Whilst in Santiago you have opportunity to visit the vineyards and areas such as Vina del Mar and Valparaiso with relatively ease. The grand finale to this fine trip is a visit to the Atacama Desert whilst staying at San Pedro de Atacama. Enjoy a private town, church and archaeological museum tour and take your pick from trips such as Valle de las Lunas, Laguna Verde, Quitor & Tulor Archaeological Tour & Tatio Geysers at your own leisure. There is no time to get bored at this desert which is a wonder of the world.
Independent Vacation (min 2 people):
Day 1: Arrival Bariloche (Argentina). Our Representation will be waiting at the airport ready to take you to your hotel by private car and driver. Bariloche is about 1,600 kilometres or 2 hours flight time south west from Buenos Aires, the great Andes mountains spread into a landlocked lake area of sophisticated scenic contrasts. Nature blends rich greens and gentle blues in a myriad of streams and lakes framed by snow capped peaks and lightly clouded skies. Skiing, fishing, walking, climbing, dancing, skating, lovely gardens, graceful homes and interesting people who live in a paradise of sense and sensibility. Overnight 2 nights in Bariloche at a hotel of your choice.
Day 2: Full Day Seven Lakes. Departure from Bariloche crossing the Limay Bridge, where the river commences at the Nahuel Huapi lake. Then, bordering the Huemul arm of the lake, pass Las Flores, Puerto Manzano and to Villa La Angostura. Short stop at this village and then the beginning of the Seven Lakes Route, Correntoso, Espejo, Escondido, Falkner, Villarino, Bayley Wills and Machonico. Arrival at San Martin de los Andes, situated on the shore of the Lacar lake. You have time for lunch and a visit of the town on your own (the stop at San Martin is about 3 hours). Return in through the Cordoba pass (1200 m) a typical Patagonian landscape; the confluence of the Traful and Limay rivers, Valle Encantado (enchanted valley) and Anfiteatro (a natural amphitheatre). Arrival in Bariloche late afternoon.
Note: This sightseeing is a spectacular scenic trip and the guide may not speak perfect English.
Day 3: Lake Crossing Bariloche to Puerto Varas. The story begins when a group of tourists crossed the Andes Mountains through a frontier pass, joining Peulla in the Chilean side with Bariloche in Argentina. This is an ecological adventure not to be missed. In this Program, you will have the chance of sail four different lakes: Llanquihue, Todos los Santos, Fraasand Nahuel Huape. After leaving your hotel in Bariloche we travel on a bus to Puerto Panuelo. Upon arrival we board El Condor Catamaran and sail the Blest Branch of Nahuel Huapi lake. We start a bus trip to Puerto Alegrewhich borders the Frias river during 3 km. On board the Caleuche or the Dalca vessel we sail Frias Lake for 15 minutes. From where we shall have the first view of Tronador Hill.
Upon arrival at Puerto Frias we clear Argentine customs and proceed on a bus through lush Andean vegetation to the Vicente P`rez Rosales pass and then 29 kms. to the Chilean customs at Peulla. After customs, it is a short ride to Peulla Hotel. After a short break, we board the Lagos Andinos Catamaran and set out to cross the waters of the Todos Los Santos lake. On our trip we will be able to view Mount Puntiagudo and the impressive Osorno volcano. We will arrive to Petrohueand during our trip to Puerto Varas we will do a stop for visiting the magnificent Petrohue waterfalls. End of service. Overnight 1 night in Puerto Varas at a hotel of your choice.
Day 4: Puerto Varas to Torres del Paine. After breakfast this morning you will be transferred to Puerto Montt Airport for a flight to Punta Arenas. Upon arrival in Punta Arenas, representation will be on hand at the airport to make sure you will catch your coach to Puerto Natales. The journey to Puerto Natales will take approximately 3 hours. Upon arrival in the town you will need to take a 10 minute taxi ride to your hotel. Overnight 3 nights in Puerto Natalesat a hotel of your choice.
Day 5: Torres del Paine National Park. At 7:30 am departure from your hotel to begin the full day excursion with a visit to the imposing Cave of the Milodon (Natural Monument) and finishing in Torres del Paine National Park where you will have a nice panoramic view of Paine Mountain Range. In this park we’ll admire lakes as Sarmiento, Nordenskjold, and Pehoe. Its fauna will be present through huanacos, foxes among others like big variety of birds of easy observation during the trip. A short trek will take us to a big waterfall called Salto Grande which is part of the hydrographical net of the park. We’ll continue later to Lake Grey, where after a walk (30 minutes) through a millennium forest we’ll arrived to its beach to admire a great number of icebergs over the lake. At this point is where lunch is included over looking the glaciers and ice bergs. In the afternoon, return to Puerto Natales in the evening approx 8pm.
Day 6: Day at Leisure. A nature jewel and one of the unexplored icons of Chile, accessible year round due to its micro climate. A world wide unique attraction few people know, featuring more facilities for visits on still unpolluted places with plentiful of natural wonders than anywhere else. The National Park Torres del Paine is, without doubt, one of the most spectacular national parks in the country. A world biosphere reserve, it has a huge variety of plant and animal species which, with its incredibly beautiful setting has made it an almost unequalled destination for hikers and backpackers, ecology-lovers and adventure sportsmen alike. Snow-capped mountain peaks, cascading rivers and waterfalls, glaciers and mirrored lakes: in all respects Torres del Paine national park deserves its reputation.
