Itineraries

Chile Highlights

A great value trip encompassing three of Chile's big hitters

The Atacama Desert
The Torres del Paine
The Lake District
From: 
£2,700pp
13 days

A great option for those looking to travel to Chile on a budget, this itinerary covers the key areas in mainland Chile, including Santiago, the Atacama Desert, the Lake District and the Torres del Paine. The costs of transfers and activities are shared across a group of up to 12 people, making it possible to include all of these destinations for a lower price than if you were doing it privately.

DAY
1

Make your way to Santiago

Fly to Santiago International Airport and met on arrival.

DAY
2

Santiago

Met on arrival into Santiago and transferred to the Hotel Fundador to stay for the night on a B&B basis.

Included: A half-day city tour of Santiago, including the Presidential Palace “La Moneda”, the Plaza de Armas, the Cathedral, the Palacio de la Real Audiencia; now home to the National History Museum and the Casa Colorada; once the Spanish governor’s residence. You will end the tour with visits to the upmarket Providencia and Las Condes districts.

You will also visit the “Mercado Central”, listed as one of the best seafood markets in the world. Many creatures found in its stalls are exclusive to the waters of Chile.

DAY
3

Santiago to the Atacama

Met and transferred to the airport for the morning flight to Calama. Met on arrival and transferred to the desert town of San Pedro de Atacama to stay at the Hotel La Casa de Don Tomás for 3 nights on a B&B basis.

Includes a half-day tour of the town of San Pedro de Atacama including visits to the town’s 17th century church and handicraft market and a half day excursion to the Moon Valley to watch the sunset on Day 3.

DAY
4

Atacama Desert

On the morning of Day 4, you will visit the 12th century Quitor Fortress, which was built by the Atacameños in the 12th century and occupied by the Spanish in 1540. In the afternoon you will visit the Atacama Salt Flat and Toconao Village. The salt flat is 3000sq km and is home to the world’s largest lithium deposits as well as several flamingo species, including the Andean, Chilean and James flamingo.

Overnight at Hotel La Casa de Don Tomás.

DAY
5

Atacama Desert

On Day 5, you will have an early departure to visit the Geysers of El Tatio. Located at 4300m, the phenomenon of the Tatio Geysers is best seen at first light when the sun’s rays mix with tall fountains of steam rising out of boiling pools of mud and water creating a rainbow of different colours.

Overnight at Hotel La Casa de Don Tomás.

DAY
6

The Atacama to The Lake District

Met and transferred from your hotel to Calama airport in time for the late morning flight to Santiago. Connect onto the flight down to Puerto Montt. Met on arrival and transferred to the lakeside town of Puerto Varas to stay at the Solace Hotel for 2 nights on a B&B basis.

On route to the hotel, you will have a city tour of Puerto Montt, which was originally founded in 1853 by German settlers. You will visit the main square with its wooden cathedral and town hall. You will then follow the coastal promenade to the port of Angelmó with its colourful fishing boats anchored in front of Tenglo Island. The morning catch can be bought fresh off the boat or eaten in one of the many small harbour kitchens. You will also find a craft market with local crafts made of wood and lapis lazuli as well as knitted jumpers and hats from Chiloé. After this, you will drive along the Ruta Chinquihue, past small yacht marinas, moorings, boat yards and fish factories before being taken to your hotel in Puerto Varas.

DAY
7

The Lake District

The seventh day includes a full day excursion to the impressive Petrohue Waterfalls and the Osorno Volcano. Driving up to a height of 1200m you will enjoy panoramic views of the neighbouring volcanoes of Calbuco, Antillanco and Tronador, as well as the blue Llanquihue Lake. After hiking across the volcano’s immense lava field you will return to Puerto Varas for a short boat trip on the Todos los Santos Lake. Passing several small waterfalls you should also look out for different species of birds.

Overnight at the Hotel Solace.

DAY
8

The Lake District to Puerto Natales

You will be met and transferred to the airport in Puerto Montt, for the flight to Punta Arenas. Met by your guide to take the local bus to Puerto Natales (journey approx. 3 hours).

Met on arrival and transferred to the Hotel Martin Gusinde to stay for the night on a B&B basis.

DAY
9

The Torres del Paine

The following day you will have a full-day excursion to the Torres del Paine National Park. Visiting the glacial Blue Lagoon, originally discovered by Florence Dixie in 1879, you’ll enjoy superb views of the Torres peaks. You will also be able to spot wild guanacos, indigenous foxes, Nandús and a wide variety of other wildlife. With a few short hikes you’ll reach some of the most beautiful viewpoints in the park and become acquainted with the enormous variety of flora and fauna to be found there.

Overnight at the Hotel Rio Serrano on a B&B basis.

DAY
10

The Torres del Paine

Enjoying another full day excursion in the park, you will visit Lake Grey, which is fed by the Glacier of the same name. You will be driven to a point on the lake’s southern bank to start a hike through typical Lenga Forest leading to the lake’s edge. The viewpoint offers a spectacular view of the lake and its icebergs, the tongue of the Grey Glacier on the Northern side of the lake and the snow-covered peaks towering above.

At the end of the day you will return to Puerto Natales to stay at the Hotel Martin Gusinde for the night on a B&B basis.

DAY
11

Puerto Natales to Santiago

Today you will be transferred to the bus station in Puerto Natales to take the public bus to the airport in Punta Arenas for your return flight to Santiago.

Met on arrival and transferred to the Hotel Fundador to stay for 2 nights on a B&B basis.

DAY
12

Santiago or Valparaíso

Day at leisure or take part in an optional excursion to the coastal city of Valparaíso. A city built into the hills surrounding the coast, it is also Chile’s oldest port and is home to the country’s Senate and Chamber of Deputies, which moved here from the capital in 1989, when democracy was reestablished after Pinochet. The historic city centre with its fine 19th century architecture is UNESCO World Heritage Listed and today it is a popular city for Chilean and South American street artists. Taking one of the famous twentieth century funiculars to the upper section of the city offers sweeping views across the city and out towards the Pacific coast.

Overnight at the Hotel Fundador.

DAY
13

Fly home

Transferred to Santiago airport in time for your international flight home.

Please note that the above is on a B&B basis unless otherwise shown and the cost does not include international flights. The trip is guaranteed with a minimum of two people.

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