Best of Chile Premium - Atacama Desert to Patagonian Glaciers US$5,238

Highlights: 
  • Upscale Lodging & Boutique Hotels
  • Premium Services
  • Introduction to Santiago
  • Premium Chilean Wineries
  • Atacama Desert
  • Hike Alerce Andino NP
  • World class Rafting
  • Superb Trekking
  • EcoCamp Patagonia
  • Torres del Paine NP
  • Unique Fauna & Flora
  • Sailing Grey Glacier
Brief Itinerary: 
day 1 Arrival Santiago – Walking City Tour
day 2 Full day Bike & Wine Tour
day 3 Flight to San Pedro – Moon Valley Bike Tour
day 4 Full day Salt Lake Atacama & Lagoons
day 5 Full day Geysers El Tatio
day 6 Flight to Puerto Varas
day 7 Half day Rafting Petrohue River
day 8 Full day Hiking Alerce Andino NP
day 9 Flight to Punta Arenas
day 10 Full day Patagonian Wildlife Safari (sample itinerary)
day 11 Full day Sailing Grey Glacier (sample itinerary)
day 12 Flight to Santiago
day 13 Flight home

 

Day 1, Bienvenidos a Chile! 
Santiago de Chile
After landing at Santiago airport and clearing customs, you will be met by a Cascada representative and driven to your hotel in a private hotel transfer. You will have time to relax after checking into your upscale hotel before being picked up for a City Walking Tour.
The tour begins with us driving downtown to famous landmarks including the central fish market and ‘Plaza de Armas’, Santiago’s main square and kilometer zero (the point from which all distances in the country are measured). We visit the ‘Alameda’, the main street of the city centre, via busy pedestrian walkway ‘Paseo Ahumada’, famous for its crowds, shops, and diversity of people.  After visiting Chile's presidential palace ‘La Moneda’, a symbol of Chile’s political past and its famously turbulent history, we climb Cerro Santa Lucía, where Santiago was founded in 1541 by Pedro Valdivia. Our tour finishes by visiting the bohemian Lastarria neighborhood, lined with cafés, restaurants, small theaters, bookstores and boutique shops.
  • Overnight Le Reve 4*, Santiago
 
Day 2, Bike & Wine Adventure
Maipo Valley, Chile
In the morning we're picked up from our hotel and driven south to wine country. Once we arrive in the village of Alto Jahuel in the famous Maipo valley we offload the bikes and start riding. As we ride we have the opportunity to observe local people living and working in agricultural Chile before we head into the vineyards.
We stop to visit three wineries, all varying in history and in the wine they produce. The first stop is one of the oldest wine cellars in Chile at Viña Santa Rita, where we discover the vineyard's rich tradition in winemaking and find out about the important role it played during Chile's struggle for independence. The second is Viña Carmen, which still produces some of the finest Chilean wines to this day. The third winery is the 100% organic Viña Nativa where we learn all about the delicate relationship between grapevines and flowers. After the final winery we drive to a countryside restaurant for lunch. Satisfied after great food, wine and the scenic bike ride, we return to our hotel in Santiago.
  • Overnight Le Reve 4*, Santiago
     
*Please note: The bike & wine tour operates only on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
 
Day 3, Arrival in Atacama
San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
This morning you'll check out of the hotel and be driven to the airport in a private transfer. After a short scenic flight you'll arrive in Calama and be driven to San Pedro de Atacama, in the middle of the desert, where you'll check into your hotel.
In the afternoon you'll have a little time to acclimatise before being whisked off on a bike tour to Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley), located 13km/8 miles west of San Pedro in the Salt Mountain Range. The valley has beautifully strange lunar landscapes and is considered one of the driest places on the planet. Cycling towards Valle de la Luna in time to witness a spectacular sunset, you'll feel the immensity of the desert stretching out all around you. Light refreshments and a specialist guide will be provided.
  • Overnight Hotel Spa Tierra Atacama 4*, San Pedro de Atacama
 
