Chile - The Atacama to Patagonia
This full-on tour of Chile doesn't miss a thing! You'll journey into the Atacama Desert, cruise on sparkling lakes and lagoons, marvel at the towering Andes and dramatic volcanoes and see exceptional wildlife, from penguins to flamingos.
15 nights from £5839pp
Call us on 01756 706505 (+44 1756 706505) to discuss this holiday
Chile - The Atacama to Patagonia Itinerary
Day 1 UK to Santiago
Today we'll fly to Santiago, Chile's capital city.
Day 2 Santiago
On arrival in Santiago, which boasts a stunning setting beneath the majestic Andes, we'll transfer to our hotel. After time to freshen up we'll walk through Santiago's historic centre, ticking off sightseeing highlights such as Santa Lucia Hill, the Moneda Palace (Government Palace) and the Plaza de Armas, where the cathedral and National History Museum are located, as we go.
Day 3 San Pedro de Atacama
We'll fly to Calama today, transferring on arrival to the village of San Pedro de Atacama, set amidst the other-worldly landscape of the arid Atacama Desert. During an afternoon of sightseeing we'll visit the Salt Mountains, Death Valley and the Valley of the Moon to see exceptional rock sculptures formed by the elements. As the sun sets we'll experience a wonderful natural light show as the rays are reflected on the mineral-rich rocks.
Day 4 San Pedro de Atacama
We'll explore this incredible destination further today, starting at the picturesque village of Toconao and the salt-crusted Chaxa Lagoon. Part of the Los Flamencos National Reserve three varieties of this pink-hued wading bird breed. Next, we'll visit the village of Socaire, which overlooks the Atacama Salt Flats. This is our gateway to the intensely blue lagoons of Miscanti and Meñiques, surrounded by impressive volcanoes formed when the Andes rose from the sea. After a simple lunch in Socaire, we'll return to our hotel.
Day 5 Santiago
There's a very early start today but it's sure to be worth it when you see the Geysers del Tatio – a field of more than 80 active geysers. As we eat our boxed breakfast we'll enjoy the breathtaking sight of steam rising from the ground as the sun comes up over the Andes.En route back to San Pedro de Atacama we'll stop at the picturesque village of Machuca, and in the afternoon we'll fly back to Santiago for an overnight stay.
Day 6 Puerto Varas
Today we're heading to Puerto Varas, a charming town on the shores of Lake Llanquihue founded by Swiss and German settlers in the 19th century. Known as the 'city of roses' thanks to its flower-lined streets, you'll also see unmistakable German-style architecture during an included tour. We'll ascend Calvario Hill for marvellous views of the lake and the Osorno Volcano. We'll also visit Puerto Montt, the capital of the region, and the beach resorts of Pelluco and Chinquihue, before enjoying an included dinner in a local restaurant.
Day 7 Puerto Varas
Take in more exceptional views of the lake and surrounding volcanoes today, but this time it will be from the water on a boat trip to Peulla. This ecological village is located within Vincente Pérez National Park, where we'll have lunch after viewing the emerald-green waters of the Petrohué Falls and sailing on the Todos los Santos Lake (subject to weather conditions).
Day 8 Chiloé Island
Today's destination is Chiloé Island, just off the coast of Chile. After a ferry crossing we'll step ashore to admire evergreen forests, more than 150 wooden churches, timber houses perched on stilts over the water and the 560-metre-long hanging bridge which connects the island to the Aucar islet. In the fishing village of Tenaún we'll visit the farmers' fair and meet local people, who'll invite us into their homes and share lunch with us.
Day 9 Punta Arenas
Our tour continues as we fly to Punta Arenas. Chile's southernmost city is where your exploration of Patagonia begins.
Day 10 Puerto Natales
We'll start the day early with a visit to Magdalena Island. Our journey by boat takes us along the Strait of Magellan, following the same route as famous explorers including Sir Francis Drake, Charles Darwin and Hernando de Magallanes. On arrival at this designated national nature reserve, we'll be greeted by a large and curious colony of Magellanic penguins – the population here is estimated at 60,000 pairs. This afternoon, we'll travel by road to Puerto Natales.
Day 11 Torres del Paine
Torres del Paine National Park is an area of spectacular natural beauty, home to granite peaks, sparkling lakes and glistening icebergs. On our full-day visit we'll travel through Patagonia's rugged steppe, home to many species of mammal including foxes, llama and even the rarely seen puma, with the Salto Grande waterfall and Pehoé and Grey Lakes among the scenic highlights. Our day ends with a visit to the Milodón Cave, where pre-historic animal remains were discovered in the 19th century.
Day 12 Balmaceda & Serrano glaciers
An included excursion today takes us on a thrilling cruise on the Última Esperanza Sound. We'll sail through exceptional scenery to view the 1,000-year-old Balmaceda glacier, where we might spot cormorants and sea lions. We'll disembark for a short walk to the foot of the Serrano glacier, which is a remarkable sight, surrounded by snow-capped peaks and thick walls of ice. Lunch at a cattle ranch rounds off our trip.
Day 13 Santiago
After breakfast we'll transfer to the airport and fly back to Santiago.
Day 14 Valparaiso
A full day of exploration begins with a visit to a former home of the Chilean Nobel Prize – winning poet Pablo Neruda and now a museum. Next we head to Vina del Mar – the "Garden City" where we will enjoy lunch. After lunch our tour includes sights such as the unique Flower Clock, the Municipal Casino and pretty Wulff Castle, which juts out to the sea from a rocky outcrop. Finally we head to the coastal city of Valparaiso to explore.
Days 15 & 16 Santiago to UK
In the morning we will have a culinary tour of the city's Central Market in the company of a chef. Here, we'll purchase all the ingredients we need to rustle up some traditional dishes, which we'll learn how to prepare during a cookery class. We'll then eat what we've prepared for lunch.We'll then transfer to the airport for our flight back to the UK, arriving on day 16.
Just You Tour Manager as your host
Return flights from Heathrow with LATAM Airlines via Sao Paulo
Use of an airport lounge in the UK
13 nights in 3 & 4-star hotels plus 2 nights in flight
21 meals: 13 breakfast, 7 lunches, 1 dinner
All excursions includedPLUS
Specialist Local Guides
Overseas transfers & other transportation
Dedicated Just You representative to greet you at all UK airports