Day 1: Australia – – Santiago
Depart Australia today to begin your incredible South American journey!
Arrival at the Santiago International Airport and be welcome by your English speaking guide before being transferred to the hotel. Spend the rest of the day at leisure to discover this beautiful cosmopolitan city that blends the old with the new.
Day 2: Santiago – – San Pedro de Atacama (B)
After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Calama. Upon arrival at Calama´s airport transfer to San Pedro de Atacama (1h ½ drive). Located within 102km of Calama, San Pedro de Atacama town is mainly inhabited by indigenous groups who are dedicated to agriculture and tourism. On the old square, a church dating from 1774 reveal their customs: cactus wood frame, mud walls and beams made of Algarrobo (Carob tree). In the afternoon, enjoy a tour to the Cordillera of Sal for incredible landscapes and discover the mysterious shapes due to time erosion. Visit of the Moon Valley, known for its moonlike landscape of dunes, rugged mountains and distinctive rock formations. Here you can climb the Duna Mayor and admire the lunar landscape of the mountain range.
Day 3: San Pedro de Atacama (B)
Today, tour some of the most important archaeological sites of the area learning about the origin of the Atacama or Licanantai culture, the Pukara de Quitor, not only important for the local history, but for its history of Chile through the battle of Quitor (1540) one of the first conflicts between Spaniards and Indians. In the Atacama farm we will see how a family combines the ancestral traditions of agriculture and livestock with tourism, tasting some local products, then the Tulor village, famous for its discoveries of items boreholes and human remains. And finally we will move to the Centre of San Pedro de Atacama to travel back in time up to the time of the colony, where one of the most symbolic sites is the Church of San Pedro, built and preserved until today from adobe, cactus wood, chañar and algarrobo. It has been a national monument since 1951. In the afternoon, half day tour to Toconao, Atacameñan village. It is a peaceful site with unique colonial architecture. Discovery of his church and the bell tower San Lucas dating from the 18th century, built of volcanic stone. Crafts and fruits production are the specialties of this village near the Lascar Volcano. Then visit the Salar de Atacama to admire the spectacle of this salt lagoon of 3,000 km². The salar, habited by birds and Andean flamingos, is one of the major wonders of this vast desert. Return to San Pedro de Atacama where the rest of the afternoon is at leisure.
Day 4: San Pedro de Atacama (B)
This morning you have an early departure to the Geysers del Tatio for a full day tour of the region. Located in the Andes, it is the highest geothermal field in the world (4200 m). It has striking vapour fume activity produced by the high temperatures of the water emerging from the craters. The minerals that abound in the earth and the light transform the landscape into a palette of beautiful colours. There’s also thermal pools where you can swim. During the journey you will observe vicunas, llamas, rheas and giant cactus. Breakfast on site and have the opportunity to walk by the open spaces of the Geysers with your coffee. Taking the road back to San Pedro de Atacama you will enjoy the beauty of the landscape, native flora and fauna to finally stop at the village of Machuca before returing to the hotel.
Day 5: San Pedro de Atacama – – Santiago – – Puerto Montt – Puerto Varas (B)
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Calama airport to take a flight to Santiago, before connecting to Puerto Montt. Upon arrival at Puerto Montt airport you will be met at arrivals by your guide.
Puerto Montt is the starting point for excursions throughout the island of Chiloé, the southern channels and fjords of Patagonia. The city has an amazing geography with innumerable islands and channels. In addition, the Angelmó craft and gourmet market offers delicious cuisine composed mainly of fish and seafood. Take a Private Panoramic tour of the city port before driving to Puerto Varas.
Day 6: Puerto Varas – Lakes Visit – Puerto Varas (B)
Today enjoy a full day tour of the regions lakes, rapids and volcano; A lake born from a glacier and an active volcano are two sights you cannot miss. We begin our tour travelling round the southern shore of Llanquihue Lake. You’ll have the chance to learn more about the German colonization and the agriculture of the region. Once inside Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park, we’ll visit the world famous Petrohué River Falls, whose turquoise colours delight all travellers. Then we’ll move on to the origin of this river, Todos los Santos Lake, and visit its volcanic sand beaches. Next, at the foot of Osorno Volcano, we’ll stop at the village of Ensenada where we will have time for lunch (at own expense), before continuing up to the Osorno Volcano Ski Center. During the journey we will have the chance to enjoy great views of the Petrohué River valley and the Llanquihue Lake. Later, return to Puerto Varas.