Day 4, Salt Flat Atacama  
Atacama desert, Chile  
Today we drive to the great Salar de Atacama, a white endless salt flat with flamingos nesting in the lagoons. Geological research studies suggest this great salt flat is the most important lithium reserve in the world. 
We visit a nearby village with ancient architecture and inviting locals who produce fine wool knit products and in the afternoon we visit the Altiplano lagoons Miscanti and Meñique, located at 4,500m above sea level. Unique flora and fauna can be seen and the area is also home to many legends about the Atacama Desert. We end by visiting the town of Socaire, where old Andean traditions still exist today.
  • Overnight Hotel Spa Tierra Atacama 4*, San Pedro de Atacama
 
Day 5, Geysers El Tatio  
Atacama desert, Chile  
The very early wake-up call from the hotel will be well worth it when we arrive at the amazing Tatio Geysers and see them in action. From almost 900 meters below the earth, boiling steam bursts up to 40 meters over the surface of these spectacular geysers. A scrumptious breakfast will be served upon arrival before we walk through the geothermal fields with the geysers erupting nearby. As we drive back, there is a magnificent view of the Tocopurri and Sairecabur volcanoes. We arrive back in town in time to have lunch and the afternoon will be free to rest after the early start, high altitude and low temperature we faced in the morning. 
  • Overnight Hotel Spa Tierra Atacama 4*, San Pedro de Atacama
 
Day 6, Arrival Lake District  
Puerto Varas, Chile
Today we're travelling from one extreme to another as we head from the dusty Atacama desert to Chile's luscious Lake District, lined with vast lakes and active volcanoes. After checking out from the hotel you'll be driven to Calama airport and board a flight to Puerto Montt, connecting in Santiago. Upon arrival in Puerto Montt you'll be driven to nearby Puerto Varas, a beautiful town with a marked German architectural style located on the shore of Lake Llanquihue, where you'll check into your welcoming hotel.
  • Overnight Hotel Casa Molino 4*, Puerto Varas
 
Day 7, Rafting Petrohue River 
Lake District, Chile
This morning we are going white water rafting! We are driven to the Petrohue sector, in Perez Rosales National Park, located at the foot of Osorno Volcano next to the flowing turquoise waters of the Petrohue river. Once we arrive we meet our skilled guides who will equip us will all the rafting gear needed (wetsuit, helmet, paddle jacket and life jacket) and then talk us through safety instructions. We board the rafts and start paddling down this beautiful class III river, enjoying the rapids and the views. After completing the designated river section, we have a snack on the river banks and then return to Puerto Varas to spend the afternoon.
  • Overnight Hotel Casa Molino 4*, Puerto Varas
 
Day 8, Hiking Alerce Andino National Park  
Lake District, Chile
Today we visit a national park named after the millenary Alerce tree, native to the region, undoubtedly one of the most interesting species of tree in Chile. In this Park some of the alerce trees are more than 3,000 years old! We drive down “Los Colonos” route heading to the city of Puerto Montt, passing by the small town of “Alerce” and then we meet the Carretera Austral (Southern Highway). This famous road, cutting through Northern Patagonia, is lined with abundant fauna, flora, and the beautiful lowlands of the Andean Cordillera. Along the road there are also typical small farming villages with a marked European look. 
We arrive at the 39,255 hectare park, located on the shores of Reloncavi, and start a beautiful hike on the different trails going through the Park. If we are lucky we see some of the interesting animals that live in the park, like the Chilean deer, pumas, pudús (the smallest deer in the world), condors, black carpenter birds, and much more.  We stop for lunch in one of the picnic facilities and re-energise. We then continue hiking among the ancient trees, looking out over the lake. We return to Puerto Varas and have time to go for dinner and enjoy a chilled pisco sour, a reward for all our walking effort!
Overnight Hotel Casa Molino 4*, Puerto Varas
 
