Starts any day. January to April; September to December12 days from $7995.00
Arrive Santiago, Chile
Welcome to Chile! You are met upon arrival in Santiago and taken to your hotel in the center of this scenic city. The majestic Andean Mountain Range anchors the city and can be seen from almost anywhere in town.
The rest of the day is at leisure to rest or explore on your own.
This morning, discover Santiago, the capital of Chile, alive with fascinating architecture, a rich history, natural beauty and a dynamic economy. Santiago contains evocative remains of its colonial past set alongside ultramodern, high-rise buildings.
Begin your morning sightseeing with a walking tour of San Cristóbal Hill, a beautiful park noted for its monumental sculpture of the Virgin Mary. Explore the Plaza de Armas, the impressive center of the city, anchored by the 18th century Santiago Cathedral. Visit the intimate Museum of Fine Arts, and see Santa Lucia Hill with its wonderful 18th century facades, fountains and stairways.
Next, take a guided grocery shopping trip through the “Mercado Central” (Central Market), to shop for the ingredients for your lively lunchtime cooking demonstration at the Restaurant El Galeon. After a welcome Pisco Sour drink, you learn the secrets in preparing a fantastic Chilean lunch, and feast on your creations for lunch.
Tonight experience “Santiago Bohemio,” a raucous tour to savor the national music, dance and flavorful drinks of traditional Santiago. Learn how to do the national dance of Chile - the “Cueca.” (B,L)
Santiago to Valparaiso & San Antonio Valley
Your full day of sightseeing today begins with a drive to Valparaiso, the world heritage and cultural capital of Chile. Tour the historic highlights, and get an insight into the heritage architecture and the daily life of the local artists. After a visit to the Museum of Pablo Neruda, continue to Prat Pier to board a traditional-style boat for a one-hour cruise on the Bay of Valparaiso.
Next, walk to Plaza Sotomayor, to view grand neoclassical Naval Command Headquarters, once a presidential residence, and the monument to the Heroes of Iquique. Here, you take a trolley and elevator ride up to the artillery Mirador 21 de Mayo to view the city from above.
In the afternoon, enjoy walking tour around the 19th century landmarks such as the Anglican Church of Saint Paul, and the famous Atkinson promenade. Built in 1897, the Paseo Atkinson is bordered by antique homes with zinc facades and guillotine windows, and offers breathtaking views. Stroll past the row of stately 19th century mansions on Paseo Gervasoni, then visit the Casa Mirador de Lukas, a house museum dedicated to Chile’s beloved journalist and cartoonist “Lukas” Renzo Pechenino. Tour the Art Noveau Palacio Baburizza; built in 1916 for Ottorino Zanelli, is has a wonderful collection of European handiwork and paintings from the early 1900s. Stroll along the Yugoslav Walk, a terrace walkway built by the Nitrate baron Pascual Baburizza, with breathtaking views of the bay.
Depart Valparaiso late this afternoon for the drive to the San Antonio Valley, and your accommodations for the night. (B,D)
San Antonio Valley to Punta Arenas
Savor the history, flavors and panoramic scenery of the San Antonio Valley as you explore this majestic wine region landscape – lush hillsides dotted with creeks and running streams. Enjoy a comprehensive tour at the Matetic Winery, and then relax over lunch and wine tasting in their underground tasting room. Late afternoon, drive back to Santiago for your flight to Punta Arenas on the southern tip of Chile. You are met and escorted to your hotel. (B)
Otway Sound Excursion & Patagonia
This morning’s excursion begins bordering the Mythical Strait of Magellan, one of the busiest navigation routes in the world used by most valiant explorers. The native fauna of this area is composed by Lesser Rheas, Upland geese, Andean condors, Kelp gulls, Eagles, skunks, different species of ducks and foxes. Before approaching to the Otway Sound the bus drives bordering a coal open cut mine, important activity in the region. At the end of the road is located the small colony of Magellanic Penguins that every year come for breeding and feeding. The walk stretches for about one mile on a wooden trail with three different observation points.
Later, transfer to your Patagonia retreat near Torres del Paine National Park. Your hotel overlooks Lake Sarmiento and the mountain peaks of the Patagonian Andes; a perfect base for exploring this majestic region.
