Viña del Mar, Valparaiso and San Pedro de Atacama
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TOUR: THE DESERT AND ARCHAEOLOGY OF ATACAMA
Santiago, Viña del Mar, Valparaiso and San Pedro de Atacama Tour
|| 08 days / 07 nights
|Type / activities
|| Historical, cultural, adventure and nature
||Two months before planned departure
||Santiago de Chile, Viña and Valparaiso, San Pedro de Atacama
DAY 01: INTERNATIONAL ARRIVALEnd of our services
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.
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.
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 transfer to the Santiago International Airport to board your flight to the city of Calama.
Arrival to Calama, reception and transfer from the Calama airport to the selected hotel. Reception at arrival in hotel.
In the afternoon we will visit the Valley of the Moon - Valle de la Luna, a spectacular geological moon like landscape, with small hills but with very pointed crests and a landscape with characteristics that make it look like the moon. There are beautiful sunsets.
DAY 05: SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA: Salar de Atacama Excursion
In the afternoon visit to the Salar de Atacama Salt Deposit. It is the largest salt deposit in Chile and the second largest in South America after Uyuni (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
Breakfast. Full day excursion to the Tatio Geysers, a spectacular geothermal area at 4,320 m.a.s.l. (Approximately 13000 feet) with fissures that expel thick columns of vapour, at temperatures that reach 85 °C. (185 F) At dawn, when temperatures drop below the freezing point, the landscape becomes even more eerie and the jets reach as high as 7 metres above the surface. This phenomenon takes place due to the contact of the ice-cold waters of the underground river with the hot magma of the Tatio volcano.
Then we will visit the Community of Machuca, located 50 kilometres Northeast of San Pedro de Atacama and at a 4000 metre height. 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 which has been done with the intention of welcoming tourists. This Town in Atacama bases its economy on agriculture and livestock. Return to San Pedro de Atacama.
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, reception and transfer to the hotel of your choice.
DAY 08: 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|
- 3 nights accommodations in Santiago with breakfast
- 2 nights accommodations in San Pedro de Atacama with breakfast
- 1 city tour in Santiago shared service
- 1-Day complete tour to Valparaiso and Viña del Mar shared service
- Excursion Salar de Atacama and Valle de la Luna, shared service, entrances
- Excursion Geysers del Tatio, shared service, entrances
- Mentioned transfers in the program of the shared service
- Bilingual English / Spanish guide
- International or domestic local airplane tickets
- Airport or port taxes or similar
- Meals not contemplated in programme
- Others not specified in Tour Itinerary
Temperatures in San Pedro de Atacama present characteristics proper of a desert at high altitudes. Average temperatures during the southern hemisphere's summer (from December to February) are of 27 degrees Celsius, reaching extremes of 30 degrees, whilst they drop down to 16º C during the night.
WHAT TO PACK.
It is advisable to pack light cotton clothes, t-shirts, short pants, bathing suits, shades, sunscreens and caps for the scorching hours; and parkas, sweaters, jackets, coats, gloves, thick socks and other items of clothing that will allow you to better cope with low night temperatures.
San Pedro de Atacama has recently inaugurated a plant for the treatment and purification of water. However, it is recommendable to drink bottled water only in order to avert any possible inconveniency, especially when visiting rather isolated tourist destinations.
San Pedro de Atacama has no hospitals or clinics, all there is, is a central health post located in the main plaza, equipped to handle minor health problems. Therefore, in case of a major emergency situation you need to get to the Doctor Carlos Cisternas Hospital, located on the homonymous avenue in the City of Calama.
Chile's cuisine is pretty varied and you can sample the following typical dishes: empanada de pino (dough stuffed with onions, meat, raisins and olives), pastel de choclo (prepared with maize and meat, eggs and olives), porotos granados (fresh beans cooked with gourd and corn), cazuela de ave or cazuela de vacuno (clear soup of chicken or beef with cooked vegetables), besides the typical dishes of each region.
Lastly, you cannot fail to try the exquisite mote con huesillos, a dessert elaborated with cooked fruit and "mote" wheat.
Restaurants recommended during your trip:
Restaurants in San Pedro de Atacama
Restaurants in Santiago
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.
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