Day 1: Arrival to Santiago. Upon arrival to Santiago you will be met by our representation guide and welcomed to Chile. They will introduce you to your personal driver and also accompany you 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 2: 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 3: Full Day Vina del Mar and 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 4: 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 program for the 5 days/4 nights.
Day 5: 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 6: Archaeological tour (Tulor, Quitor, Museum). Departure from San Pedro de Atacama towards the mountains, passing through the Ayllu of Coya, typical Atacamenian neighborhood. 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 7: 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 8: Departure from Calama and overnight in Santiago. Transfer to Calama in time for your flight (normally late afternoon) back to Santiago. Due to the late arrival into Santiago and early departure the following morning, we will arrange an airport hotel for your convenience and maximum resting time in-between your Atacama and Easter Island experiences. Overnight 1 night at Holiday Inn Airport Santiago.
Day 9: Santiago to Easter Island (Rapa Nui). With its location in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and home to a culture whose origins and evolution are still largely unknown, Easter Island is an attractive and mysterious destination. A mild year-round climate allows for walking the island’s geography and traveling along the coast of numerous ahus that are home to the gigantic sculptures called moai. Who, when and why were these sculptures created? It is a mystery. It is presumed that the island has been inhabited since the earliest centuries of our times, and the moai are hundreds of years old.
Today visitors can share with the descendants of this ancient culture and who preserve their ancestral customs in the face of the advancement of Western civilization. Visitors to Rapa Nui may participate in our diverse explorations that are organized according to group size and guest preference. Every day, we offer easy to more difficult walks that, one by one, unveil the secrets and beauty of the island. These walks are combined with picnics on rocky outcrops or along the shore, always in mesmerizing sites. Overnight 4 nights in Rapa Nui at a hotel of your choice.
Note: Clients choosing the luxury option will staying at the explora Rapa Nui Lodge and have their own transfers and sightseeing programme for the 5 days/4 nights
Day 10: Akivi (Puna Pau and Seven Moai). Enjoy this half day excursion to Ahu Akivi, the archaeological center of the Roihi sector on Easter Island. This was the first area to be restored in the 1960s. It is a ceremonial area, particularly of interest not only for its location, at the center of the island but also for the legends which surround the 7 Moais or statues to be found there. Then visit Puna Pau, a site to the east of the town of Hanga Roa in a small crater. This is where the `pukao` or hats which crowned the Moais were carved. On the journey it is possible to see the path where they were transported including some of the hats which were left on the wayside.
Day 11: Rano Raraku (Vahiu, Anakena and Ahu Tongariki). The excursion starts in Hanga Roa and taking the road along the coast, you will head towards the ruins of the temple of Vaihu, which is still today as it has been after centuries of neglect. The red hats of the Moai which were thrown into the sea can clearly be seen. Continue to the site of Akahanga, where various of the statues are face down, as they were abandoned during their transportation.
Then onto the volcano of Rano Raraku and the `factories` where the Moais were carved from the rock. Here there are more than 300 statues in different stages of production. A walk around the crater reveals a small lagoon and more Moai in the center. Continue to Ahu Tongariki which has been recently restored with the largest number of Moais which were destroyed by a large tidal wave in 1960. Finally, the beautiful Anakena beach with two temple platforms or Ahus. Following a picnic lunch, time to bathe in the Pacific Ocean or explore the surrounding countryside. Return to Hanga Roa in the afternoon.
Day 12: Orongo (Rano Kau, Vinapu). Depart for a visit to Ahu Vinapu which is made up of two ruined Ahus (temple platforms) one of which has stonework which is remarkably similar to that found in Inca sites. Studies have backed up the theory that the first inhabitants of the island came from the American continent. The journey continues along the coastal road towards the Rano Kao Volcano. Next to the crater is the ancient ceremonial site of Orongo where there are many petroglyphs. There are images of the `bird man` Tangata Manu, the god creator Make Make and also Komari, fertility symbols. From the edge of the crater, you can see the three small islands of Motu Iti, Motu Nui and Moto Kao Kao which play an important part in the `bird man` legends.
Day 13: Easter Island (Rapa Nui) to Santiago. Transfer to Rapa Nui Airport in time for your flight back to Santiago. Due to the late arrival into Santiago and early departure to Patagonia the following morning, we will arrange an airport hotel for your convenience and maximum resting time in between your Atacama and Easter Island experiences. Overnight 1 night at Holiday Inn Airport Santiago.
Day 14: Santiago to Chilean Patagonia. After breakfast today check in for your flight to Punta Arenas, the gateway to Patagonia. 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 4 nights in Puerto Natales at a hotel of your choice.
Note: Clients choosing the luxury option will staying at the explora Patagonia Lodge and have their own transfers and sightseeing programme for the 5 days/4 nights.
Day 15: 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 hydro-graphical 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 approximately 8:00p.m.
Day 16: Serrano and Balmaceda Glacier Cruise. It forms part of the Southern Ice Country and the Bernardo O’Higgins National Park, together with Torres del Paine National Park. This hanging glacier is located on the western slope of Mt. Balmaceda, and the chunks of ice loosen and break off, falling directly into the sea and into the Fjord of Last Hope (Fiordo de Ultima Esperanza). Today you will cruise the magnificent sights here and don’t forget your camera.
Day 17: 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 unequaled 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 18: 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.
Tour Hotel Accommodation:
- Low cost (3 star hotels or better)
- Standard (superior 3 star hotels or better)
- Superior (4 star hotels or better)
- Luxury (5 star all inclusive explora lodges and Ritz Carlton B&B).
Also see tour packages in:
South America Chile History Whiz Archeology/History National Parks
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