Few landscapes in the world can offer such strikingly beautiful natural scenery as Chile. This 14-day journey will take you to the pristine Azul lakes and icy rivers of the country’s Lake District, as well as further south to Patagonia – whose stunning volcanoes and awe-inspiring glaciers have made this the “the mysterious land of fire & ice.” But by no means will we forget the historically captivating, culturally enigmatic, and scenically magical Easter Island, whose unexplainable giant Moai statues continue to evoke a sense of mystery and isolation in even the most experienced travelers. Rounding out your Chilean experience, this tour will also take you to the culturally rich capital city of Santiago de Chile and other nearby cities whose neoclassical heritage is interspersed with a refined sense of modernization. All and all, a travel experience that you most assuredly will never forget.
“I want to thank you for arranging a perfect tour for me. I know you did not have control over who the other people would be, but it all, on all fronts, was perfect. The itinerary was sensational and the boat fabulous.”
Upon you arrival in Santiago, you will be assisted at the airport for you connecting domestic flight to the city of Puerto Montt – the heart of Chile’s Lakes District. You will, in turn, be met and welcomed at the domestic airport and driven to your hotel in the town of Puerto Varas, where you will have dinner and spend the night.
After breakfast at your hotel, we will begin our expedition in Vicente Perez Rosales National Park and a full day of trekking through “Desolation Pass.” Early departure from Puerto Varas, driving on the southern shore of Lake Llanquihue. Passing Ensenada and Petrohué, we’ll start our trek up the Osorno Volcano and to the La Picada area. On the way, you will have spectacular views of Todos Los Santos Lake, area volcanoes, and the vast Andean mountain range. After about a 3-hour upward walk, we’ll take some time to rest and enjoy our picnic lunch to regain our energy while enjoying the surroundings.
Breakfast at hotel. Private excursion visiting the northern part of Chiloe Island and the Gulf of Ancud. We will get to know its history, customs and legends, and see one of its fortresses. After traveling across the Chacao Channel for 30 minutes – observing a great variety of birds and sea lions – we will reach the village of Chacao, visit its church and have a look at its colorful wooden houses. We will continue our journey to Caulin, a characteristic cove whose economy is based on seafood, seaweed and oysters. This is also a privileged locale because of the large number of migratory birds that come here. We will then travel to Puñihuil Bay, where a colony of Magellanic and Humboldt penguins can be seen during the summer.
Breakfast at your hotel. In the morning, we will visit the Saltos de Petrohue waterfalls, and after lunch drive to the Puerto Montt airport for our flight to the Patagonian city of Punta Arenas. After being welcomed at the Punta Arenas Airport, you will be driven to your hotel in the town of Puerto Natales, where you will spend the night.
Early in the morning we will meet at the dock to board a catamaran that will take us to Mount Balmaceda, the origin of the Balmaceda and Serrano glaciers. During the 3-hour trip across the Ultima Esperanza Fjord, you can observe the historical sites, wildlife and geography that characterize Patagonia. Finally, we arrive in Puerto Toro, in Bernado O'Higgins National Park (the biggest in the country), where we'll have our lunch. After visiting Lake Serrano, we will ride a zodiac boat up the Serrano River to Pueblo Rio Serrano. From there, a van will take us to Las Torres and drop us off at the hotel.
Traveling by van through the national park, we will make stops at Nordenskjold Lake, Pehoe Lake and the Salto Grande waterfalls. In the afternoon, on board the Grey II ship, we will ride for three hours on this magic lake surrounded by icebergs. As the boat pulls right up in front of the glacier, you can stand on deck sipping your pisco sour served with glacial ice! Transfer back to Hotel.
We will begin trekking to the Ascencio Valley, where you will see the river of the same name running wildly past the Refugio Chileno lodge. After a quick stop there, we will continue through a forest of the native Lenga (Beech) trees until reaching the glacial moraine. From there, it’s a 1-hour trek to the top, where the towers seem to appear from out of nowhere! This trek is spectacular, as you get to view the three pink granite towers rising above the glacial lake that made the park famous. (7 hours round trip, 16 km trek). Return to Hotel.
At 8:00 we will be picked up at your hotel and travel by van through the national park, with a stop at the Salto Grande waterfall, cross Lake Pehoe by catamaran and then trek to French Valley. This valley — the most beautiful in the park, and one of the most unique in the world — possesses an amphitheater of granite wall spires and is surrounded by hanging glaciers (you can even see and hear the ice calving off at various intervals). There are amazing views throughout this trek; and the further you hike into the valley, the better they become! On the return journey you will notice the extraordinary turquoise color of Lake Pehoe (meaning “hidden lake” in the indigenous Tehuelche language). The trek takes 6-8 hours, depending on how far into the valley we go along the 24 km. route. We will then cross back over Lake Pehoe by catamaran to return to hotel.
In the morning, we will drive back to Punta Arenas for a noon flight to Santiago de Chile. Upon our arrival in Santiago, you will be taken to your hotel for the night.
Breakfast at the hotel. Today you will enjoy a full-day tour of the coastal cities of Viña del Mar and Valparaiso, driving through the Curacavi and Casablanca valleys. In Viña del Mar, known as the “Garden City,” we will visit the Quinta Vergara Amphitheater and the ocean-side San Martin and Peru avenues. You will also be taken past a beautiful clock laid out in flowers. Continuing on to Valparaiso, you can admire the colorful traditional neighborhoods set back in the hills of this port city. We will also visit Victory Square, the Yugoslav and Atkinson corridors, and Sotomayor square, return to Santiago for the night.
In the morning, you will be driven to the airport for your Easter Island flight (LA841 10:30 – 14:05). After being met and welcomed at the airport, you will be driven to your hotel. After settling in, you will be taken on a half-day tour of the sacred ceremonial sites of Ahu Akivi, Vinapu and Puna Pau, where you can witness some of the island’s perplexing Moai statues. Return to you hotel.
Full-day tour of Rapa Nui National Park, visiting the Akahanga, Rano Raraku, Tongariki, Te Pito Kura and the Anakena ceremonial sites. Hotel.
Half-day tour of the Orongo Tahai and Rano Kau archeological sites. Transfer to the airport at noon for your flight back to Santiago. Upon your arrival in the capital city, you will be driven to your hotel.
Full-day tour of Santiago de Chile (Wine Tour or City Tour). After dinner, you will be driven to the airport for your flight home.
“Everything went off without a hitch. Accomodation was just what we wanted. Clean, great location and within our budget. The dive master was great. ”