Day 9, Arrival EcoCamp Patagonia  
Torres del Paine, Chile
Today you check out of your hotel and are driven to the airport to board a flight to Punta Arenas*. You are picked up from Punta Arenas airport in the morning and driven to EcoCamp Patagonia, located in the world-famous Torres del Paine National Park. 
En route we make a couple of stops - First in Puerto Natales, a small, lively town on the shores of Seno de Ultima Esperanza, where we enjoy a hearty local lunch, and second at Cueva de Milodon, a massive prehistoric cave where the remains of a giant ground sloth were discovered in the 1890’s. The whole journey is very scenic, with plenty of wild birds and wonderful landscapes to be seen. The day ends with our arrival and overnight stay at EcoCamp Patagonia, nestled in the heart of the park with a view of the Torres. During summer the sun sets around 11pm, so upon arrival there's plenty of light to admire the Patagonian steppe with its guanacos and snow-peaked mountain horizon.
For the next two days you will have the choice between active or easy excursions. EcoCamp Patagonia provides you with a chart of excursions provided each day of the week. The excursions vary depending on weather and the season. (For a detailed description of all excursions and restrictions in shoulder season restrictions please see our Wildlife safari program.)
  • Overnight EcoCamp Patagonia Suite Dome, Torres del Paine National Park
 
*If possible we recommend taking a flight to Puerto Natales. If you fly in via Punta Arenas Airport please make sure your schedule allows you to take the regular Ecocamp Transfer from the airport at the latest 15:30pm.
 
Day 10, Western Lakes & Grey Glacier (sample activites)
Torres del Paine, Chile
EASY: Western Lakes and Grey Glacier*
We drive across the Park, admiring the view of Paine Grande and its snowy peaks, and Los
Cuernos with its black, granite horn-like spires. Walking along the shores of the stunning Lake Pehoe, we see the furious Salto Grande waterfalls where the water from Lake Nordenskjold cascades down into Pehoe. The walk continues over the gentle Nordenskjold trail until until we reach its spectacular lookout point. Later, back at Lake Pehoe, we are driven south to a beach along the shores of glacial Lake Grey. Here we enjoy a tasty box-lunch by the lake before embarking on a boat ride across the icy waters to the towering blue walls of Glacier Grey. After this incredible sight of the glacier up close, we drive back to EcoCamp.
*During Shoulder Season (October and April) the boat trip on Glacier Grey may be cancelled as the boat requires a minimum of 10 passengers to sail. If this is the case we will plan an
alternative excursion in the Park.
 
ACTIVE: Western Lakes and Pingo Trail
We drive across the Park, admiring the view of Paine Grande and its snowy peaks, and Los Cuernos with its black granite horn-like spires. Walking along the shores of the stunning Lake Pehoe, we see the furious Salto Grande waterfalls where the water from Lake Nordenskjold cascades down into Pehoe. The walk continues over the gentle Nordenskjold trail until until we reach its spectacular lookout point.
Later, back at Lake Pehoe, we are driven south to a beach along the shores of glacial Lake
Grey where we walk to reach the start of the beautiful Pingo Trail taking us through a fairytale Magellan forest full of local fauna and flora. As we walk, huge rock formations in nearby hills and the strong Patagonian wind give us a good idea of just how wild Patagonia is! We reach a small sightseeing point with splendid views of the Massif’s west face, and then walk back to Grey Beach to meet our fellow travelers coming back from the boat ride. Together, we all head to Ecocamp to enjoy dinner and relaxation time.
  • Overnight EcoCamp Patagonia Suite Dome, Torres del Paine National Park
 
Day 11, Fauna Trail or Towers Trek (sample activites)
Torres del Paine, Chile
EASY: Laguna Azul and Fauna Trail
We start the day driving to Laguna Azul, on the north-eastern side of the Park, stopping at various points en route to admire the local flora and fauna and the mighty Paine Waterfall. Once at Laguna Azul we hike to a sightseeing point with a panoramic view of both the lagoon and granite towers. We then drive down to the shores of Sarmiento lake, home to many limestone formations and herds of guanacos, and walk northwards along the Fauna Trail past the small Goic lagoon and various types of fauna. After around 5km we reach the Laguna Amarga ranger station from where we are driven back to EcoCamp to relax and enjoy the evening meal.
 
