This 12 day tour takes you from the sophisticated capital to the mysterious islands, two of Chile’s most popular destinations. Enjoy modern-day city life interwoven with history in the capital, drink in the culture of Valparaiso, then head to Easter Island aka Rapa Nui in the Pacific Ocean for a chance to marvel at the Moai, the giant human forms carved from stone. A dip in the Pacific and a walk along the rim of a volcanic crater round off this fantastic opportunity to take in the cultural wonders of Chile and its islands. Continue to the Chilean Patagonia and the Torres del Paine National Park. The amazing granite peaks that reach up to 2,900 meters in height shape the dramatic summits that give the park its name: the Torres or Towers. Be blown away by the Grey Lake and sail to visit its amazing glacier, one of the iconic spots of this Biosphere Reserve.
DAY 1- SUN. Nov. 28: ARRIVE SANTIAGO
Welcome at Santiago airport and transfer to the hotel. Encounter Santiago, Chile’s capital, nestled in the central valley, right below the imposing Andes. This city mixes the “Mapuche” legacy- (the natives that inhabited this land during the Pre-Columbian era), our Spanish colonial past and the modernity of any thriving city of the world. Walk its streets, visit its museums, engage with its architecture and become a part of it. Historical and contemporary features combined in the heart of Chile. Rest of the day is at leisure. Meet your fellow tour members and briefing followed by welcome dinner at local restaurant this evening. HOTEL CUMBRES LASTARRIA– DINNER
DAY 2- MON. Nov. 29: CITY TOUR
Begin our journey towards the city center, where we will get to know its main attractions. First, we will visit the Santa Lucia Hill, where the city of Santiago was founded in 1541. Continue to the Plaza de Armas, to see the Cathedral of Santiago, the Municipality, the Post Office Building and National History Museum. Later visit the Cerro San Cristobal, where we can enjoy a panoramic view of Santiago. The experience continues with a panoramic tour through the Providencia neighborhood and finally, along the Costanera Highway until reaching the elegant Vitacura neighborhood and the Alonso de Córdova Avenue. Lunch at local restaurant. Rest of the afternoon is free to explore the city and the sights or to shop on own. HOTEL CUMBRES LASTARRIA – BREAKFAST & LUNCH
DAY 3- TUE. Nov. 30: VALPARAISO & WINE COUNTRY TOUR
After Breakfast travel along the Pacific coast, crossing the Coastal Mountain Range passing through the central wine-producing valley of Casablanca framed by a wonderful mountain backdrop. Stop at one of the wineries nestled in the country’s finest wine-producing areas, you’ll get a tour of the wine-making operation and learn about the symbiotic relationship between local plants and livestock. You’ll also get to sample some of the winery’s latest vintages, accompanied by local cheese or chocolate.the ocean will come into view as your arrive in Valparaiso. Next, we arrive at the city of Valparaíso, World Heritage Site and main commercial port and home to the Congress of Chile. During the tour, visitors are greeted by the multi-colored houses on the hills, parks and diverse historic monuments, traditional bars and restaurants. Here you’ll climb up Cerro Florida and arrive at the former house of the poet-diplomat Neruda, containing some eye-catching original artefacts and furniture We will have lunch at a typical seafood restaurant and get to know the Plaza Sotomayor, the most important civic square of the city, located on the shore. Finally we will sail across the bay, in order to appreciate the best views of Valparaíso. Return back our hotel in Santiago. HOTEL CUMBRES LASTARRIA- BREAKFAST & LUNCH
DAY 4, WED. Dec. 1: SANTIAGO/ PUNTA NATALES
After Breakfast, transfer to airport for flight to Puerto Natales, one of Chilean Patagonia’s sightseeing hubs. Puerto Natales lies inside a beautiful, wild region known for its fjords, towering mountain peaks and glaciers – many of the latter spilling out from the vast Southern Ice Field. After settling in at the Hotel rest of the day is free to explore the city on own. HOTEL COSTAUSTRALIS – BREAKFAST & DINNER
DAY 5- THU. Dec. 2: TORRES DEL PAINE
