas - Puerto Natales
After breakfast, you will depart to Puerto Montt for a brief city tour including the lively fish market of Angelmó, before you are taken to the airport of Puerto Montt.
After arrival to Punta Arenas we will be picked up and whisked away to explore the cultural and natural wonders of this southern city. We will learn about its history and follow the footprints of brave polar explorers. We will also visit a variety of monuments and points of interest including the main square, the navy and maritime museum, the famous Roca Street, the Nao Victoria Museum, the Patagonian Institute and of course the city’s coastline. After our city tour we will then be transferred to Puerto Natales where we will spend the night. (B)
Day 11: Punta Arenas - Torres del Paine
Today you will head to the Torres del Paine National Park. Along the way, you will stop to visit the Mylodon Cave where a giant sloth lived about 12,000 years ago. As you make your way through the Pampa steppes you will pass the Amarga Lagoon and have the opportunity to look for local wildlife of the region including rheas, guanacos, foxes, black-necked swans, condors and eagles. You will also observe the beautiful views of the Paine Massif, Almirante Nieto, and Torres del Paine. (B, BL)
Day 12: Torres del Paine - Puerto Natales
After breakfast, you will have the rest of the day at your leisure. Enjoy a hike near the lodge or one of the optional excursions offered by the lodge; please, ask at the reception of your hostería upon arrival which tours they offer. In the afternoon, you will return to Puerto Natales. Overnight in Puerto Natales. (B)
Day 13: Puerto Natales - Punta Arenas
After a breakfast at the hotel, you will be taken to Punta Arenas Airport for your afternoon flight. (B)
Prices in US$ Oct. 1, 2020-March 15, 2021 : $4460 for 1 person in single, $3105 per person for 2 people in double, $2705 per person for 4 people in 2 doubles
Included: 11 overnights with above mentioned meals, transfers, excursions with driver and bilingual English speaking guide, entrance fees. (quoted with group services where possible. Can quote with private services everywhere if requested)
Not included: International and national flights.
Hotels we quote for in this program:
(Indicated hotels are merely references and only to be confirmed at the time of booking. You can request different hotels if you prefer, though it will change rates)
Santiago: Meridiano Sur
San Pedro: Casa Don Tomas
Puerto Varas: Cabanas del Lago
Puerto Natales: Lady Florence Dixie
Torres del Paine: Lago Grey