Chile: From the Andes to the Atacama Desert
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Chile: From the Andes to the Atacama Desert

Starting at $8,495


Destinations & Sightseeing
Itinerary and Meals
Accomodations

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Venture far off the beaten path to experience
Chile’s hidden gems, from an untouched private
nature reserve in remote Northern Patagonia to the
stark salt flats of the Atacama Desert, where vast
swaths of stars dance in the dark sky overhead.

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Map for Chile: From the Andes to the Atacama Desert


Destination & Sightseeing

ITINERARY

Day 1 - Arrive Santiago, Chile
Arrive in Santiago and check in to your hotel. This afternoon, remain at leisure to relax or explore the city on your own. Tonight, enjoy dinner at the home of an art lover and chef. Relish every moment as she delights you with dishes prepared with locally sourced ingredients and paired with superb Chilean wines — a firsthand introduction to life in Chile, with great food and lively conversation to be savored.

Day 2 - Santiago
This morning, walk the streets and neighborhoods of Santiago with a local expert, marveling at the outstanding architecture, inspired by the art and culture you encounter. Leave the city behind and drive out into the countryside to the nearby wine district and visit a vineyard to sample their organic and biodynamic wines. Savor a Chef ’s Table experience, with a delicious lunch served by the vineyard’s chef. As you explore the winery, learn about each stage of the winemaking process as well as the challenges of managing a biodynamic farm. Return to your hotel, stopping to view the vividly colorful and wildly inventive street art that has revitalized the look of buildings throughout Santiago’s Bellavista neighborhood.

Day 3 - Parque Futangue
Fly to Osorno and transfer to your luxurious accommodations, set in the Valdivian temperate rainforest, a unique and species-rich ecoregion that until recently lay isolated from only the most intrepid explorer. Prepare for an active three days of total immersion in this unspoiled wilderness, ranging through breathtaking natural landscapes, including vast expanses of pristine native forests and majestic mountains. Venture among beautiful lakes, turquoise waterfalls and spectacular lava fields. This remote and once-impenetrable land now hosts a network of exclusive hiking trails, so you can encounter nature firsthand like never before. Enjoy this afternoon at leisure, free to simply relax or opt for one of the included activities offered by your lodge, such as sightseeing at forest-lined Los Coipos Lake or a horseback ride through the flowered meadows of the Trahuilco River valley.

Day 4 - Parque Futangue
This morning, set out into pristine Futangue Park, a private reserve hidden in the heart of the rainforest, hiking past turquoise mountain lakes, on a trekking excursion that leads you to sparkling Riñiñahue Falls. Stop amid the stunning surroundings for a tasting of Chilean Pisco and wines. This afternoon, choose from two different activities available for your group. Explore the impressive greenhouses of the Futangue Hotel to learn how they produce and harvest a large proportion of the vegetables used in their kitchen. Their hydroponic system, which grows plants without soil by instead using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent, is unique in Chile. Listen to an explanation of the cultivation process and pick some vegetables for your dinner tonight. Alternatively, you may choose to set out for an afternoon excursion in search of the Darwin’s Frog, an endangered forest denizen named for the famed naturalist. Endemic to the region, the tiny amphibian is distinguished by its bright skin and an unusual way of rearing its young: the male carries growing embryos in its vocal sack until they are tadpoles ready to emerge.

Day 5 - Parque Futangue
Indulge in a full day at your leisure, relaxing around the lodge, or customize your adventure by taking your choice of half-day and full-day activities operated within the park. You may opt to kayak on scenic Pichi Lake or discover it from another perspective as you cycle along its shores. You may even want to go fly-fishing (for an additional cost), just one of many options available. Later, return to your lodge for some free time, and then gather tonight for dinner.

Day 6 - San Pedro de Atacama
Fly to the northern Chilean town of Calama via Santiago, where you are transferred to your lodge near the quaint oasis town of San Pedro de Atacama. Surrounded and embraced by the Cordillera de la Sal (Salt Mountains), luxurious Alto Atacama rests in the driest place on earth, the Atacama Desert. Its design borrows from local architecture to help it blend seamlessly into its surroundings. Appearing almost as if it were part of the natural rock ridge looming over it, it is a sanctuary of tranquility and quiet, offering its guests sweeping desert views.

Day 7 - San Pedro de Atacama
This morning is at leisure to explore the area on one of these Design your Day activities. Mountain Bike Along Winding Paths and through the gorges of Cordillera de la Sal, taking in the inspiring views. Walk in the High Catarpe, experiencing scenic lookouts and viewing age-old petroglyphs and rock carvings. Take a Rock Art Excursion to explore caves and view the mineral-colored hills and cliffs of the Rainbow Valley. Return to your hotel for lunch, and then depart for the Valley of the Moon, an amazing geological formation created through the conflicting pressure of the Andes and Domeyko Cordillera. Stop at an overlook for breathtaking views of the region, as the sun sets over the Death Valley. Tonight, dine at your hotel as a prelude to perhaps the most spectacular stargazing opportunity of your life. The cloud-free skies above the Atacama Desert and the relative lack of development nearby make this one of the finest places in the world for observing astronomical phenomena. Take a short walk outside your hotel to join the on-site expert who explains how the atacameños (people of the area) still use the stars, constellations and moon to guide their agricultural work and other aspects of daily life. As you listen, relax in one of several chairs that encircle a telescope, gazing up at the dazzling firmament overhead and enjoying the refreshing night air. Then, take the opportunity for a closer look at celestial bodies through the telescope, as your guide shares insights into what you’re seeing.

Day 8 - San Pedro de Atacama
Rise early for an excursion to the Hierbas Buenas region, where you view petroglyphs thousands of years old that depict scenes of local shepherds and the growth of the farming communities. Pause for an al fresco breakfast in this beautiful location, with time to take in its rugged natural beauty. This afternoon, explore the pre-Columbian archaeological site of Pucará de Quitor, a mud-and-stone fortress dating from the 12th century. Built by the atacameños, it offers commanding views over the San Pedro River valley. Walk its ruins and imagine the valiant battles once fought upon its weathered ramparts. This evening, visit the picturesque town of San Pedro de Atacama, and later perhaps avail yourself of a final opportunity to stargaze in this dark-sky region.

Day 9 - Depart Santiago
Enjoy a morning at leisure, free to simply relax or take advantage of one of the half-day activities available at Alto Atacama. Later, transfer to Calama airport to fly to Santiago, and then board your departing flight home.

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