Day 1: Tour of City and markets. Hotel. Our representative will meet you at Santiago International Airport and transfer you to your accommodation in the city (see hotel options below). In the afternoon, we will pick you up from your hotel to visit the most important historical sites of Santiago including the downtown area surrounding the Plaza de Armas and the Presidential Palace. We will also pass by the Mercado Central, one of Chile's largest fresh seafood markets and take a stroll through the many bustling stalls to see the tremendous variety available from Chile's bountiful sea.
We will visit some of the lesser know barrios of Santiago including, Republica and Concha y Toro. Initially constituting the outskirts of the city, the capital's constant growth transformed the area into a privileged neighborhood and home to Santiago's high society. There will be time to walk around and take photos of the many styles of architecture dating back to the 19th and early 20th century. Continuing through the cobble stoned Lastarria neighborhood, we will walk through the Parque Forestal passing by the Bellas Artes Museum.
For a scenic vista of the city, we will visit the top of Cerro San Cristobal Hill, 600 feet above the city. During the tour you will have the option to visit one Santiago's many famed museums such as: The Cousiño Mansion, the former home to one of Chile's wealthiest 19th century families; or, the La Chascona Museum, the former home of Pablo Neruda, Chile's most famous poet and Nobel laureate; or, the Pre-Columbian Art Museum, containing one of the richest collection of Pre-Columbian culture of Latin America.
Day 2: Visit to the region's vineyards. Hotel. We will depart at 9:00 a.m. and drive an hour north of Santiago to the Aconcagua Valley. On a clear day in the valley you can see the stunning peak of Aconcagua which gives the river and valley its name. At 22,800 feet, it is the highest peak in the Americas. The Aconcagua Valley is Chile's smallest wine valley but very well known for its Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah production.
Moving toward the mountainous eastern edge of the Aconcagua Valley we will visit Viña San Esteban one of Chile's first hillside wineries. This land was home to an earlier civilization that has left enigmatic remnants of their culture in the form of rock petroglyphs full of symbolism and mystery. A producer of some very impressive reds including Laguna del Inca which was their first 90 point wine with Robert Parker.
In the afternoon you will travel to the western end of the Aconcagua Valley. Here you will visit Errazuriz Winery, one of the largest and oldest wineries in Chile and considered one of the most beautiful. Founded in 1870 it is in the forefront of producing upscale, quality wines. Following the tour at the vineyard a delicious lunch will be waiting for us here. Your final visit will be to Von Siebenthal. Founded by Swiss lawyer Mauro Von Siebenthal, the boutique winery has produced one of the highest scoring wines in Chile with 100% carmenere.
Day 3: Choice of biking, horseriding or beach time. Hotel. Today we can offer you a choice of activities as follows: Casablanca Bike and Wine Full Day Tour (Option A) Your bilingual guide will meet you in the lobby of your Santiago accommodations at 9:00 a.m. to begin our cycling winery tour* in the Casablanca Valley. Famed for its Chardonnay and renowned for its Sauvignon Blanc, the valley's cool coastal breeze makes the climate ideal for growing white varietals and for comfortable cycling.
We will drive west towards the Pacific Ocean, arrive at our starting point and after a bike fitting & trip overview we will begin our ride. Our first stop will be Casas del Bosque Winery, a family boutique winery exclusively oriented to produce high quality wines. Here you will have a tasting and take a tour through the vineyards before continuing our ride to our next stop in the Plaza de Armas of pueblo Casablanca.
Riding on, we will enjoy a scenic ride on the back roads of the valley before arriving at the last winery of the day Vina Organicos Emiliana Winery. Here we will also experience a tasting and presentation on the valley's terrior by a local expert before a picnic in their gardens.
*This excursion involves moderate biking conditions.
Yerba Loca Horseback Riding Tour (option B)
Horseback riding is one of the most enjoyable ways to explore the Andes, and our stables in Yerba Loca Sanctuary are just 45 minutes from Santiago. Our guide, a 'huaso', (Chilean cowboy), will take us along alpine trails that will allow us to view flora and fauna, and perhaps even view an enormous Andean Condor - the largest flying land bird in the Western Hemisphere with a wing span of 9-10 feet - normally seen flying in this area.
Cachagua and Zapallar Coast (option C)
Departing at 8:00 a.m., we will head toward the central region's northern coastal resorts for some of the best natural scenery of the region. First, we will visit the La Campana National Park and walk through a native Chilean palm forest near the quaint, rural town of Ocoa.
Continuing to the coast, our first stop is the beach and local seafood market in Maitencillo we then continue to the neighbouring town of Cachagua for a visit to a unique national penguin reserve. Finally, the breathtaking, rocky coast and crystal clear waters of the Pacific Ocean make for a great invitation to the coastal town of Zapallar.
After a stroll on the walkway nestled between the crashing waves and the seaside landscape, we will have a delicious Chilean seafood lunch at a local restaurant on a picturesque bay. After lunch, we will have some time to relax on the beach or to stroll the lushly landscaped cliff walk.
Day 4: Wine tasting and shopping. This morning we will be joining a memorable two hour private wine tasting program, featuring Chilean wines in Santiago's most-knowledgeable store. This is the only programme of its kind in Santiago and is offered exclusively by our company. The program includes a wine tasting of six outstanding wines - 2 whites and 4 reds - that you choose from a menu that has been specially prepared by our sommelier for our guests.
After the tasting, we can assist you in choosing the perfect Chilean wines to bring home. After this wonderful visit we will drop you off at your accommodation and pick you up again later to transfer you to Santiago Airport or we can go straight to the airport after the tour in time to connect with your flight home.
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