Torres del Paine National Park was created by tectonic movements - the last ice age formed the park’s rugged landscape and the movements of glaciers have continued to reshape it. The beauty of this lush region includes majestic glaciers, mountainous icebergs, deep turquoise lakes and turbulent waterfalls. It is also home to a world of magnificent flower and fauna, including Andean birds, guanacos, rheas, condors, foxes, skunks, geese and eagles. (B,D)
Torres del Paine - Patagonia Exploration
Enjoy 2 full days discovering the beauty of the park and Patagonia at your own pace. Choose from dozens of excursions ranging from walking, hiking and horseback riding options, to tours by van or by motorboat. Each excursion is done in a small group, with a local and highly experienced guide – giving you in-depth contact with the wonders of this remote region. (2,B,2L,2D)
Torres del Paine to Punta Arenas
This morning, depart the park and drive south enjoying the scenery. You will arrive back in Punta Arenas for an evening at leisure to explore this quaint town. (B)
Torres del Paine to Punta Arenas
Day 9 you are transferred to the airport for your flight to Santiago connecting to San Pedro de Atacama, an oasis, in the middle of the driest desert in the world. Situated at 8,200 feet, Atacama is the highest and driest desert on earth, with an immense expansion of land and mystery. The outlandish geography of volcanoes, salt flats and land speckled with minerals, creates impressive and unforgettable landscapes. The Atacama Desert chronicles a history of the struggle for survival, the adaptation to environment, and the comprehension of natural cycles. Upon arrival you are transferred to your luxurious hotel. (B,D)
San Pedro de Atacama Activities
Spend 2 full days experiencing this region on small group excursions led by resident experts, and done by vehicle, mountain bike, and on foot. View the cave petroglyphs at Hierbas Buenas, the Atacama salt flats, the Valley of the Moon, and much more. (2,B,2L,2D)
Depart San Pedro de Atacama
This morning bid farewell to the Atacama Desert and Chile as you are transferred to the Calama airport for your flight to Santiago to connect to your departing flight. (B)
Lastarria Boutique Hotel, Santiago
The Lastarria Boutique Hotel was built in 1927 and has since been renovated and transformed into an outstanding boutique hotel. From historical architecture to exquisite customer service, guests are sure to find every need met during their stay. The Lastarria is located in the heart of bohemian Santiago and is just minutes away from fine dining, cafés, museums and cinemas, as well as several tourist attractions such as the Baquedano Subway station. Guests can also indulge in the Hotel Lounge where chefs prepare delightful meals with local products and servers offer a selection of Chile's best wines.
La Casona Matetic, San Antonio Valley
Set in the middle of a 27,000-acre valley in San Antonio, La Casona is the elegant and sophisticated lodge of the Matetic Vineyards. Wild gardens surround the outside as four-poster beds and wingback chairs decorate the interior of rooms fitted with central heating, private bathrooms, exquisite décor and private terraces. Guests can relax in the amenities of the lodge such as the spectacular pool, reading living room, or pool table or take advantage of being ensconced at a winery; Matetic has earned rave reviews for architectural ingenuity and their abundance of exciting and delectable wines.
Hotel Cabo de Hornos, Punta Arenas
Experience Cape Horn Hotel you can experience the Patagonia at its roots. Located in central Punta Arenas, Cape Horn Hotel stands out for its traditional building that has witnessed the development of their city and inside which houses the history and tradition of the Patagonian culture through a warm and personalized service. At the Strait of Magellan the hotel stands as an icon of the capital of Patagonia, chosen by the Bicentennial Commission as the most emblematic work and contribution to the city of Magellan during the twentieth century architecture. Cabo de Hornos Hotel has 110 modern and cozy rooms, a service of the highest international standard and restaurant and bar where you can be conquered by the best and most classic cuisine of the area.
Tierra Patagonia Hotel, Patagonia
Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa sits on a bluff where the South American pampa meets Lake Sarmiento. The building is immersed in the landscape and emerges from the hillside. The award winning architecture complements the flow of the geology in this privileged location and showcases the magnificent views of the Torres del Paine National Park, declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1978. Inside, wood clad walls emanate warmth, safety and protection – a cozy hideaway after a day spent discovering the amazing Patagonian outdoors. The essence of the interior decoration mirrors the design of our sister hotel, Tierra Atacama and here, as there, furnishings and textiles were hand made by Chilean craftspeople, using natural materials from the region, high quality workmanship and inspiration from the surrounding estancias as well as the influence of the native Tehuelche people. The ambience of Tierra Patagonia is casual and friendly, the different spaces created by the designers mean that guests can mingle and get to know one another or find a quiet corner to relax and get away from it all.
Tierra Atacama Hotel, San Pedro de Atacama
Tierra Atacama is a boutique hotel on the edge of San Pedro de Atacama. It was created by the Purcell family, long time owners and operators of the Ski Portillo, famous in Chile for its excellent skiing, food and warm hospitality. Like Portillo, Tierra Atacama provides guest experiences that combine outdoor adventure and sports with indoor comforts, hospitality and excellent service. Tierra Atacama’s architecture, interior design and gardens were designed by some of Chile’s leading creative talent. Our objectives were to be as authentic as possible, using furniture and accessories handmade with local materials while also creating a place that allows guests to relax, spoil themselves and enjoy the good-life in this magical part of the earth. Our ambiance is casual and friendly; we want our guests to be comfortable in our common areas just as if they were in their own homes. Enjoy one of the welcoming private corners of the hotel such as a seat by one of the terrace fire pits, lounge next to the pool or relax on one of the shady outdoor decks. When night falls, take in the brilliant stars, bask in the peace and wonder that is the Atacama Desert.