15 DAYS ●
Travel the length of Chile, from the barren beauty of the Atacama and altiplano of the north, via the lakes and volcanoes of the Lake District, to the spectacular mountains and glaciers of Patagonia in the south.
Our Chile: Top to Toe itinerary has been intricately designed for those who wish to see iconic sites and magnificent treasures. You'll travel with the assurance that all your arrangements are taken care of, with international flights, accommodation and all the touring listed below. You will be accompanied by our industry-leading National Escorts whose unparalleled knowledge and talent will turn your tour into an unforgettable experience.
Fly to Chile's sophisticated capital Santiago, arriving the same day due to crossing the International Date Line en route. You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel to relax and refresh until the welcome dinner this evening. (D)
Embark on a city tour which will allow you to experience its eclectic contrasts. Stroll around the Plaza de Armas and cathedral to admire the colonial facades before walking down Ahumada Boulevard, the city's main commercial street. Explore bohemian Bellavista and ascend San Cristóbal Hill for views over the city and the towering Andes Mountains. Lunch on fish fresh from the morning's catch at well-known restaurant El Galeon located in the bustling Central Market. (B,L)
Travel to the coast to visit the manicured seaside resort of Vina del Mar and the bohemian port town of Valparaíso. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Valparaíso is a unique and delightful tangle, draped over a series of hills. Funiculars connect the industrial seafront with the cerros (hill) neighbourhoods, each a maze of colourful, artfully-dilapidated mansions and enchanting street art. Ride the funicular into the hills to explore, stopping for a visit to Chilean poet Pablo Neruda's house. This evening enjoy the buzz of Valparaíso's vibrant nightlife. (B,L)
Transfer to the airport and fly to the northern city of Calama, from where you will drive to the desert oasis town of San Pedro de Atacama before enjoying a local lunch in Coyo Ayllu. This afternoon, you'll see some of San Pedro's most famous landscapes with a drive out to Death and Moon valleys, some of the driest spots on the planet. With lonely volcanoes populating the horizon, enjoy the views and the silence as the afternoon sun's rays turn the hues of the rock from orange, to red to purple. (B,L)
Spend the day exploring the otherworldly Salar de Atacama, the largest salt flat in Chile. Journey under the watchful gaze of barren mountains, passing salt lakes full
of flamingos, to reach Miscanti and Miñiques lagoons, which sit on the high plains at the base of two colossal volcanoes of the same names. The lagoons are astonishingly blue, whilst the salt deposits around the water's edge are brilliantly coloured. (B,L)
Rise early to travel deeper into the Atacama to visit El Tatio. Set within a ring of volcanoes, there are about 80 lively geysers and fumaroles, which are at their best at sunrise. You'll also see the Rainbow Valley and the petroglyphs of Yerbas Buenas. Keep an eye out for the wild, llama-like vicuñas as you journey to and from San Pedro. (B)
Transfer back to Calama and fly south to Puerto Montt, the gateway to Chile's spectacular Lake District. Tour the city with visits including the Plaza de Armas, Catedral de Puerto Montt and Angelmo cove. Travel on to Puerto Varas, a charming town on Llanquihue Lake looked over by two snow-capped volcanoes. (B,D)
Board the ferry over to the Chiloé archipelago to visit the largest island, Isla Grande. A rural, peaceful and spiritual place, the island is markedly different to the mainland – you'll notice the unique 'palafito' houses, brightly coloured and built on stilts, in the
city of Castro and the wooden churches. Spend the day delving into its fascinatingly culture before returning to Puerto Varas. (B,L)
Travel further around Llanquihue Lake to the village of Ensenada at the foot of Volcan Osorno, where you'll take an easy hike through the volcano's plentiful nature to reach the visitors centre at 1,240 metres. Travel to Perez Rosales National Park to Petrohué Falls, where boardwalks will help you admire the turquoise waters and lush greenery of the Petrohué River. (B,L)
Transfer to the airport and fly further south to Punta Arenas, a city that sits at the end of continental South America on the Straits of Magellan. From there you'll head to Puerto Natales, the lively, picturesque town that is the gateway to the Torres del Paine. (B)
Set sail on the gloomily named Última Esperanza (Last Hope) Fjord, a body of water that is set in a magnificent landscape. Cruise to the Mount Balmaceda Glacier, where as well as a tumbling wall of ice to admire, you'll spot cormorants and sea lions. Continue to the end of the fjord and take a short walk through native forest to the foot of the magnificent Serrano Glacier, part of the Southern Ice Field. (B,L)
Patagonia is a spectacular destination in general, but it is the UNESCO World Heritage-designated Torres del Paine National Park that is the jewel in its crown. Packed with waterfalls, lakes, glaciers and rugged peaks, the park's best-known view is of the jagged granite towers from which the park takes its name. Spend the day amongst this breathtaking example of resplendent nature. (B,L)
Transfer back to Punta Arenas and fly to Santiago. The rest of the day is at leisure. (B)
This morning after breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to Australia, arriving home the following day due to crossing the International Date Line once again. (B)
All of our tour departures include international flights and taxes in the price. Our tour prices are from prices based on per person, twin share and are subject to the availability of specific economy class fare levels. If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Tour would be more ideal.
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