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Santiago and Atacama Desert Tour
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Santiago and Atacama Desert Tour

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 8 day(s)
Group Size: 1 - 29 people
Destination(s): Chile  
Specialty Categories: Multi-activity   Food & Wine  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 6640 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 10115 US Dollar (USD)

Chile's natural wonders: Santiago de Chile, a Mediterranean coast, rolling hills, volcanoes and the Andes, the highest mountain range in the Western Hemisphere, Geysers, the driest desert in the world. Flamingos and red highland lagoons. Chile is also a heaven for lovers of excellent wines and incredible food. The second biggest producer of Salmon, Chile always includes a couple of salmon varieties on the menu in any restaurant.

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1, Santiago: Arrival. Arrive this morning in Santiago de Chile, gateway to the Andes, situated between mountain peaks and the Pacific Ocean. Your tour guide will accompany you to your 5-star Hotel Radisson. Centrally located for all sights in the historic center of Santiago, ideally for shopping and exploring the historic parts on your own. Or just to enjoy the view with the Andes in the background from the roof top swimming pool.

Private sightseeing of Santiago and its environs: your guide introduces you to this city nestled between mountains on your private sightseeing tour: enjoy a city tour visiting both the historic and modern centers of Santiago, as well as a trip to neighboring San Cristobal for a good look at the surrounding area. Dinner tonight is included.

Day 2, Santiago: Half-day excursion to Concha y Toro Winery. Visit to Concha y Toro, one of the most famous Chilean vineyards around the world. Located in the Maipo River canyon, planted with grapevines of the most noble French stock such as cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Pinot Noir and others. Founded in 1883 showing today a most modern technology in cooling equipment, stainless steel tanks, filters and oak casks which has lead as making of exceptional wines such as Don Melchor, Cabernet Sauvignon, Casillero del Diablo, third in sales surpassed only by France and Italy. Take the afternoon at leisure for shopping around.

Day 3, Valparaiso and Viña del Mar: Full-day excursion to Valparaiso and Viña del Mar. Valparaíso, the oldest port in Chile. Though no longer its largest port, it retains tremendous historical significance and beauty, as well as being home. to the Chilean House of Assembly and Senate. The upper and lower parts of the city are connected through 16 funicular railways constructed around the turn of the century, a time when the city experienced tremendous growth. Parts of Valparaiso are considered to become a UNESCO heritage site. From Valparaíso, continue along the coast to the beautiful beaches of Viña del Mar, the Garden city, named for its many parks and green spaces.

Day 4, Santiago - San Pedro de Atacama: The Adventure in all comfort begins. After breakfast transfer to the Airport for your flight along Chile's long coast up North to Calama, about 60 miles away from San Pedro de Atacama, the Oasis in the desert. Check in to Explora Hotel Atacama, which has only 50 rooms, but 4 swimming pools, and which fits in perfectly with the surrounding landscape. You will be introduced to the many options the hotel has to offer. Of course there are the excursions but you can pack you day with other more active activities: horse back riding, hikes, trekking, biking, hill climbing.

Day 5, San Pedro de Atacama: Valley of the Moon. See the Valle de la Luna to see the sunset in this bizarre, almost lunar landscape formed by the erosion of salt mountains. Strange sculpted rock formations in the middle of the desert with the Lincancabur Volcano in the background make for a particularly rare experience. After sunset we return to San Pedro.

Day 6, San Pedro de Atacama: Miscanti y Meñiques - lagoons and flamingos on the Altiplano. During this excursion we drive deep into the Altiplano. On lonesome unpaved roads we shall pass Socaire the oasis of a mountain river. The few inhabitants of Socaire depend on terraced agriculture. After another rise to an altitude of 4700 meters we will be rewarded by a spectacular view: the very scenic blue-black twin lagoons Meñiques and Miscanti, edged by a white crust of salt, they form a majestic picture of silence. Wildlife is especially abundant in this area.

You are sure to see many different species of ducks and other bird-life around the lagoons, as well as llamas and vicuñas in herds along the hillsides. Towering in the background Cerro Meñiques overlooks this vast section of the Altiplano. We shall continue to visit the world‚s largest salt lake: the Salar de Atacama. Rich in minerals, including borax and lithium, it is home to various species of flamingos as well as many other birds. The Laguna Chaxa, part of the Reserva National de Los Flamingos, offers a terrific opportunity to get closer to these birds in their natural habitat. In the evening we return to the hotel in San Pedro.

Day 7, San Pedro de Atacama: Geysers El Tatio. Very early departure for the Geysers of El Tatio. El Tatio is situated at 4500 meters above sea level on the Altiplano. The geysers are spectacular in the early morning. There are about 40 geysers, thermal wells and fumaroles. The early morning light striking the water and steam hurling up from the geysers, makes for an unforgettable experience. On our way back to San Pedro we shall see green bushes of Yareta shining in the sparse desert. In the early afternoon we reach San Pedro and the rest of the day will be at your leisure to explore the environs. Maybe you would like to visit the 800 years old pre-Inca fortress Pucará de Quitor nearby.

Day 8, San Pedro de Atacama - Santiago: After breakfast transfer back to Calama and flight to Santiago in order to connect with your flight home or continue on an other deluxe tour.

Notes:
Airfare is not included in the tour price.

2011 Prices:
- 8 days package: $6640 p/p double occupancy/twin
- Single supplement: $2820
- Single independent: $10115.

Price Includes:
- 8 days/7 nights in 5-star hotels
- 5 dinners, 4 lunches and all breakfasts
- All transfers
- English-speaking guides
- 24 hour contact to our Chile office
- All mentioned excursions and entrances fees.

Price Excludes:
- Flight tickets
- Tips
- Alcohol drinks
- Other meals outside the program
- Tips and other personal expenses.

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