Extremes of Chile

Visit the Atacama Desert, the Chilean Lake District & Chiloe Island and Torres del Paine National Park on this comprehensive tour of Chile. Relax and enjoy the scenery and culture whilst visiting some of Chile's most well-known landmarks.

14 Days

$4,416

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

  • A guided walking tour of the colonial centre of Santiago
  • Enjoy a wonderful full day excursion to the Atacama salt flats and surrounding lakes
  • Visit the Chilean lake district and waterside town, Puerto Varas.
  • Visit Torres del Paine National Park, one of South America's most acclaimed attractions 

Start from Santiago and end at Santiago

Landmarks visited on Extremes of Chile

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1: Walking tour of the colonial centre 

Those passengers arriving on an international flight will be met at the airport by the tour leader or a local representative. There will be time to relax before your guided walking tour of the colonial centre of the city, and later you may be able to visit independently one or two of the many museums, markets and parks of this cosmopolitan capital. Santiago is laid out in a broad valley below the snow-capped Andes.

Accommodation: Hotel Atton el Bosque


Day 2: Optional visit to Valparaiso 

Today there is an optional visit to Chile's second city, Valparaiso (2 hours by bus). This lively seaport is built on a series of hills which form a backdrop to the wide bay, with views over the seaside resort of Vina del Mar. You can wander through the steep, winding streets and among the brightly-coloured colonial homes built for 19th century British and German merchants, or take a ride in one of the creaky wooden funiculars which link the cliff-top communities.

Time permitting, you may wish to visit one of the vineyards close to Santiago, to sample some highly respected Chilean wine.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel Atton el Bosque


Day 3: Fly north to San Pedro

Fly north to Calama (2 hours) where you will be driven (90mins) to the oasis of San Pedro de Atacama. San Pedro is a timeless adobe town with a laid back atmosphere and an erratic electricity supply. Its dusty streets are lined with bars, cafes and tour operators offering various excursions into the surrounding desert. The excellent museum here has a comprehensive history of the indigenous population and an interesting display of local archaeological discoveries.

On the guided excursion you arrive late in the afternoon at the Moon Valley (its name tells it all) to explore shady gorges and canyons formed over centuries by the erosion of salt mountains. Just before dusk, climb to the ridge of a vast golden sand dune to see the landscape lit up in different shades of pink, crimson and mandarin cast by the setting sun.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Poblado Kimal 


Day 4: Explore the Atacama desert

Explore the region's other-worldly landscape on a full day excursion to the Atacama salt flats and surrounding lakes. Across the dazzling, pitted surface of the salar, you'll see pink-tinged flamingos feeding, reflected in the glimmering pools.

A dusty drive takes you through some tiny hamlets where Atacames eke out a living in these harsh conditions, before continuing to Lakes Miscanti and Micques. Here, you're left literally breathless - at over 4,000m the air is thin and cold. Take a walk around the lakeshore and picnic with a view of the volcanic cones perfectly reflected in the turquoise waters.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Accommodation: Poblado Kimal 


Day 5: Optional excursions 

Should you choose to take the morning optional excursion to El Tatio Geysers, be prepared for a very early start. But it's well worth it. You arrive on the pitted, craggy geyser field just before dawn, and as the sun rises and warms the earth, hot steam projects dramatically out of the crater into the freezing morning air, creating a wall of mist through which you can make out dark silhouettes against the penetrating sunlight. Alternatively you may want to walk to Pukar de Quitor (3 km). This old Inca fortress has superb views of the mountains and volcanoes bordering Bolivia and Argentina.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Poblado Kimal 


Day 6: Fly via Santiago to the lake district and waterside Puerto Varas

Fly south via Santiago to Puerto Montt, and continue by road to Puerto Varas, situated on the shores of Lake Llanquihue (one of the largest natural lakes in South America), in the heart of the lake district. Towering snow-capped volcanoes punctuate a patchwork landscape of cultivated hills and pastures. The town sits in the shadows of the perfect conical peak of the Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes. Originally colonised by German immigrants, it has a distinctive, Bavarian feel, and many inhabitants are fair-haired and blue-eyed.

