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TOUR: COMPLETE ROUND TRIP of CHILE
Santiago, Viña del Mar, Valparaiso, San Pedro de Atacama,
|Duration||:||17 days / 16 nights|
|Type / activities||:||Historical, cultural, adventure and nature|
|Reservation||:||On high season: two or three months before planned departure(sept to March)|
|Tour Season||:||Daily departures|
|Places Visited||:||Santiago de Chile, Viña and Valparaiso, San Pedro de Atacama, Easter Island, Punta Arenas, Puerto Natales, Torres del Paine, Glaciers Serrano and Balmaceda|
DAY 01: INTERNATIONAL ARRIVAL
Arrival, reception at airport and transfer to the hotel of your choice.
Afternoon free, depending on arrival time of your flight.
DAY 02: SANTIAGO: City Tour
Breakfast. In the morning a city tour of Santiago de Chile. The first place visited is the Cerro Santa Lucia Hill, an important architectural complex, which constitutes an attractive and notable element in the image of the city. At an altitude of 628 m.a.s.l. it is the place of the original foundation of the city. Buildings such as the San Francisco Church with its convent surround it. Its XVIth and XVIIth century architecture present elements that have survived in traditional Chilean architecture.
We will continue on to the centre of the city, where the Main Square - Plaza de Armas with the Cathedral, the Royal Tribune - Real Audiencia, the Main Post Office - Correo Central, which used to be the residence of the Conquistador, and the Municipality of Santiago is situated. A few blocks away from the Plaza we will see the so called Coin Palace - La Moneda, which used to be the place where the Spaniards minted their coins, but today is the presidential palace and residence ever since the declaration of Chile's independence from the Spanish Crown.
DAY 03: SANTIAGO - VIÑA DEL MAR AND VALPARAISO - SANTIAGO
Breakfast. In the morning we will start out on our visit to the city of Valparaiso, picturesque city, rich in native architecture, inspiration of artists and poets, which has been declared Cultural Heritage of Humanity. It is located at 120 kilometres (almost 75 miles) from Santiago.
During the trip you will be able to appreciate the imposing view of the valleys of Curacavi and Casablanca with their famous vineyards. Once in Valparaiso, we will see the picturesque houses and the cable cars. We will make a stop over at the outlook viewpoint of the Mirador 21 de Mayo, one of the many in the city and which allows for a magnificent view over the bay of Valparaiso.
We will continue on to the neighbouring city of Viña del Mar, the Garden City, which with its paradisiacal beaches is the most important beach resort in Chile, and one of the principal ones of South America. The sea and vegetation seems to be the perfect combination for this jewel of the Pacific, also known as the Garden City. It is located 9 kilometres (about 6 miles) northwest of Valparaiso and offers all types of comfort for its visitors.
Free time for lunch. (Not included in tour). Return to Santiago and your hotel.
DAY 04: SANTIAGO - CALAMA - SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA
Breakfast and then transfer to the International Airport to take a flight to the City of Calama. Arrival at Calama, reception and transfer from the Airport to San Pedro de Atacama.
In the afternoon, a visit to the Valley of the Moon. A spectacular geological landscape with marvellous sundowns; with small but needlesharp peaks, and a barren terrain that gives one the impression of being on the moon.
DAY 05: SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA: Visiting the surroundings
In the afternoon visit to the Salt Mine of Atacama, which is the largest salt deposit in Chile and the second largest in South America, after the Uyuni, in Bolivia.
The salt deposit at 2,305 m.a.s.l. (Approximately 7000 feet) is an interminable white uneven blanket, speckled with the dust of the desert, beneath which there is great lake, which emerges to the surface as small lagoons, in which one will find interesting wildlife, of which we can mention the beautiful rose flamingos, one of the three species of these birds that make their habitat in the high mountains.
We will also visit the town of Toconao, a traditional town built out of volcanic stone.
DAY 06: SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA: Visit to the Tatio Geysers
Full Day excursion to the Geysers of Tatio. A spectacular geothermic field at 4320 metres above sea level, with cracks that expel thick columns of steam with temperatures that reach 85° C. At dawn, when temperatures drop below zero, the landscape turns yet more amazing and the spouts reach heights of 7 metres. The phenomenon is produced due to the contact of the freezing cold subterranean river with the magma of the Tatio Volcano. There are thermal water pits nearby, in which one can enjoy restoring bathes. Tatio is located approximately 100 kilometres away from San Pedro de Atacama and 120 kilometres East of Calama. Then we will visit the Community of Machuca; its houses as well as its church have been refurbished, a lodge has been built along with a lookout point at 4500 metres height, all of this with the intention of welcoming tourists. This town of Atacama bases its economy on agriculture and livestock.
