Events

Discover Chile - (12N/13D)

Select Booking Date:
Pax
Starts With 2749 /-
Per Person
13 days 12 nights

Description

Experience

Chile’s narrow coastal strip stretches for 4300km and is dominated by the towering peaks of the Andes. Covering over half the length of South America, Chile has an unparalleled range of environments; from the world’s driest desert, the hostile Atacama, with its geysers and salt flats, to the fertile valleys and vineyards of central Chile. To the south lies the Lake District with dramatic, snow-capped volcanoes, deep blue lakes and gushing waterfalls. Further still, we reach Patagonia, a land of ice fields, mountains, glaciers and immense solitude; the 'uttermost part of the earth'.

 

Itineary

Day 1 
Start Santiago; city tour.Open or Close

Clients on the group flight will usually arrive in the morning. A walking tour of the city tour is organised today (approx. 4 hours), visiting the squares and streets of the colonial centre and the Presidential Palace. We also visit San Cristobal Hill, on which a statue of the Virgin Mary stands. The summit of Cerro San Cristobal offers a birds-eye view of Santiago, the Andean Mountains and the Maipo-Valley. Without a doubt the best viewpoint in the city! If there is time we will also see the wealthy suburbs of the �Barrio Alto�, an area of elegant shops and first class restaurants. Please note that due to the hotel check in time of 2pm and the fact that the group flight tends to arrive fairly early in the morning, it is common for the city tour to be conducted prior to hotel check in. This is decided depending on the wishes of the group. Land Only clients wishing to join the city tour would be advised to be at the hotel around 10 - 11am in order to be collected.

Day 2 
Excursion to Valparaiso.

The historic World Heritage city of Valparaíso, or Valpo for short, is Chile’s oldest port and home to the country’s National Congress since democracy was re-established in 1989. The Pacific coast is just a short 1.5 hour drive from Santiago and today’s excursion will give us an interesting insight into Chilean culture. The city’s many hills are covered in a glorious sprawl of multi-coloured houses covering every nook and cranny, creating a spectacular panorama which can be enjoyed from a number of vantage points. Strolling through the streets of Valparaíso is a fascinating experience which enables us to soak up the quirky and bohemian atmosphere, something different to anywhere else in Chile. We’ll visit the UNESCO recognised historic city centre, in addition to the parliamentary building, and the War of the Pacific memorial. Due to the steep terrain in some parts of the city, it is home to numerous funicular lifts that transport residents straight up and down the hillsides rather than them having to zigzag through the maze of buildings. Many of these lifts have fallen into disrepair and sit suspended in time and hidden amid the labyrinth. However there is a drive to restore as many as possible and we’ll be able to use one of the most iconic functioning lifts on our way to a viewpoint. In the afternoon we will return to our hotel in Santiago.

Day 3 
Fly to Calama; to San Pedro de Atacama.

In the morning we fly to Calama near the Atacama Desert where we transfer to our hotel in the town of San Pedro de Atacama. Once we have checked in. the leader will offer a short orientation tour of the town for anyone who wants to join. At dusk we set out to the Valley of the Moon. This bizarre lunar landscape is set ablaze with colour at sunset, the strange rock formations framed by the Lincancabur Volcano. We'll stay until the sun goes down to enjoy the array of colours before returning to San Pedro.

Day 4 
Visit Salar de Atacama

Departing our hotel in San Pedro, we will set off towards the Altiplano Lagoons (Lagunas Altiplanicas) and stop en route at the village of Socaire, set at 3218m/10,558ft. The village is noteworthy for its peculiar architecture using rough stonework and the inhabitants here still live by the age-old methods of planting terraced fields with corn, wheat and potatoes. Afterwards, we continue for about another 30km/19miles, climbing an additional 1000m/3,281ft in altitude to reach the highland lagoons of Miscanti and Miñiques. The two volcanoes of the same name are visible in the background (almost 6000m/19,686ft high). The twin lagoons are a deep blue, each framed by a white salt crust, which creates a memorable contrast to the yellow highland grass all around. It is completely silent here. Even the duck species that breed here, the foxes, and the grazing vicuñas (a type of sheep), respect the majestic silence. Continue to visit the Salar de Atacama. A salt lake of huge proportions (3000 sq km/1,158 sq miles), its surface is covered by a thick layer of snow-white salt crystals as far as the eye can see, caused by the evaporation of the lake’s water. The world’s largest lithium deposits are found here, but the salt pan is also home to several flamingo species, including the Andean, Chilean and James flamingo, who feed on the micro-organisms found in the saline lagoons. These beautiful birds and other species can be observed in their natural habitat at the Salar de Atacama’s Chaxa Lagoon, which is part of the Reserva Nacional de los Flamencos. Afterward the excursion we will return to San Pedro.