There are some excellent seafood restaurants and cafes serving creamy kuchen to while away your free time.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Cabanas del Lago


Day 7: Excursion to Petrohue falls, boat trip on Lake Todos Los Santos

Today you will visit the Petrohue Falls where you stand on wooden walkways and gaze down into the glacial turquoise waters. Follow the trails through the forest and along the shores of Lake Todos los Santos, where you will take a boat trip on the gem-clear, emerald green waters. On a clear day, this is some of the most exquisite scenery on the continent.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Cabanas del Lago


Day 8: Optional full-day visit to Chiloe Island 

We strongly recommend a full-day excursion to Chiloe. This extraordinary island developed largely independently from the mainland and has a distinct history, architecture and mythology. Alighting on its shores is like stepping back into a time of mists and legends. Half the population works in agriculture, the techniques of which have remained unchanged for centuries; distinctive ox-driven carts are to be seen trundling down the island's unpaved roads past unique wood-shingled churches and there are several folksy fishing ports where you can savour fresh oysters.

November-March you can take a boat trip to spot Magellanic and Humboldt penguins. The excursion ends with a visit to a chilote family, where the traditional curanto is prepared for you; it's a hearty dish of seafood, meat, potatoes and vegetables are piled high in a hole in the ground, buried and cooked among glowing embers.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Cabanas del Lago


Day 9: Fly south to Punta Arenas

After a short drive to Puerto Montt, a 2 hour flight takes you south to Punta Arenas. On a clear day you have views of the southern icecap, its fjords, volcanoes and glaciers. Approaching the city you fly over the rust brown Patagonian steppes, pitted with small lagoons, stretching out towards the Straits of Magellan. On the other side of the water rise the mountains of the windswept island of Tierra del Fuego.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel Rio Serrano


Day 10: Explore Torres del Paine National Park

You have time to explore extensively, on foot and by boat, and to enjoy the peace and beauty of Torres del Paine national park, deservedly one of South America's most acclaimed attractions. There are excellent hiking trails that wind alongside the glacial lakes with close-up views of the tortured rock towers and needles rising 3,000m into a tempestuous sky.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel Rio Serrano


Day 11: Boat trip to Lago Grey glacier

On today's full day guided adventure inside the national park, you'll head to iceberg-dotted Lago Grey at the foot of the giant granite massif Paine Grande. Embark upon a boat trip navigating towards the wall of giant Glacier Grey. As the vessel navigates its way across the icy waters, you look towards ice fields and precipitous, hanging glaciers. The weather in Patagonia is temperamental to say the least! You may experience four seasons in the space of an hour and the wind blows constantly.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel Rio Serrano


Day 12: Back to Punta Arenas 

Journey back south away from the park to Punta Arenas, stopping to visit the Milodon Cave on the way.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Cabo de Hornos


Day 13: Fly to Santiago 

Catch a flight back to Santiago (4 hours) which normally includes a stop in Puerto Montt where those wishing to continue with the lake crossing to Argentina will leave the group. Overnight in the capital.


Day 14: Depart for international flight or extension.

Prices, Departures and Inclusions

Start date Price (pp)
October 2017
21-Oct-2017 $4,441 Provisional Date
November 2017
4-Nov-2017 $4,441 Provisional Date
18-Nov-2017 $4,441 Provisional Date
December 2017
16-Dec-2017 $4,441 Provisional Date
January 2018
3-Jan-2018 $4,416* Provisional Date
February 2018
7-Feb-2018 $4,416 Provisional Date
28-Feb-2018 $4,441 Provisional Date
October 2018
17-Oct-2018 $4,441 Provisional Date
November 2018
7-Nov-2018 $4,441 Provisional Date
21-Nov-2018 $4,441 Provisional Date
December 2018
19-Dec-2018 $4,441 Provisional Date

* Note: Prices are per person. Paid in GBP (£) - figure above is based on today's exchange rate. Actual cost £3,478

Please note:

The price of a single supplement varies depending on the departure date, approximately GBP 1,200.


Includes

  • Santiago: walking tour
  • San Pedro de Atacama: Moon Valley and Atacama salt flats
  • Lake district: Petrohue Falls and boat trip on Lago Todos Los Santos
  • Torres del Paine: Glacier Grey boat trip
  • Torres del Paine: stops at view points within the park
  • Tour Leader
  • All land and domestic air transport
  • Accommodation as specified (3-4 Star)
  • Breakfast daily, Lunch day 4.

Excludes

  • International flights
  • Optional excursions
  • Personal expenses and equipment
  • Travel insurance
  • Gratuities
  • Any visa, passport and vaccination expenses

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