Return to San Pedro de Atacama at noon.
Overnight at the selected hotel.
DAY 07: SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA - SANTIAGO
Breakfast. Transfer to the Calama airport in time to board your flight to the city of Santiago de Chile.
Arrival at Santiago, reception and transfer to the hotel of your choice.
Rest of the day free.
DAY 08: SANTIAGO - EASTER ISLAND
Breakfast. At an appropriate time transfer to the Santiago airport to board your flight to Easter Island. Arrival, reception and transfer to the hotel of your choice. Free day according to the time of arrival of flight.
DAY 09: EASTER ISLAND: Rano Raraku
Breakfast. Full day tour visiting Vaihu, Akahanga, Rano Raraku, volcano situated northwest of Hanga Roa, is one of the major and most valuable archaeological sites on the island, because here one can find the open quarry where the moais were carved. Box lunch.
We will also pay a visit to Ahu Tongariki, Te Pito Kura, two archaeological monuments with their own characteristics, Heki'i is the biggest site with plazas and platforms and Te Pito Kura (the navel of the world) has a perfectly rounded stone and the biggest moai transported and set up in an ahu on the island.
In the afternoon we will visit Nau and Anakena Beach, a place for relaxation and swimming characterised for its warm very crystalline water, the luminosity of the surrounding atmosphere and the sea bottom with its coral reef sands.
DAY 10: EASTER ISLAND: Orongo y Ahu Akivi
Breakfast. In the morning a half day tour visiting Rano Kau, the place where the most important ceremony of the second period of the island used to take place. Also the city and ceremonial temple of Orongo.
We will also visit Vinapu, an archaeological area with two Ahus in ruins, one of which is of particular significance since the stonework of its walls bears a great resemblance to those to be found in Machu Picchu.
In the afternoon another half day tour visiting Ahu Akivi, archaeological centre in the area of Roihi, was the first to be restored in a scientific manner in the sixties, and it is of particular interest, not only because of its location in the centre spot of the island, but also because of the legends that surround it and its seven moai, which represent the first seven explorers that were sent out to explore the island by the king Hotu Matua.
The caverns of Ana Tepahu and the quarry of Puna Pau, located to the east of Hanga Roa, in a small red crater, which supplied the pukaos, which crown the moais. On the drag way we can still find some, unfinished and abandoned.
DAY 11: EASTER ISLAND - SANTIAGO
Breakfast. At the appropriate hour transfer to the Easter Island airport to board your plane back to Santiago. Arrival, reception and transfer to the hotel of your choice in Santiago.
DAY 12: SANTIAGO - PUNTA ARENAS - PUERTO NATALES
Breakfast and then on to the airport at the appropriate time to board our flight to Punta Arenas. We will be met at the airport and transferred to our hotel in the city of Puerto Natales in regular bus. Overnight.
DAY 13: PUERTO NATALES: Glaciers Serrano and Balmaceda
Breakfast. We embark early in the Sound of Last Hope - Seno de Ultima Esperanza. During the trip we will see a landscape surrounded by forests and mountains, with southern sea lions frolicking in their rookeries and the area called "Cormorant Colony" on the cliff sides and where we will be able to see these birds.
The ship will get close to the Balmaceda Glacier and anchor at the mouth of the Serrano River, where we will disembark to make a short walk through the woods to the Glacier and the lakeshore with its floating icebergs. It is quite common to observe the impressive calving of icebergs by the glacier into the fiord.
Later the vessel will arrive at Estancia Perales for lunch or to take a hike. Return to Puerto Natales in the afternoon.
DAY 14: PUERTO NATALES - TORRES DEL PAINE - PUERTO NATALES
Breakfast. Early departure from the hotel starting with a visit to the Milodón Cave, a natural monument conformed by three caves (The largest being at 150 metres of altitude) and a rock conglomerate called La Silla del Diablo (The Devil's Chair) . A great number of remains of the primitive inhabitants of the zone and bones of prehistoric animals can be found here. You may also visit the small field museum. We continue our tour bordering the Sarmiento, Nordenskjold and Pehoé Lakes, always with the presence of the massif of the Torres del Paine and of a varied fauna where the characteristic herds of Guanacos stand out. The Grey Lake is reached through an interior route, where one can appreciate the homonymous Glacier, which is one of the largest in the sector and constitutes the limit of the Campo de Hielo Sur or Southern Ice Field.
