Fun & Adventures on Holiday in Chile
12-day family holidays to Chile from £2750 for adults / £2750 for kids
If you're the kind of family that likes getting out there and experiencing everything the world has to throw at you, then family holidays to Chile are absolutely tailor-made. From the epic landscapes of Patagonia to the other-worldly Atacama Desert, this is a landscape built for adventure!
And remember, all our holidays are 100% tailor-made, so you certainly don't have to stick to the itinerary on this page, but this should hopefully give you some ideas for a family holiday in Chile.
- Day One: Arrival in Santiago
- Day Two: Bike Tour of Santiago
- Day Three: Into the Atacama Desert
- Day Four: Atacama Salt Flats
- Day Five: Geysers and Star-Gazing
- Day Six: Flight to the Lake District
- Day Seven: Chiloe Penguin Colonies
- Day Eight: Rafting and Patagonia
- Day Nine: Torres del Paine
- Day Ten: Kayaking and Horse-riding
- Day Eleven: Back to Santiago
- Day Twelve: Overnight flight back to the UK
Day One – Start of Your Family Holiday to Chile
Your family holiday in Chile will begin this morning as you touch down in Santiago de Chile, and we will be there to meet you and take you by private transfer straight to your hotel in the upmarket Providencia area of the city. Your guide will help you check in and make sure you are settled, and you will then have the rest of the day free to relax after your journey, and perhaps to enjoy a stroll around the area as you start to enjoy one of South America’s most sophisticated capital cities.
- We usually find that a free afternoon on arrival allows you time to relax and recover from the flight, but if you’d prefer us to organise something this afternoon for you all, then just let us know and we can make some suggestions.
Day Two – Santiago Bike Tour
This morning we will pick you all up from your hotel, and take you to start a bike ride exploring the highlights of Santiago. Your local guide will be with you to explain everything from the grand public buildings of the main Plaza de Armas and the historic district of Lastarria, to the urban art of Patronato and the lively and colourful La Vega market. Drinks and snacks will be provided and you’ll stop frequently so you don’t need to be super-fit, but this is a great way to explore this fascinating city. (B)
- If you're not sure about the idea of a bike tour, then just ask about the other tours we can offer, from walking and car-based tours, to cookery classes and taking the cable-car up San Cristobal.
Day Three – Into the Atacama Desert
After breakfast today we will take you back to the airport for the short flight up to the Atacama Desert. You will arrive in Calama this afternoon where we’ll meet you and drive out of the city towards the small town of San Pedro de Atacama, in the arid, high Atacama Desert. Along the way we will be able to enjoy some stunning views of the Cordillera de la Sal, and a beautiful panoramic view of the Gran Salar, lying at the foot of the enormous Licancabur volcano. On arrival we’ll take you to your lovely hotel where you can relax and enjoy the warm climate and the pool! (B)
Day Four – Salar de Atacama and the Ojos del Salar
You’ll have some free time this morning to explore San Pedro, before we pick you up this afternoon and head to Chile’s largest Salt Flat, Salar de Atacama. Here we will visit the great sinkhole known as the Cejar Lagoon. It is famous for its intense turquoise colour and its high concentration of salt, meaning you can literally float on top of the water. There will be some free time to take a quick dip, so don’t forget your swimsuit! We wil then make our way to the Ojos del Salar, two small fresh water lakes in the middle of this dry desert. It’s a pretty amazing sight to see, and you’ll be dying to jump in for a refreshing swim after the salinity of the previous lagoon. From here we will drive to the Tebenquiche Lagoon, known for its thick white layers of salt crust and its beautiful surrounding landscape. This is one the best places for pictures in Atacama especially at sunset, so you’ll have some more free time to enjoy the views and take some family photos! (B)
Day Five - Geysers and Star-gazing
We will leave the hotel before dawn this morning so that we can appreciate one of Atacama’s most amazing spectacles as we drive out to the magnificent Tatio Geysers. These enormous columns of steam shoot out from the otherworldly landscape, and the sensation of being on another planet is compounded by the sulphurous smell and tremendous noise as the geysers blow. Once the sun rises, the geysers lose their force so we will head back to San Pedro, stopping at the village of Machuca on the way to see the llama caravans of the ancient Inca highway. You will have some free time this afternoon to relax in San Pedro, and then this evening we will pick you up again for an astrological tour. The Atacama Desert is internationally renowned for its clear skies and low humity, perfect for stargazing! Your expect astronomer for the evening will decide where you’ll have the clearest view, and then you’ll learn about the constellations and planets. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see planets and stars that are impossible to see in other parts of the world, and it truly is an ‘out of this world’ experience! (B)
- If you would like to extend your tour today there is the option to have breakfast alongside the geysers before visiting the nearby Puritama Hot Springs where you can spend the day soaking in natural thermal pools. Or we can enjoy visits to some of the local archaeological sites, or do some quad-biking or llama-trekking!