Day 5 
Excursion to El Tatio geysers.

In order to experience the El Tatio Geysers we’ll have to get up very early in order to arrival at the geyser field (located over 4300m/14,108ft above sea level) in time for sunrise! The fountains that shoot up to 10m/33ft high occur when the morning sun melts the nightly ice caps that form over the hot springs. The sun’s first rays reflect an array of colours as they mix with boiling jets coming from the geysers to create strong contrasts of steam and light. At around midday we’ll head back to San Pedro for some free time. There is an optional astronomy tour tonight that can be paid for locally (depends upon availability - doesn't operate on full moon days).

Day 6 
Fly to Puerto Montt; to Puerto Varas.

We transfer to Calama airport and fly to Santiago and then Puerto Montt, the capital of the Lake District. This is a long travelling day, that will likely require an early start depending on the flight schedules. On arrival in the Lake District region we drive for 30 minutes to Puerto Varas on the shores of Lago Llanquihue. Once here we shall enjoy a brief tour of the 'City of the Roses' as it has come to be called because of the tremendous variety of roses all over town. Afterwards, we transfer to our hotel where we can relax for the evening.

Day 7 
Lago Todos Los Santos boat trip; walk near Osorno Volcano.

In the morning we set out for a full day inside the Lake District. We drive along the shore of Lago Llanquihue and enjoy breathtaking views of the Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes. Our first real stop will be at the Saltos de Petrohue where cooling lava from the Osorno Volcano formed a series of rapids and waterfalls. Together they form an impressive sculpture of extruded volcanic rock shaped by thousands of years of river flow. Upon arriving at the landing at Petrohue we board a small typical wooden boat for a short cruise of Lago Todos los Santos (All Saints Lake). The lake is surrounded by high mountains and the lower slopes are thickly forested. As we pull away from the landing and the source of the river Petrohue, the view is quickly stolen away by the tremendous size and proximity of snow-capped Osorno Volcano behind us. We return to Petrohue and take an easy hike in the lower lava fields of the volcano. We also visit the Green Lagoon (Laguna Verde) before we return towards Puerto Varas in the afternoon.

Day 8 
Fly to Punta Arenas; Transfer to Puerto Natales

After breakfast we transfer to the capital of the Lake District, Puerto Montt, and take a sightseeing tour of the city. Puerto Montt was founded in 1853 by German colonists on the site of an indigenous Mapuche community. Downtown we take time to walk about the main squares and historical monuments. Afterwards we visit the port, where there is a large handicraft market full of artisan goods. We then transfer to the airport to board a flight to Punta Arenas, Patagonia - the southernmost city in Chile. From here we transfer to Puerto Natales where we spend the night. Note: January and February 2016 groups will spend tonight in Punta Arenas as per the 2015 itinerary.

Day 9 
Torres del Paine N.P.

This morning we drive into Torres del Paine National Park for a day of excursions within a spectacular environment. This is a busy day of travelling and walking including unforgettable views of the Towers and the Torres Massif from the 'Cuernos' viewpoint and 'Salto Grande' waterfall. In addition to being introduced to the flora and fauna of the region, today we will also visit 'Laguna Azul' for more breath taking views. Note: January and February 2016 groups will follow the 2015 itinerary. This morning is free for an optional excursion by boat to Magdalena Island, home to over 150,000 penguins and one of the most spectacular wildlife reserves in Chile. Please note that this excursion is weather dependent. For those who do not wish to join the excursion, the group leader will conduct a walking tour of Punta Arenas (entrance fees to museum $5 and cemetary $4 not included) In the afternoon, we drive north through the vast patagonian 'Pampa' to Puerto Natales with terrific views en route of the Straits of Magellan and across the chilly Antarctic waters to Tierra del Fuego.