Lunch at a lodge. In the afternoon, return to Puerto Natales.
DAY 15: PUERTO NATALES - PUNTA ARENAS
Breakfast. Transfer from Puerto Natales to the hotel in Punta Arenas.
In the afternoon, City tour through Punta Arenas, a city at the end of the world with little less than 120000 inhabitants that grew up alongside the Magellan Strait.
We have planned a circuit which commences with a visit to Cerro Mirador, from where you can get a panoramic view of the City and the Magellan Strait; later you will tour the main streets and monuments, besides having the chance to visit the Maggiorino Borgatello Museum and the Institute of the Patagonia, so you can appreciate a natural history and ethnological exhibit that has a collection of samples of flora and fauna, as well as craftsmanship made by the Yaganes, Onas and Alacalufes peoples and the way of life of the first colonists.
The tour ends with the last stop at the Main Plaza. All this will allow the visitor to have a full knowledge of the City.
DAY 16: PUERTO NATALES - SANTIAGO
Breakfast. Transfer to the Punta Arenas Airport in time to board your flight to the city of Santiago de Chile. Arrival, reception and transfer to the hotel of your choice.
Free afternoon for last minute shopping according to your time of arrival.
DAY 17: INTERNATIONAL DEPARTURE
Breakfast. Free day depending on the departure time of your flight. Transfer to airport in time to board your international flight.
|Hotels Selected for the Tour|
The temperatures of San Pedro de Atacama present characteristics proper to a high altitude desert. In the summer, December through March, temperature reaches an average of 27° C (80 F); in winter 22° C and during the extremely cold nights it may descend to 0° C.
Easter Island has a subtropical climate, influenced by the prevailing winds and sea currents, with an annual average temperature of 20° C. (68 F)
In the island of the Rapa Nui -also another name given to Easter Island - there is no pronounced rainy season, sporadic and short showers occur throughout the year, with May being the month with most rain.
Chilean Patagonia presents a cold steppe climate, similar to all other populated centres in the area. Average annual mean temperatures in (the southern hemisphere) summer are 10,6 ºC (51 F) and in the (southern hemisphere) winter 2,0 ºC. (35 F) Annual average mean rainfall is 425 mm (16 inches), with January being the month with most rainfall.
WHAT TO PACK
We recommend packing all kinds of clothing for this trip since the tour covers the desert to the southern Patagonia. Bring light cotton clothing, t-shirts, shorts, bathing suits, sunglasses, sunscreen and blockers as well as sun hats for the very hottest hours;
For the southern part of the trip we recommend to bring rain proof jackets and trousers, thermally insulated shirts, polar windbreaker, headgear with earmuffs, thermally insulated gloves and socks, shorts, sandals, sunglasses with UV protection, sunscreen and blocks and chap sticks (minimum factor 30) for your face and lips, insect repellent, sunshade, water proof hiking boots (if new, we recommend that you break them in before coming.), and other warm clothing.
Tap water is safe to drink in most places but we recommend you to stick to bottled water to avoid unpleasantries.
Chile has an important network of hospitals, clinics and medical posts all along its territory. Most of these offer emergency services. In the larger cities, the hospitals can treat complex cases, while in the smaller rural villages the attention is of a more basic nature.
The Chilean cuisine is very varied, we can mention a few typical dishes such as: Empanada de Pino (fried dough pastries filled with onions, meat, raisins and olives), Pastel de Choclo (corn pie prepared with sweet corn, meat, eggs and olives), Porotos Granados (tender beans cooked with squash and sweet corn), Cazuela de Ave or Vacuno (chicken or beef broth with cooked vegetables), apart from the typical regional local dishes.
Lastly, you must try the exquisite Mote con Huesillos, a dessert made out of cooked fruit and sweet corn.
Restaurants in Santiago
Restaurants in San Pedro de Atacama
Restaurants in Easter Island
Restaurants in Punta Arenas
Restaurants in Torres del Paine
IMPORTANT: Turismo Enjoy Chile reserves the right to, without previous notice, make changes in the order of the excursions and trips, due to climate, river levels, arrival and departure times of aircraft or buses or any other relevant reason that may affect the best enjoyment or safety of your trip.