From the Atacama Desert to Icy Patagonia
Santiago, Atacama and Patagonia: 10-day holidays to Chile for £2650pp
The far north of Chile is one of the driest places on earth, and as you climb up into the Atacama desert, the landscape becomes truly otherwordly, with white salt flats, huge red volcanoes and brightly coloured mineral lakes. It's so alien that they even test Mars rovers here...
Meanwhile, in the south the landscape is characterised by snow-capped peaks, emerald lakes and icy glaciers as you head into the winter wonderland of Patagonia.
These fantastic ten-day holidays to Chile give you all the time you need to enjoy these two contrasting sides to the country so you can really immerse yourself in this land of ice and fire...
- Day One: Arrival in Santiago de Chile
- Day Two: City tour of Santiago
- Day Three: Travel to San Pedro de Atacama
- Day Four: Tour of Atacama and Toconao
- Day Five: Tatio Geysers and Machuca
- Day Six: Back to Santiago
- Day Seven: Travel to Patagonia
- Day Eight: Torres del Paine National Park
- Day Nine: Free time in Torres del Paine
- Day Ten: Overnight flight back to the UK
Day One – Start of your Holidays to Chile
Your holidays to Chile will begin this morning as you touch down in Santiago de Chile, and we will be there to meet you and take you straight to your hotel in the upmarket Providencia area of the city. You will then have the rest of the day free to relax and enjoy one of South America’s most sophisticated capital cities.
Day Two - Tour of Santiago
This morning we will pick you up and take you for a tour of colonial and modern Santiago, so you can get a feel for the contrast between old and new which typifies the city. We will start off with a look at the grandest of Santiago’s colonial buildings, such as the imposing Presidential Palace and Mint Building, and the neo-classical Cathedral. We will then travel through some of Santiago’s most modern districts on our way to San Cristobal hill. Here a funicular railway takes right to the top so we can finish the tour with a fantastic view over the city. (Breakfast included)
- This tour of Santiago is by car, but if you'd like something a little more active, or a chance to get to some of the harder-to-reach areas of the capital, why not ask us about a bike tour instead?
Day Three – Into the Atacama Desert
We will take you to the airport this morning for your flight up to the north of the country to the Atacama Desert. You will arrive in Calama this afternoon where we’ll meet you and driver 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. This evening we will adventure out to the mystifying Death & Moon valleys, boasting incredible stone and sand formations. At sunset we will have the opportunity to view the beautiful fading light over the vast landscapes. (B)
Day Four - Salar de Atacama and Toconao
We will pick you up after breakfast for a short tour of San Pedro de Atacama, and a visit to the Father le Paige Archaeological museum. From here we will make the short drive to reach the 3000 year old pre-Columbian village of Tulor. The archaeological remains that can be viewed here constitute the oldest evidence of human settlement of the valley. Your tour will continue on to the Pukara de Quitor a fortress, which has seen many battles. In the afternoon you will visit Toconao: a village where white volcanic stone sculptures are made by locals. Afterwards you will continue on to the Atacama Salt Lake; an inland sea formed millions of year ago and an impressive sight dominated by rock formations and crystalized salt. (B/L)
Day Five - Tatio Geysers and Machuca
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. (B)
Day Six - Back to Santiago
This morning you will have a final free morning in Atacama before we take you back to the airport in Calama for your flight back to Santiago. On arrival, we’ll pick you up and take you back to your hotel. (B)
- Why not add on one more tour of Atacama this morning? Our favourites include: a hot air balloon ride over the desert; a cycling tour to the Cejar Lagoon; or a llama trek?
Day Seven - Travel to Patagonia
After breakfast today we will pick you up and take you to the airport for a flight south along Chile’s long Pacific coast and down into Patagonia. This icy landscape is a total contrast to what we have seen before and really
shows you the differences between these two sides of Chile. We will land this afternoon in Punta Arenas, the southernmost city in the country, and then we will have a short tour of the city centre with a local guide. Later today we’ll drive north to the small town of Puerto Natales, the jumping point for visits to the beautiful Torres del Paine National Park. (B)
Day Eight - Torres del Paine National Park
We will spend the whole of today exploring the stunning area of Torres del Paine, with its towering snow-capped peaks, emerald lakes and swift-running streams and waterfalls, including a short hike out into the National Park to allow us to get some fantastic views of the Cuernos del Paine peaks. You will stay overnight in Torres so you can enjoy a full day amid this magnificent scenery. (B/L)
Day Nine - Free time in Torres del Paine
After a free morning for you to enjoy relaxing or walking in the beautiful scenery, we will pick you up this afternoon and take you back to your hotel in Puerto Natales, where you will enjoy your final night here in Chilean Patagonia. (B)
Day Ten - Last Day of your Holidays to Chile
Today will be the last day of your holidays in Chile. We will take you to the airport in Punta Arenas this morning for your flight up to Santiago, where you’ll arrive in plenty of time to check-in for your international flight home. (B)
Options for our Holidays to Chile
Wine Tasting in Maipo Valley - from £95pp
Chileans are justifiably proud of their wines, and any holidays to Chile are enhanced by a trip out to some of the country's vineyards for a tasting session. We'd suggest a day trip into the fabulous Maipo valley, where you can visit a couple of Chile's best vineyards to sample their wares, as well as enjoying the beautiful countryside.
Atacama Desert - 4 days from £995pp
The Atacama desert is the driest place on earth, and also one of the strangest. This four-day extension to your holidays in Chile will take you out deep into the Atacama desert to experience the other-worldly landscape of giant red volcanoes, bizarrely-coloured mineral lakes, and the resident wildlife: speedy chinchillas and elegant pink flamingoes. At times it can be a bit like being in a real-life Dali painting!
La Campana National Park - from £170pp
If you'd like to extend your holidays in Chile to explore some of the country's most lovely natural scenery, easily accessible in a day trip from Santiago, why not take a trip into the gorgeous La Campana National Park? Ideal for walking and trekking, with paths that are accessible all year round, you can enjoy seeing waterfalls and palm trees, wildcats, skunks, eagles and chinchillas before driving back to Santiago in the evening.
Easter Island Tour - 4 days from £1250pp
The enigmatic Moai statues make Easter Island one of the most mysterious holiday destinations in the world, but happily its mysteries are within relatively easy reach of Santiago so adding on a tour of Easter Island to this Chile holiday is fairly straightforward. This four-day package will allow you plenty of time to relax and enjoy all the highlights of Easter Island.
Valparaiso & Viña del Mar Tour - from £140pp
The port city of Valparaiso was once one of the most famous in South America, and before the opening of the Panama Canal it was a regular stop for all shipping as they circumnavigated South America. Today you can see its superb historic architecture and the brightly-painted hillside houses, reached by Victorian funicular railways. From Valparaiso we'll travel on to the beachside town of Viña del Mar to enjoy its lovely promenade and parks.
Australis Cruise - 4 days from £4850pp
Enhance your experience of Patagonia with one of these exclusive 4-day cruises around the southern tip of South America to explore the isolated fjords and seas of Tierra del Fuego. You can even take a longer cruise heading right around to the Atlantic coast and the Argentine city of Ushuaia - the southern-most city in the world ...
Similar Holidays to South America
The standard price for our "Land of Ice and Fire" holidays in Chile is £2650 per person, which is based on two sharing a double or twin room in our standard hotels.
That price includes all your accommodation, internal transport, transfers, tours, guides and entrance fees. It also includes all your meals in the Torres del Paine National Park, lunches on your full-day tours, and breakfast every day.
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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