Day 10 
Torres del Paine N.P.

 

Another day in Torres del Paine National Park, this time to explore the Western highlights including Lake Grey. This deep lake, fed by the glacier of the same name, is filled with icebergs which have splashed down from the massive ice flow. From the hotel, we'll drive to a spot to the south of the lake, then start a short hike by crossing a suspension bridge over the Pingo River. From here the path leads through a Legna forest typical to the area, and continues onward to the tip of the narrow peninsula at the lake’s southern end. This viewpoint offers a spectacular view of the lake with its icebergs, the tongue of Grey Glacier at the far northern end, and the snow-covered mountain peaks soaring above. On the way back a stop is made at the Park Visitors Center to see an exposition of the origin and history of the park. Upon returning to the hotel, there will be some leisure time to enjoy the hotel facilities or do some optional excursions provided by the hotel. Note: January and February 2016 groups will follow the 2015 itinerary. We start early this morning for a full day of sightseeing inside the Torres del Paine National Park. This is a busy day of travelling and walking including unforgettable views of the Towers and the Torres Massif, Lago Grey and Grey Glacier as well as the tremendous wildlife found in this region. We will do some short hikes to reach the most beautiful points of view within the National Park.

Day 11 
Optional zodiac excursion on Rio Serrano to Puerto Natales.

For those that would like to, there is the possibility (optional) of returning to Puerto Natales by zodiac. This excursion involves boarding zodiacs to travel down Rio Serrano. The river ends at the Fjord Ultima Esperanza where we must change to a boat to approach the spectacular Balmaceda Glacier flowing out from the eastern side of Bernardo O'Higgins National Park. We aim to arrive at our accommodation in Puerto Natales around 5:30pm. For anyone not wanting to take the optional river route, the leader will accompany you on visits to other areas of Torres del Paine including a visit to Milodon Cave (entrance fee not included and payee locally approx. US$ 8 per person). Everyone will meet up in the evening at the accommodation in Puerto Natales.

Day 12 
To Punta Arenas; fly to Santiago.

Transfer through the barren Pampa of Patagonia, an impressive road trip as we journey to Punta Arenas airport. We fly back to Santiago and have the rest of the day free for private exploration.

Day 13 
End Santiago

There is a transfer back to the airport for those on group flights. Those on land only arrangements will leave us in Santiago this morning.

 

Package Includes

  • 12 breakfasts
  • All accommodation (see below)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Four internal flights
  • New included excursions to Atacama salt flats
  • altiplano lagoons
  • El Tatio geysers

Package Excludes

 

  • Service Tax and / or any other taxes.
  • Iternational or domestic flights, unless included
  • Meals other than those mentioned as included (please contact us to know details specific to your trip)
  • Optional arrival and departure transfers or transfer costs to the starting point of the vacation
  • Visa, passport, travel insurance.
  • Optional tours that can be bought on a supplement.
  • Single room supplement
  • Entrance fees to attractions not specified as included (please contact us to know details specific to your trip)

Information

Dates & Prices

Start Date End Date Price
     
18th DEC, 2017 30th DEC, 2017 GBP £ 2749.00
15th JAN, 2018 27th JAN, 2018 GBP £ 2999.00
12th FEB, 2018 24th FEB, 2018 GBP £ 2999.00
26th FEB, 2018 10th MAR, 2018 GBP £ 2849.00
12th MAR, 2018 24th MAR, 2018 GBP £ 2849.00
22nd OCT, 2018 03rd NOV, 2018 GBP £ 2899.00
05th NOV, 2018 17th NOV, 2018 GBP £ 2899.00
19th NOV, 2018 01st DEC, 2018 GBP £ 2899.00
17th DEC, 2018 29th DEC, 2018 GBP £ 2899.00
 
  • Travel Insurance covering medical and evacuation expenses is mandatory for all travellers.
  • The cost exclude GST 5%

 

You May Also Like