DAY 1: ARRIVE SANTIAGO, CHILE
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.
DAY 2: SANTIAGO 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. Rest of the afternoon is free to explore the city and the sights or to shop on own.
DAY 3: TOUR OF VALPARAISO & WINERIES
After Breakfast travel along the Pacific coast, crossing the Coastal Mountain Range and the Casablanca and Curacaví Valleys. Our first stop will be Viña del Mar, known as the Garden City; because of its great number of parks and nice gardens. We will visit the Quinta Vergara, Palacio Carrasco, and see an original Moai from Easter Island. Then, we continue along the bay, forming part of the most important central coastline, and get to know the city’s famous flower clock. 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. 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.
DAY 4: SANTIAGO
Breakfast at Hotel and rest of your day is free to explore city on own,. Visit many interesting museums, shop or simply relax.
DAY 5: SANTIAGO – ATACAMA
Breakfast at the Hotel. Time free until transfer to the airport to board flight to Calama. Upon arrival in Calama drive into the Atacama Desert arriving at San Pedro de Atacama.
DAY 6: ATACAMA DESERT
After Breakfast travel on the international highway towards the Atacama Salt Flat, one of the largest in the world. Within the Salt Flat, in the area known as Soncor and the Chaxa Lagoon, where you may see the three species of native pink flamingos. Continue and travel further within the Altiplano, reaching 4,300 meters above sea level. Arrive at the Miñique and Miscanti lagoons, at the foothill of the Miñique and Miscanti volcanoes, with fantastic scenery of bluish waters arising from the background of volcanoes. Return to Socaire for lunch. Our final stop is the village of Toconao visiting the main square, the bell tower built in 1750 made of cactus wood, mud and straw, and the church of San Lucas, both have been declared National Monument since 1951. Return to the hotel for Dinner and overnight.
DAY 7: ATACAMA DESERT
Rise early this morning to visit the Tatio Geysers; the geothermal centre of the Atacama Desert. Witness its impressive natural spectacle of steam combined with volcanic magma; it’s a visual performance that is waiting to surprise you. After watching this delightful spectacle, it is time to enjoy a delicious breakfast to later spend time at the natural hot pool and whose average temperature of 36° C (97 F). Visit the village of Machuca, where local families dedicate their life to grazing and agriculture. There is a good chance to observe a flock of flamingos, ducks and gulls in the nearby wetlands. Return back to San Pedro de Atacama for lunch.
Tour this afternoon to the Moon Valley. The Valley of the Moon, declared a Natural sanctuary and monument, is formed by a depression surrounded by small hills with stunning sharp ridges. This unique place is famous for its natural mineral sculptures, one of them being “Las Tres Marías” (The three Mary’s) formed by the wind erosion, resembling a lunar setting. Finally, end your trip with a magical sunset (subject to weather) at the Kari Viewpoint, one of the highest points of the “Cordillera de la Sal” (Salt Mountain Range); before returning to hotel.
Optional Stargazing tour: The Atacama Desert in northern Chile is world-renowned for the driest place on earth. Atacama’s unique landscape also makes it one of the best stargazing locations in the world. The harsh climate has discouraged people from settling in the desert, meaning there’s little threat of light pollution. The desert’s elevation and its location in the rain shadow of not 1, but 2 mountain chains mean it doesn’t even have clouds on most nights, leaving the sky clear and bright. Add in the fact that the Atacama is located in the southern hemisphere and you have a winning combination that draws astronomers from around the world. Hot drinks (non alcoholic) and light snacks are served during stargazing tour.
DAY 8: ATACAMA /SANTIAGO
Breakfast at the hotel. Time free to explore the town on your own until transfer and flight to Santiago. Overnight stay at Hotel near airport.
DAY 9: SANTIAGO / EASTER ISLAND
Morning, fly to Easter Island, which was declared by UNESCO in 1996 as `Patrimonio Cultural de la Humanidad’, home to old culture of Rapa Nui. Meeting assistance and transfer to the hotel. Afternoon visit Ahu Akivi (7 Moai), the Ana Tepahu caves and Puna Pau.
Day 10: RANO KAU-ORONGO/VINAPU
After breakfast, travel to Rano Kao volcano bordering the coast. The route ascends its slopes to the summit, where we will observe the impressive crater 1.6 kilometers across and more than 200 meters deep. Along the crater is Orongo, a magnificent ceremonial city with a major concentration of enigmatic petro-glyphs depicting ancient deities of Easter Island’s culture. We will learn about Makemake, the namesake god of one of the dwarf planets comparable to Pluto. Overview of the 3 islets: Motu Nui, Motu Iti and Motu Kao kao and sea birds. Next visit Vinapu, noted for its stone carvings, extraordinary resemblance with those found in the American Andean cultures.
Our afternoon is free to explore Easter Island on our own or to take an optional tour:
Scuba Diving (could be for beginners or expert – PADI)
Navigation to Motus (small islands)
Trekking to Poike or Terevaka Hill
Horseback riding to Terevaka Hill
Day 11: FULL DAY TOUR RANO RARAKU / TONGARIKI / ANAKENA BEACH
Visit the ruins of Vaihu Temple; it is preserved just as it was left after the ancient wars. The highlights are the red hats of the Moais, which were thrown to the sea. Continue to the abandoned quarry of the Rano Raraku Volcano, construction site for all the Moais on the island. Next, visit the recently restored Ahu Tongariki including the largest group of Moais destroyed by tsunami in 1960.
Day 12: EASTER ISLAND/SANTIAGO/DEPART
Time free to explore the beach or town on own. Fly to Santiago in the afternoon and connect with your international flight OR Spend the night at airport Hotel to rest before your flight homewards..
Day 01: Santiago/ Punta Arenas – Puerto Natales.
Fly this morning to the Punta Arenas Airport. Meeting assistance and transfer to the city, time free to have lunch. Brief city introductory tour including museum, after that, transfer to the city of Puerto Natales. On arrival check in at the Hotel. .
Day 2: Puerto Natales – Torres del Paine National Park.
After breakfast, start the full-day excursion that will drive us to the stunning Milodon Cave Natural Monument and later to the Torres del Paine National Park, with overwhelming views of its mountains and lakes such as Sarmiento, Nordenskjold, and Pehoé. Its rich fauna will be present through “guanacos” and “foxes”, among others, including several birds we will easily be able to watch during the trip. A short trek will take us to the Salto Grande, a great waterfall flowing from the rivers of the park. Then, returning to the main road, we will access the administrative headquarters of CONAF to continue to the Grey Lake where after a 30-minute walk through a thousand-years forest, we will get to its beach, a place to admire big pieces of icebergs coming from the glacier. A box lunch is provided. Return back to the hotel in Puerto Natales. .
Day 3: Puerto Natales – Balmaceda and Serrano Glacier – Punta Arenas. (21 de Mayo Embarkation)
Breakfast. Departure from the hotel to a local pier in order to start our sailing to the Balmaceda Glacier and Serrano Glacier. This sailing lasts about 4 hours to the Bernardo O´Higgins National Park. During the trip, we will be able to watch the first local cattle ranches, cormorants and sea lions colonies, beech forests, waterfalls and cliffs, the perfect home for the majestic condor. Later, we will approach land on “Puerto Toro” docking area, from where we will start a short trek to the Serrano Glacier, crossing a native forest and the lake’s shore. Lunch in Estancia Perales . Return to Puerto Natales and transfer to Punta Arenas hotel.
Day 4: Punta Arenas./ Santiago
Time free until transfer to the Punta Arenas Airport. .
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