Chile North to South
Chile stretches more than 2,500 miles from north to south, encompassing some of the world’s most dynamic landscapes, and on this 3-week itinerary, you’ll experience the best of them. Set off on trekking tours across the Atacama Desert, soak in natural hot springs and hike through the volcanic national parks of the Lakes District, relax on the mystical island of Chiloé, and experience the wonders of Torres del Paine in Patagonia. Enjoy incredible wine, gourmet cuisine, elegant accommodations, and endless opportunities to explore the outdoors.
Best time to visit: March-May, September-November
Ideal for: Couples
Day 1 – Santiago de Chile
Arrive in Santiago de Chile, the dynamic capital of the country, and transfer to your boutique hotel, located right in the midst of the city’s best museums, stylish shops, and trendy restaurants. Stretch your legs in the Parque Forestal or Parque Bustamante, and enjoy the lively street scenes and dining al fresco.
Day 2 – Santiago City Tour
Meet your guide at the hotel for a private, half-day tour of Santiago, featuring some the city’s most important historical and cultural sites. Visit the government buildings of the Plaza de Armas, Palacio la Moneda, Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, and get a feel for the city’s distinctive neighborhoods. Climb up Santa Lucia Hill for views from Hidalgo Castle and up San Cristóbal Hill for panoramic views over the city. End your tour at the bustling Mercado Central where you can enjoy for a seafood lunch.
Day 3 – All Inclusive Explora Atacama
Today, fly from Santiago to Calama, in northern Chile, where you will be met for a private transfer to San Pedro de Atacama, a remote town perched on a plateau at almost 8,000 feet. Settle the luxury hotel Ayllu de Larache, only a few minutes’ walk from the center of town; your journey starts right at your doorstep with ancient pathways and buildings to explore. All meals and daily guided excursions are included in your 4-night stay.
Days 4-6 – Atacama Desert Adventures
Stretching over 600 miles between the Andes Mountains and the Pacific coast, the Atacama Desert is one of the driest regions on earth. Enjoy these next three days exploring this surreal moonscape of lava fields, trackless dunes, and soaring volcanoes. The Atacama is renowned for its unpolluted night skies, and the lodge boasts one of the best private observatories to show off the stars. Go for guided cycling and horseback tours or choose from incredible array of trekking options—you’ll gain an appreciation for the ancient civilizations that once inhabited the area as you travel through this stark and majestic landscape.
Day 7 – Pucón & the Lake District
Leave the arid Atacama Desert behind, flying south to the Lakes District from Calama to Temuco via Santiago. Transfer to the all-inclusive Hacienda Hotel Vira Vira, set along the banks of the Liucura River in the countryside near the town of Pucón. In addition to its elegant accommodations, the Hacienda offers healthy and delicious food made with products from their own farm. With the Villarrica Volcano on the horizon and several national parks and reserves within easy reach, the Hacienda offers a perfect blend of serenity and exciting outdoor adventures.
Day 9 – Explore the Lake District
Choose from numerous activities like horseback riding, river rafting, kayaking, hiking, cycling, or ascending the active Villarrica Volcano. Vira Vira’s professional guides lead small group excursions, including cultural tours to learn about Mapuche textile traditions. Spend an active day exploring the area, or enjoy a leisurely day meandering along the paths on the property, touring the working farm, taking a yoga class, or soaking in a natural hot spring.
Day 10 – Puerto Varas
Today, transfer to the town of Puerto Varas and settle into Hotel Cumbres Patagónicas, which offers panoramic views over Llanquihue Lake and Osorno Volcano. Spread along the shores of the lake, the town was originally founded by German colonists in the mid-19th century and has distinctive German architecture. In addition to its majestic setting, the hotel boasts one of the best restaurants in town. Enjoy a relaxing day exploring Puerto Varas and its lakeshore.
Day 11 – Volcanoes & Lakes
Embark on a full-day adventure in Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park, Chile’s oldest national park, and Osorno Volcano, starting with a scenic drive around Llanquihue Lake to visit Petrohué Falls. Continue your adventure on a hike along the forested slopes of Osorno Volcano to a lookout over La Burbuja Crater and the Petrohué River valley. Keep climbing up to the ski center, sitting at almost 4,000 feet, for a panoramic view from the top of Osorno Volcano.
Day 12 – Alerce Andino National Park
Explore Alerce Andino National Park on a full-day excursion that will take you past fishing villages and the homes of former German settlers to the Chamiza River. Trek through this temperate rainforest, dominated by native larch forest, which contains trees over 150 feet tall and over 4,000 years old. Learn about the flora and fauna of the park from your experienced guide, and enjoy a picnic lunch in the forest before making the return journey to Puerto Varas.
Day 13 – The Island of Chiloé
Today, drive south to the town of Pargua where you will cross to the island of Chiloé on a short ferry ride. Continue south to the island’s vibrant capital, Castro, and your all-inclusive hotel, Tierra Chiloé, where you will spend the next three nights. Enjoy delicious meals crafted with the unique flavors and traditions of Chiloé, a fully-equipped spa with a sauna and massage room, and the hotel’s serene setting overlooking the Pulao wetlands.
Days 14-15 – Exploring Chiloé
Spend today and tomorrow exploring the wonders of Chiloé on half or full-day excursions that are crafted by hotel guides to suit every interest and skill level—combine activities and build your own adventure. Go boating in Lake Cucao, horseback riding, biking, or hiking in Chiloé National Park, or on cultural excursions to learn about life on this mystical island.
Day 16 – Travel to Torres del Paine
Transfer to Puerto Montt for your flight to Punta Arenas in the southern tip of Chilean Patagonia, where you will be met for a transfer to the all-inclusive Explora Patagonia’s Hotel Salto Chico. The 4-hour drive to the hotel will take you through a vast landscape that is home to guanacos, ostriches, black-necked swans, flamingos, and condors. Settle into the hotel, located at the center of Torres del Paine National Park on the shores of Lake Pehoe, which will be your base to explore the park for the next two days.
Days 17-18 – Patagonia Excursions
Enjoy guided hiking excursions, horseback riding, and bird watching in a landscape of unsurpassable beauty. Torres del Paine National Park is officially recognized as a Biosphere Reserve, encompassing the granite massifs of the Torres, windswept pampas, and turquoise lakes formed by immense glaciers. There is an adventure for everyone in the park, ranging from lakeside strolls to full-day horseback excursions—but you won’t even have to leave the hotel to enjoy the incredible scenery.
Day 19 – Valparaíso
Today you leave the expansive wilderness of Patagonia behind, returning to Punta Arenas for your flight to Santiago. Upon arrival you will be met for a transfer to Valparaíso. A working port city with bohemian vibes, Valpo is a city of non-stop discovery. Settle into your hotel and then take a stroll along the city’s hilly streets, past brightly painted houses, and ornate street art.
Day 20 – Valpo & Viña
Get to know Valparaíso and its ritzier sister city, Viña Del Mar on a guided tour that will take you to hilltop vantages and historical buildings in Valpo, and then over to Viña Del Mar—known as the Garden City for its picturesque parks and leafy boulevards. Visit museums and palaces and stroll the beautiful beachfront boardwalk in Viña before returning to your hotel in Valpo. For literature lovers, you can add on a visit to Pablo Neruda’s Isla Negra house, about an hour’s drive to the south along the coast.
Day 21 – Departure
Transfer back to Santiago for your international flight home.
Remarkable Journeys has partnered with Lost World Adventures to create this journey. We partnered with Lost World due to their well-mannered relationships with tour guides, hotellers, airlines, and ground management services in the region. In our opinion, they offer the best value and experience in the region.
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