After breakfast, the excursion begins with a visit to the Milodon’s Cave, a remarkable cavern 200 meters long, 30 meters high and 80 meters wide located 25 km from Puerto Natales. A half-hour walk will take us into the cave, known for the discovery of fresh skin and bones from a prehistoric species of giant sloth, the milodón. There have also been remains of other extinct animals, such as the dwarf horse and the saber-toothed tiger, after this interesting visit, we will travel towards the gates of the National Park Torres del Paine crossing numerous estancias and a landscape that goes from the steppe to the deciduous forest. On the way, it is possible to spot local fauna including the South American ostrich or Ñandu and the guanaco, a wild llama. Torres del Paine is known worldwide for the massifs that give it its name; giant granite modelled by the force of glacial ice. After entering the park through the area of Portería Laguna Amarga, to enjoy excellent views of the spectacular Torres del Paine, having the opportunity to see the most famous viewpoints of Torres del Paine: Mirador Lago Sarmiento, Mirador Laguna Amarga where we will see the towers and Mirador Lago Nordenskjold. At each of the stop, we’ll be able to enjoy a totally unique view, different sceneries and totally different landscapes, different ecosystems and sample the diversity of the park, after this viewpoint we drive to Salto Grande a nice waterfall where we will have the opportunity for a easy walk (30 minutes), to enjoy this nice place. We head next to Hotel Lago Pehoe to enjoy lunch with great panoramic view of Lake Pehoé and the Cuernos del Paine. After lunch, we continue to Lake Grey, where we will take a walk to a panoramic point from which we can contemplate the icebergs and the glacier of the same name. Continue by road that borders the lakes Toro, Porteño and Sofía. Enjoy the scenery and take pictures before returning to Puerto Natales. HOTEL COSTAUSTRALIS – BREAKFAST & LUNCH
DAY 6- FRI. Dec. 3: PUERTO NATALES- ESTANCIA OLGA TERESA- CONDORS OF PATAGONIA – PUNTA ARENAS
After breakfast leave Puerto Natales to drive towards Punta Arenas, about 150 km. we take a detour to the Rio Verde area, to drive another 40 km. to arrive to Estancia Olga Teresa which is a ranch located in the middle of a vast rural community. This property is a typical ‘estancia’ of the Chilean Patagonia, where visitors can enjoy Magellanic livestock traditions, typical of the area, and an encounter with nature in a unique and welcoming environment. The Estancia was acquired in 1922 by Don Fermín Roca Berjoan, a pioneer of French origin, who named it after his two daughters, Olga and Teresa. Currently, the estancia belongs to his grandson Rodolfo Concha Roca along with his wife Yvonne Paeile Jordan and their four children, Rodolfo Luis, Lorena, Cristián and Rodrigo.Estancia Olga Teresa has been transformed over time into a place of enormous charisma, being known for the natural beauties of its surroundings, for the quality of its animals and products and for the great hospitality that its owners always offer their visitors. In 2000, the family started the agro tourism activity as a complement to the livestock. In this task, the whole family and its permanent collaborators participate, demonstrating the work of the sheep, dogs and the shearing of the sheep. Enjoy typical roast lamb and other dishes for Lunch. After lunch enjoy some time free before a short drive to the area where condors can be seen.
CONDORS OF PATAGONIA
There is nowhere else that is so readily accessible and protected to observe and photograph the world’s largest flying bird, the majestic and famous Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus). we will drive to the largest condor viewing site in all Chilean Patagonia, which features an average of 40 to 50 condors throughout the year. The visit to the site involves a short walk of about 500 meters on level ground, to a rock wall that serves as a roosting area for condors. Researchers will show the condors through a powerful telescope and visitors will be provided the use of professional-quality binoculars by the conservation project staff. Meanwhile, a researcher will describe the condor biology and behavior and will use the telescope to point out selected specimens that are identified by name. There will be opportunities to take “trophy photos” with normal cameras or cell phone cameras.
Afterwards we continue travel for about 75 km to Punta Arenas. Punta Arenas is the capital city of Chilean Patagonia and the departure point for many expeditions to Antarctica. The city was founded in 1848 at the extreme southern end of the continent. Punta Arenas was initially a penal colony and later attracted many immigrants from Europe and the Chilean region of Chiloé. Pre Eclipse flight briefing thus evening. HOTEL CABO DE HORNOS – BREAKFAST & LUNCH
DAY 7- SAT. Dec. 4: ECLIPSE FLIGHT OR MAGDALENA & MARTA ISLAND TOUR (OPTIONAL)
Early wake up call and transfer to airport to board a specially chartered Eclipse flight departing well before dawn from Punta Arenas in southern Chile. We’ll fly eastbound to a location near the at-altitude sunrise point on centerline over the ocean. More details will be advised as they become available. This evening join fellow tour members for a celebratory Dinner & a report by our Eclipse experts. HOTEL CABO DE HORNOS – BREAKFAST & DINNER
Note: Pre Eclipse briefing and celebratory dinner is only for participants taking the flight.
DAY 8- SUN. Dec. 5: PUNTA ARENAS TOUR/ SANTIAGO
After Breakfast, we will be picked up and whisked away to explore the cultural and natural wonders of this southern city.
