The best-known fact about Chile is probably its improbable shape. Comically thin and excessively long, Chile stretches from the bellybutton of South America down to its big toe. Spanning over 2,600 miles (4,200 km), the country extends from the driest desert on earth (Atacama) to the vast glacial fields of Patagonia at the “end of the world” …where you can find the amazingly scenic Torres del Paine national park. In between, you’ll discover diverse the cosmopolitan capital city of Santiago. On this 10-day/9-night journey across the full length of Chile (and a brief excursion into Argentina), you will find a region whose peoples always make you feel like a welcome guest, as well as discover spectacular landscapes that appear as a philharmonic movement of nature.
“The Galapagos experience was absolutely amazing. Not just the abundant sea life and incredible spots, but also your professionalism and passion for your work turned my trip into an unforgettable holiday.”
Upon landing at the Santiago airport, you will be welcomed and driven to your selected hotel. In the afternoon, we will go on a city tour in Santiago, beginning with the historic downtown district to visit the Main Square, the Cathedral, the elaborate main post office and Santiago City Hall. You will also see the “La Moneda,” which is the seat of the nation’s president. We will then take you to East Santiago, where you can appreciate its modern buildings, with offices, apartments, shopping centers and trendy restaurants. You will later return to your hotel to relax and get a good night’s sleep.
Breakfast at your hotel. Transfer to the Santiago airport for your flight to Calama, in the Atacama Desert. You will be met at the El Loa airport in Calama, and driven to the oasis town of San Pedro de Atacama via the Domeyko Mountain Range. In the afternoon, you will be taken on an excursion to Moon Valley, passing through the Salt Mountain Range. Visit the great sand dunes, the amphitheater, and the “Las Tres Marias”natural salt monument. This excursion concludes with a magical sunset over the valley. You will be taken back to your lodge in San Pedro for the night.
After breakfast, today’s excursion will be to the high plain lagoons of Miscanti and Miñiques. Following lunch in the town of Socaire, you will be driven to the Atacama Salt Flat to see the Chaxa Lagoon and the Flamingos National Reserve, where you can find three out of the six different kinds of flamingos that exist in the world. This excursion continues to the town of Toconao to visit San Lucas Church and Campanario Tower. You will then be driven back to San Pedro for the night.
Early in the morning, we will go on an excursion to the El Tatio Geysers. The world’s highest geyser field, it erupts each day at dawn to spout high clouds of steam. We will also trek through the area to observe various other geothermal activities. After a light breakfast, you will then have a chance to bathe in a pool of thermal waters. Later, we will return to San Pedro by way of the village of Machuca, which was formerly devoted to grazing llamas and today is known for its adobe, cactus wood, and straw buildings, as well as its Andean handicrafts. In the afternoon, we will visit Cejar Lagoon, located in the heart of the Atacama Salt Flat. The high concentration of salt and lithium in this lake makes floating easier than on the Dead Sea. Here, you will be able to bathe, swim and float amidst a beautiful landscape. Later, we will return to the hotel for the night.
Breakfast in the hotel. Transfer to the airport for flight to Punta Arenas, deep in Chile’s Patagonia region, via Santiago. Upon landing, you will be met, welcomed and driven to the city, where you will have a free day and spend the night.
Breakfast in the hotel. In the morning, we sail through the Magellan Strait towards Magdalena Island. We will disembark on the island to interact with the world’s largest colony of Magellan Penguins. Later, we will return to Punta Arenas, and drive by bus in the afternoon to the city of Puerto Natales (250 km), where you will spend the night.
Breakfast in the hotel. Excursion to Torres del Paine, visiting the Cave of the Milodon, where they discovered well-preserved remains of this prehistoric herbivore that existed 12,000 years ago. From here, journey will continue into Torres del Paine National Park, where we will visit Nordenskjold Lake, Pehoe Lake, and Salto Grande. Lunch. Trekking through a forest of lenga trees towards a viewpoint of Grey Glacier, with its impressive ice floes. Afterward, visit to Amarga Lagoon and return to Puerto Natales. Overnight.
Breakfast in the hotel. Transfer to El Calafate — in Argentina (320 km) — and excursion to Perito Moreno glacier (box-lunch and entrance fees to National Park included). Return to Puerto Natales for the night. (Optional: Overnight in El Calafate and the following day transfer by bus line to Puerto Natales, and bus line from Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas airport. In this case, transfer from hotel in El Calafate to bus terminal is not included).
Breakfast at your hotel. Transfer to Punta Arenas airport by bus line for your flight back to Santiago. You will be welcomed at the Santiago airport and transferred to your hotel. (Optional: Farewell dinner at a typical Chilean restaurant with folk music and dance performances, including transfer from and back to your hotel: USD $100). Overnight at your hotel.
Breakfast at your hotel. Transfer to Santiago airport for your international flight at the scheduled time.
|Santiago de Chile||Torremayor / Bonaparte||Regal Pacific|
|San Pedro de Atacama||Casa Don Tomás / San Pedro||Cumbres|
|Punta Arenas||Isla Rey Jorge / Finis Terrae||Cabo de Hornos|
|Puerto Natales||Francis Drake||Cost Australis vista mar|
“I was very happy in every way with your booking and Cuyabeno Lodge. It surpassed my expectations in every way. No hitches with flights and transportation. The lodge was beautiful. The staff was professional and friendly.”