Day 7: Torres del Paine to Santiago. After breakfast we suggest to leave the hotel and start your drive back to Punta Arenas. Your afternoon flight to Santiago will have you in Santiago for early evening. Upon arrival our representation will be waiting for you to guide you to your personal driver for your transfer to your hotel. Santiago, the nation’s capital is located in the fertile central region at the base of the Andes Mountain nearby the beaches and wineries of the region. Overnight 3 nights in Santiago at a hotel of your choice.
Day 8: Private Half Day Tour of Historical Santiago. This morning you will start on a half day tour of Santiago. The journey starts visiting the civic quarter noted for the Moneda Palace. The Pre-Columbian museum surprises us with its wide range art sample, related to the origin of the American man’s culture. The National Historical Museum and the Fine Arts Museum are other existing beauties of Santiago downtown. We cannot leave without visiting the Santa Lucia hill, foundation site of Santiago.
Day 9: Full Day Vina del Mar & Valparaiso. Valparaiso is a port and World Heritage city, whose origins date back to 1536. Beside this, it is the seat of the legislative power. Valparaiso has the picturesque magic with its funiculars, beaches and colorful neighborhoods on its 45 hills, and beaches, unfolding unique and unforgettable landscapes. Today’s tour visits La Sebastiana; house museum of the poet and literature Nobel prize, Pablo Neruda. Then, it continues to Vina del Mar standing out the architecture of its palaces and streets. Finally, return to Santiago visiting Faba to observe elaborated pieces made in Lapislazuli, a precious only found in Chile and Afghanistan.
Day 10: Santiago to San Pedro de Atacama. Early this morning you will be transferred a private driver to Santiago Airport where you will fly to Calama. upon your arrival you will be greeted by a driver who will take you to San Pedro de Atacama. The drive take just under two hours and you should arrive in time for lunch. The arid Atacama Desert offers an incredible set of tourist attractions including Inca ruins, petroglyph, ancient mummies of the Chinchorro Culture on display at the Archaeological Museums of Arica; and the remarkable village of San Pedro de Atacama, noted for its museum and church, the oldest of Chile.
Moon Valley and Death Valley. Departure from hotel in San Pedro de Atacama, following the salt mountain range, admiring this beautiful valley rich in sulphur. Visit to Valle de la Muerte a beautiful but barren place, to continue towards Valle de La Luna, renowned for its lunar appearance. Observation of salt sculptures made by wind erosion, known as Tres Marías. Visit to old salt deposits and caves to appreciate the gem salt (petrified salt), mineral that looks like quartz. Afterwards, climbing up the Gran Duna, from where it is possible to enjoy one of the most beautiful sights in Northern Chile: the sunset at Valle de la Luna. Return to the hotel in San Pedro de Atacama. Overnight 4 nights in San Pedro de Atacama in your choice of hotel.
Note: Clients choosing the luxury option will staying at the explora Atacama Lodge and have their own transfers and sightseeing programme for the 5 days/4 nights.
Day 11: Toconao and Atacama Salt Flat. Departure from the hotel in San Pedro de Atacama, which was the main center of the Atacamenian culture and is considered the archaeological capital of Chile. Arrival to Toconao, village where the San Lucas church and its small bell tower are to be found built from mud and straw (adobe). Visit to the local workshop, rich in handicrafts made of alpaca wool and cacti. Departure towards the Atacama Salt Flat, the biggest one in Chile, where Los Flamencos National Reserve is located, along with the Chaxa Lagoon which has a viewing point, where it is possible to spot the different species of flamingos in the zone. Time to take pictures of this beautiful scene. Return to the hotel in San Pedro de Atacama.
Day 12: Archaeological tour (Tulor, Quitor, Museum). Departure from San Pedro de Atacama towards the mountains, passing through the Ayllu of Coya, typical Atacamenian neighbourhood. Arrival to Tulor village, particularly attractive for its labyrinth-like construction, in which each circle was either a house or a meeting place; it is more than 2.000 years old, and is the oldest construction of the Atacamenian culture that still stands. Visit to Pukará de Quitor, dating from the 12th century. It was attacked in 1540 by the Spanish conqueror Francisco de Aguirre with 30 soldiers, guns, armour and horses. Return to the hotel in San Pedro de Atacama.
Day 13: Tatio Geysers and Puritama Hot Springs. Departure before dawn from the hotel in San Pedro de Atacama, considered the archaeological capital of Chile, because it was the main center of the Atacamenian culture. Arrival to the Tatio Geysers. This geothermal spectacle can only be seen very early in the morning. Some steam columns may easily reach up to 10 meters high, while their eruptions may reach 8 meters high. After the beautiful sight, time to have a comforting breakfast and take a bath in the thermal pool, of an average temperature of 36ºC. Puritama has water pits that are ideal for relaxation baths; they stand out for their perfect balance with the environment, without disturbing the beauty of the natural landscapes surrounding the hot springs. The water has an average temperature of 32ºC. Return to the hotel in San Pedro de Atacama, after a relaxing day.
Day 14: Departure from Calama. Transfer to Calama in time for your flight back home.
- Low Cost (3 star hotels or better)
- Standard (superior 3 star hotels or better)
- Superior (4 star hotels or better).
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South America Chile Local Culture Cultural Journey National Parks
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