An attractive tour of the Plaza de Armas surrounded by historic buildings, next to the monument to Hernando de Magallanes. Depending on the chosen option you can visit one of its very complete museums such as the Braun Menéndez Palace to learn about the lifestyle at the beginning of the 20th century or the Salesian Museum with exhibitions of culture, history, religion, art, flora and fauna. We will visit the municipal cemetery of beautiful gardens and mausoleums. Then the traditional monument to the Ovejero. You will cross the coast of the Strait. We will finish at the Cerro de la Cruz Viewpoint with a beautiful panoramic view of the city center, the Strait of Magellan and Tierra del Fuego Island. Free time until our evening flight to Santiago. HOLIDAY INN AIRPORT HOTEL- BREAKFAST & LUNCH
DAY 9- MON. Dec. 6: SANTIAGO/ EASTER ISLAND
Fly to Easter Island, which was declared by UNESCO in 1996 as `Patrimonio Cultural de la Humanidad’, home to old culture of Rapa Nui. Upon our arrival at the Mataveri airport in Hanga Roa we will be welcomed with a traditional flower necklace. After a short transfer to the hotel we will have the rest of the day to spend as we please. A visit to the nearby church and village is recommended. There we will have the opportunity to observe both Catholic and indigenous symbols and statues (Sunday mass available if time permits). Next to the church we will find the local market and museum rich in Rapa Nui artefacts and culture. HOTEL ALTIPLANICO RAPA NUI – BREAKFAST & DINNER
DAY 10, TUE. Dec. 7: MOAIS OF EASTER ISLAND
After breakfast, we will learn more about the fascinating history of Rapa Nui and begin the day heading south along the coast. As we travel along the road we will be able to observe the shoreline with black volcanic rocks and the amazing views of the vast Pacific Ocean. Our first stop will be a place known as Hanga Te’e where we will be able to view a variety of toppled Moai (statues) of Ahu Vaihu. From there we will continue on and arrive to Rano Raraku. This volcano is home to an ancient quarry that supplied stone from which about 95% of the island’s sculptures were carved. Here we will enjoy a box-lunch and explore our surroundings. Subsequently we will make our way to the next highlight, Ahu Tongariki. This is the largest restored Ahu on Easter Island and features 15 moai. Afterwards, we will drive towards the east coast and arrive to Te Pito o Te Henua. This location is considered the “bellybutton” of the world boasting the nearby Ahu Te Pito Kura. Last, but not least we will reach the beach of Anakena known for its beautiful white sand and coconut palm trees. After visiting the nearby restored Ahu Nau Nau we will have time for a little rest and refreshing swim in the warm Pacific Ocean. HOTEL ALTIPLANICO RAPA NUI – BREAKFAST & LUNCH
DAY 11, WED. Dec. 8: CEREMONIAL VILLAGE ORONGO & AKIVI
In the morning, we will take a drive up the Rano Kau extinct volcano. Along the way we will be able to appreciate panoramic views of the entire island as well as make a brief stop at an outlook point that showcases a crater lake. From there we will head to the ceremonial village known as Orongo. There, we will learn about its past, culture and the history of the birdman cult. We will also be able to observe a variety of petroglyph images and be able to spot 3 islets situated opposite of the coastline. Afterwards we will drive down the volcano to the Ahu Vinapu that includes an ahu with interesting stonemasonry. Subsequently our last stop of the morning before heading back to the hotel, will be a cave where we will find interesting wall paintings. In the afternoon we will travel to Ahu Akivi which features seven re-erected moai situated inland. The legend claims that these statues represent the seven explorers who were sent to Rapa Nui by the late king Hotu Matua. From there we will continue on to Hanga Poukura; this is an extraordinary ahu site where a number of tumbled moai statues and scattered topknots are located. Next, we will visit the important quarry of Puna Pau that provided the sole source of the red scoria that the Rapa Nui villagers used to carve the Pukaos. For the last visit of the day we will head to the ceremonial site of Tahai boasting 3 ahus, restored statues, remains of boat houses and a boat ramp. This is a day filled with history, culture and breath taking sights! HOTEL ALTIPLANICO RAPA NUI – BREAKFAST & LUNCH
DAY 12, THU. Dec. 9: EASTER ISLAND / SANTIAGO/ DEPART
After breakfast transfer to airport and fly to Santiago. Upon arrival connect with your flight homewards. OR extend your stay.
CASH/ CHECK PAYMENT PRICE:
$ 4,850.00 per person sharing
SINGLE ROOM- $ 6,120.00
Supplement for Pre Eclipse flight briefing, Post eclipse celebratory dinner- $ 50.00 per person.
TERMS & CONDITIONS: per person
Cancellations must be made in writing and sent by email, fax, or mail. Terms are applied effective date of receipt by A Classic Tours Collection. We reserve the right to treat the reservation as cancelled if payments are not received when due. No refunds will be given in such case.
Payments are refundable in full (less $350.00 administrative fees), if ACTC is unable to deliver the tour up to 31 days prior to start of tour. Travelers are strongly recommended to purchase travel insurance to protect their travel investment.
PLEASE NOTE: Group air rates from major US cities will be negotiated with the airlines and offered to participants (usually 11 months prior to departure). Airlines may require purchase of International air to receive low domestic travel (internal Chile) rates or rates may be combined for both International and Domestic Chile travel.
First arrival transfer and final departure transfers are included for participants arriving on group travel flights or at same time as group travel airline. Those making own International & Internal Chile flight arrangements can either join at Hotel on own or purchase a private transfer. Additional costs apply.