Day Six - On to the Lake District
Move over, Cumbria: this is the real Lake District! We’ll pick you up this morning and take you to the airport in Calama for the short flight back to Santiago, and then further south to the heart of the Chilean Lake District. Once you’ve landed we’ll take you to and the small town of Puerto Varas on the shores of Lake Llanquihue, Chile’s largest lake. Here you can enjoy a stroll along the lakeshore and a beautiful view across the lake to the twin volcanoes of Osorno and Calbuco before heading out for a bite of traditional Patagonian cuisine. (B)
Day Seven - Chiloe and the Penguins of Puñihuil
This morning we will pick you up and take you to the harbour in Pargua to catch the ferry over to the island of Chiloe, which is one of the strongest bastions of indigenous culture in Chile, and a real highlight of any visit to the Lake District. After crossing the Chacao Strait, we will head on to Ancud Bay, where you will have some time to explore the little town of Ancud, with its brightly-painted houses, craft market, and colonial fortress. We will then drive further on to the Pacific West Coast of Chiloe and the small cove of Puñihuil. Here, there are three small islands where Humboldt and Magellanic penguins breed and after enjoying a walk along the lovely white sand beach, we will go out in a zodiac to see them up-close. We will also hope to see sea-lions, pelicans and cormorants, among other native wildlife. After this we will drive back across Chiloe to the ferry, and back over the Chaco Strait to the mainland, where we’ll take you back to your hotel. (B/L)
Day Eight - Whitewater Rafting and on to Patagonia
After breakfast this morning we will drive you out from Puerto Varas and along the shores of Lake Llanquihue to upper stretches of the Rio Petrohue, in the Vincente Perez Rosales National Park. This crystal-clear river flows out from the emerald-green waters of Lake Todos los Santos, all the way down to the Reloncavi Fjord on the Pacific Coast and offers a variety of different rafting conditions from gentle Class II through to much more adventurous Class IV rapids, making it perfect for both novices and experienced rafters. After around 2 hours on the water with our experienced and qualified guides, we’ll head back to Puerto Varas, possibly a little damp, but definitely happy!
After a break for lunch, we will pick you up and take you back to the airport in nearby Puerto Montt for the flight south along the Pacific Coast to the city of Punta Arenas in southern Patagonia. Here we’ll meet you all and drive the short way north to the village of Puerto Natales, which is the gateway for visits to the stunning Torres del Paine National Park, and which will be your home for the next few nights. (B)
Day Nine - Torres del Paine National Park
We will spend the whole of today exploring the stunning Torres del Paine National Park, with its towering snow-capped peaks, emerald lakes and swift-running streams and waterfalls. On our drive north, we’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of the Paine Massif before we reach the beautiful Laguna Amarga, which is home to species such as flamingos and which offers great views of the snow-capped Cuernos del Paine. After crossing into the National Park itself, we will drive along the southern shore of Lake Nordenskjold on our way to the lovely Salt Grande waterfall, where we will stop for lunch. After this break we will drive on and then hike for around an hour to reach the shores of Lago Grey, where we will be able to see the many icebergs which cross the lake after having calved from the Grey Glacier at the head of the lake. From here we will drive back down the coast by a different route so we can make the most of this area’s very special scenery. (B/L)
- This sample itinerary has you based in Puerto Natales so that you have a base to come back to, but if you’d prefer to stay actually within the National Park then a range of accommodation is available, and particularly if you are keen walkers, this can be a good way to maximise time in the park itself.
Day Ten – Horse-riding and Kayaking
Today is all about exploring the fjords and waters of the Patagonian coast. Picking you up from Puerto Natales we will drive up to Puerto Consuelo, which was one of the original settlements here in Patagonia in the 19th century. Here we will meet our horses and ride over the fields of one of the local estancias to the famous caves where the bones of a 10,000-year-old creature known as the Milodon were found. After exploring the caves we will ride down to the shores of the Ultima Esperanza fjord, where we will take to our kayaks for a guided canoe out onto the still waters of the fjord, enjoying the peace and tranquility around us while we gaze up at the steep valley sides and the condors in the skies above. After a full day exploring this beautiful area of Patagonia we will take you back to Puerto Natales. (B/L)
- If you’re not so sure that kayaking or horse-riding are quiet right for you or your children, then just let us know: we have a huge range of other tours of Patagonia which we could substitute for today’s activities.
Day Eleven - Back to Santiago
After some free time this morning, we will pick you up and drive you back to Punta Arenas to catch the flight back up the coast to Santiago. On arrival, we’ll take you back to your hotel so you can get ready to head out and enjoy your last evening here in South America. (B)
Day Twelve - Last Day on Holiday in Chile
Today will be the last day of your family holiday in Chile, and you will have some free time this morning to see a little more of Santiago, before this afternoon we pick you up from your hotel and take you back to the airport in plenty of time to check in for your international flight home. (B)
The standard price for this Family Holiday to Chile is £2750 per adult, and £2750 per child which is based on a family of four sharing two double or twin rooms in our standard hotels.
That price includes all your accommodation, internal transport, transfers, tours, guides and entrance fees, as well as breakfast every day and all other specified meals.
We don't have any "local payments" or sneaky charges: everything you have read about on this itinerary is included in that price. And because everything we do is tailor-made, we don't have fixed departure dates or minimum numbers for our trips. Outside of national holidays or other special events, this price is valid for the whole of 2020.
So with the exception of a few meals, everything on your holiday is included. What we don't include as standard is your international flights, because with these you have a huge range of options depending on the date you want to travel, the route you want to fly, and your preferred departure airport in the UK.
We aren't tied to any particular airline, and we will be delighted to discuss all options with you, or you can even book the flights yourself if you prefer: it's totally up to you.
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