Trip Itinerary: Ultimate Chile - Deserts, Islands, Antarctica

Atacama Desert

Ultimate Chile: Deserts, Islands & Antarctica, 20 nights

Day 1 - On your arrival in Santiago you will be met by a local guide and transferred to your hotel in the leafy neighbourhood of Providencia. Spend your afternoon exploring downtown Santiago either guided or under your own steam.

Hotel: Don Santiago

Day 2 - Today you will take a 2 hour flight north to the Atacama desert. After arriving at the airport of Calama your journey will continue by road to San Pedro de Atacama - your base for the coming days. San Pedro is an unusually colourful village located 2.440 m / 8.000 ft above sea level in the middle of a green oasis. In the afternoon you will be taken into the mystifying Valle de la Luna, the famous Moon Valley for sunset; as the sun goes down watch Andes turn to glorious shades of pink and purple.

Day 3 - 4 - During these days you will take two day trips that will take you to the largest salt lake in Chile in the driest desert of the world: the Salar de Atacama, which is home to various species of flamingos as well as many other birds, high altitude lagoons edged by a white crust of salt and surrounded by imposing volcanoes and geothermal geyser fields flanked by soaring peaks; if possible (depending on the activity of the geyser) you can take a bath in the hot thermal public pools. On both days you will visit small desert villages where the pace of life is slow and still very traditional.

Hotel: Hotel Kimal, nights 2-4


Torres del Paine

Day 5 - In the morning, transfer to the airport and fly south over the whole length of Chile to the port city of Punta Arenas. Your guide will be waiting for you to take you deep into the heart of the Torres del Paine National Park. If time allows, take a short hike in the afternoon or simply sit back and marvel and the scenery. Your base for 3 days will be a luxury lodge with a unique setting, exquisite food yet plenty of Patagonian character.

Day 6 - 8 - With 3 days to explore this National Park you can trek the most dramtic trails of the famous W trek or choose more vehicle based excursions to others part of the National Park. Your excursions will be accompanied by a knowledgeable local guide who will inform you about  local history, geology and native flora and fauna.

Hotel: Tierra Patagonia, all 4 nights


Ultimate Chile: Deserts, Islands & Antarctica, 20 nights

Antarctica

Ultimate Chile: Deserts, Islands & Antarctica, 20 nights

Day 9 - After enjoying the morning at your leisure, preparation begins for the voyage to Antarctica.  There will be a briefing followed by a welcome dinner to meet and mingle with the passengers - you’ll be able to feel the excitement and anticipation in the room.

Day 10 - A two-hour flight takes you to King George Island, in the South Shetlands. As you exit the airplane, the clear Antarctic air fills your lungs for the first time. Explore the area surrounding Chile’s Frei Station and Russia’s Bellingshausen station, before boarding a Zodiac boat to embark your expedition vessel.

Day 11-14 - Cruise between the South Shetland Islands and the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, sailing along ice-filled fjords and among spectacular icebergs, while enjoying the company of seabirds, penguins, seals and whales. Each day, disembark by Zodiac and explore the landscape together with expert polar guides. On board the ship, attend an engaging program of lectures and presentations, and enjoy spectacular vistas from the glass-enclosed lounge while sharing your daily adventures with fellow guests.

Day 15 - Return to King George Island and bid farewell to Antarctica before boarding the flight back to Punta Arenas. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel for the night. (Note: Meals in Punta Arenas are at your leisure and not included in the program).

Hotel: Hotel Cabo de Hornos, nights 9 and 15
Vessel: Ocean Nova, nights 10-14


Easter Island

Ultimate Chile: Deserts, Islands & Antarctica, 20 nights

Day 16 - You will take an early morning transfer to Punta Arenas airport; fly to Santiago and then onward to Easter Island. Upon arrival a short transfer takes you to your hotel.

Day 17 - 18 - You will take 2 days to explore the fascinating history of Rapa Nui. You will see the Moais lying by the roadside, visit the Moais quarry and then the impressive site of 15 Moais, standing defiantly against the elements. In the afternoons you will visit volcano craters and a number of beaches where you will be given time to relax, take a stroll or a swim in the Pacific.

Day 19 - Today is a free day where you have time to choose from a number of activities such as horse riding, hiking, archeological tours or simply relax and explore the town of Hanga Roa.

Day 20 - Today you will take your return flight to Santiago where, depending on onward flight schedules you will either spend the night here or take your international flight home.

Hotel: Hotel Manavai, nights 16-19

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