Day 7: Puerto Varas – – Punta Arenas – Puerto Natales (B)
Today, you’ll be transferred to Puerto Montt airport for your flight to Punta Arenas. Upon Arrival at Punta Arenas airport take public bus line to Puerto Natales (approx. 3hr drive), crossing the Pampa. The city is located in front of Seno Ultima Esperanza, surrounded by hills and mountains. There are many attractions like the historical museum, the small village of artisans, the wall of the native people capped off by stunning scenery. Upon arrival at the bus terminal in Puerto Natales you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Day 8: Puerto Natales – Torres del Paine (B)
Departure from your hotel at around 08:30 am to the Milodón Cave located 24 kms north of Puerto Natales. Enjoy a half day tour of this Natural Monument, formed by three caves and a rocky conglomerate denominated “Silla del Diablo”. Before arriving at the cave, the access road passes through the “Devil’s Chair”, a name that comes from the popular imagination given to a rocky structure with the appearance of an armchair, which is said to have been the “seat” of the Milodon. The legend who transformed into the “devil”. At the end of the visit, we continue along the new access road to Torres del Paine National Park. Enjoy the afternoon free at leisure with many optional visits or activities offered for purchase at your hotel.
Day 9: Torres del Paine – Puerto Natales (B)
Today is a spectacular day! You’ll be collected from your hotel for a full day tour of Torres del Paine National Park. Along the way, observe the Cuernos del Paine over the Serrano Bridge then continue to the sector of Lake Grey. Here we can take a pleasant walk along the shore of the Grey Lake and if the conditions are favorable it is possible to access to the viewpoint of the Grey Peninsula. Re-board the bus for the second part of the tour. We begin with a visit to Torres del Paine National Park, heading to the Salto Grande area. Here, visit the Nordenskjold Lake Viewpoint and then continue to enjoy various views on route which will gradually bring us to the Laguna Amarga area overlooking the Paine Waterfall. Afterwards, return to the city of Puerto Natales passing by the Mirador del Lago Sarmiento where the tour concludes. Tonight, overnight in Puerto Natales.
Day 10: Puerto Natales – Punta Arenas – – Santiago (B)
This morning, enjoy a leisurely start to the day. You can enjoy the scenery or walk in the town to buy your last souvenirs of Chile. Later, you will be transferred to the bus terminal to board a public bus line (without guide) to Punta Arenas airport (approx. 3hrs drive) for your flight to Santiago. On arrival into Santiago you will be collected from the airport and transferred to your hotel.
Day 11: Santiago (B)
Today can be spent at leisure where you will have the opportunity to explore stunning Santiago at your our pace or take the opportunity to go on some optional excursions like a full day tour of Vina del Mar & Valparaiso.
Optional tour – Viña del Mar and Valparaíso—Enjoy a full day tour to the port city founded in the XVI century and declared World heritage by UNESCO. Also enjoy, Viña del Mar, known as the ’Garden City’, inspired by the French Riviera.
Day 12: Santiago – – Australia (B) (option to extend to 16 Day Wonders of Patagonia & the Atacama with Easter Island)
After breakfast at a pre appointed time, be transferred to the airport where your program concludes. Board your homeward flight to Australia.
Day 13: Australia
Arrive home today
OR extend to 16 Day Wonders of Patagonia & the Atacama with Easter Island
Day 12: Santiago – – Easter Island (B)
This morning, make your own way from your hotel in Santiago to the airport for your flight to Easter Island. On arrival at Hanga Roa airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel for check in. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure to discover the village, market, artisan village and church.
Day 13: Easter Island – Rano Raraku – Easter Island (B)
Today after breakfast, head out on a tour of the Island. You will get to discover mysterious places, traveling by the coast of Easter Island. The first stop will be at Ahu Akahanga where legend tells us that the King Hotu Matua may be buried in one of the sides of the Ahu. After this visit, we continue and reach one of the most important sites of the Rapa Nui culture: the Rano Raraku quarry where almost 900 statues were sculpted. Today, 397 still exist. Our next stop will be the Ahu Tongariki, restored in 1995, which holds 15 Moai’s; we will get to the “Center of the World” at the Ahu TePito Kura, the highest Moai ever moved that still has not been restored. Finally we get to Anakena beach where we will find 2 platforms: Ahu NauNau and the Ahu AtureHuki, after return to hotel.
Day 14: Easter Island – Orongo Akivi – Easter Island (B)
Today, depart for a visit of Rano Kao Volcano, located south of Hanga Roa. Taking the road up the hill we will get to the top to see the crater and the ocean at the horizon. Going down to Orongo, we will reach the temple of Vinapu where ancient ceremonies took place. During the 18st and 19st century, after the sculptor of the Moai, this god was venerated. We later visit the Ahu Akivi, a platform of 7 restored Moai’s. According to the legend, these seven statues represents the first explorers that arrived to the Rapa Nui Island, sent by the king Hotu Matua. We cannot end the excursion without visiting the Puna Pau quarry, where the Pukao or hats of the Moai, where sculpted.
Day 15: Easter Island – – Santiago – – Australia (B)
Today, at the appropriate time you will be collected and transferred back to the airport for your homeward flight.
Day 16: Australia
Arrive home today