ACTIVE: Trek Towers Base
We walk from Ecocamp towards Hostería Las Torres and join the uphill path to Ascencio Valley on the Tower's eastern face. Dry mountain spots, beech forests and small rivers line the scenic walk towards the valley. Our big challenge comes as we climb the steep moraine, a mass of boulders leading us towards one of the world's most famous views overlooking the Towers. The famous Torres del Paine (2,900 m/ 9,400 ft) consist of three gigantic granite monoliths, the remains of a great cirque sheared away by the forces of glacial ice. After an uphill slog, the Towers eventually come into full view, rising majestically before us, with the glacial lake visible below. Is there any better place in the world to have lunch? After feasting on the view and our picnic, we backtrack along the same trail through Ascencio Valley and return to EcoCamp.
Overnight EcoCamp Patagonia Suite Dome, Torres del Paine National Park
 
Day 12, Return to Santiago
Santiago, Chile
We board an early morning vehicle, sit back, relax, and enjoy a scenic ride back to Punta
Arenas on time to catch the evening flight to Santiago. Once in Santiago we are driven back to our lovely hotel by private transfer and get some well-deserved sleep.
  • Overnight Le Reve 4*, Santiago
 
Day 13, Adios Chile!
Santiago, Chile

After breakfast we check out of the hotel and are driven to the airport by private transfer, where we board our flight...Hasta la proxima Chile!


Accommodation

Nights 1-2: Hotel Le Reve
Le Rêve is a boutique hotel located in Santiago's Providencia neighbourhood, close to restaurants, shops, squares and parks. The hotel is designed to make guests feel perfectly at home in the beautiful and tranquil surroundings of this lovely hotel. The house has 4 floors housing 31 individually designed rooms with french design and all the amenities required. Some of the rooms overlook the garden, others have a balcony and terrace.

 

Nights 3-5: Tierra Atacama
Tierra Atacama is a a boutique hotel on the edge of San Pedro de Atacama. The hotel provides guest experiences that combine outdoor adventure and sports with indoor comforts, hospitality and excellent service. The architecture, interiors, grounds and spa of Tierra Atacama were designed by Chilean professionals with an aim of preserving local cultural influences while also creating a place that allows guests to relax, spoil themselves and enjoy the the highlights of this unique place on earth.

 

Nights 6-8: Hotel Casa Molino
Hotel Casa Molina is located near Puerto Varas, nestled on the edge of Lake Llanquihue in a very enchanting area on 15 acres of beautiful gardens with breathtaking views of the Osorno, Calbuco, Tronador and Puntiagudo volcanoes. The hotel offers a different concept of accommodation, intended to make each guest feel at home with a friendly and personalized service and a custom decorated room, each one named after a different village on the lakeside.  

 

Nights 9-11EcoCamp Patagonia Suite Dome (Heating & Private bathroom, 28m²/300ft²)
Suite domes were designed for sleeping in the highest level of comfort allowed by sustainable development in a natural untarnished environment. The domes have comfortable double or twin beds, a modern low-emission wood stove and a private bathroom with a state of the art composting toilet. Guests can gaze at the stars through the ceiling windows while falling asleep each night, after enjoying a spectacular sunset from their private terrace.

 
Nights 12: Hotel Le Reve (see Nights 1-2)
 

(If these hotels are not available then comparable alternatives will be offered with prior notice)


Included
  • 12 overnight stays in 4 star hotels
  • Excursions as detailed in itinerary on a sit-in basis unless stated otherwise
  • Private transfers in Santiago
  • Private walking city tour Santiago
  • Private Bike tour Valle de la Luna
  • Semi-private services in EcoCamp Patagonia (small EcoCamp groups)
  • English speaking guides
  • Entrance fees to Torres del Paine National Park & sites included in itinerary
  • Meals:
    • Day 2: B,L
    • Day 3: B,Snack 
    • Day 4: B
    • Day 5: B
    • Day 6: B
    • Day 4: B
    • Day 5: B
    • Day 6: B
    • Day 7: B
    • Day 8: B,BL
    • Day 9: B,D
    • Day 10: B,BL,D
    • Day 11: B,BL,D
    • Day 12: B
    • Day 13: B

(B: breakfast, L: lunch, BL: Box lunch or Snack

 
Excluded
  • Flight tickets (please estimate an additional 1,000 USD p.p. (approx) for 4 national one-way tickets: SCL/CJC, CJC/PMC, PMC/PUQ, PUQ/SCL
  • Insurance (it’s mandatory you purchase appropriate insurance for this trip)
  • Voluntary tipping of guides and staff
  • Items of personal nature

 


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