This holiday will visit Chile from top to bottom; the Atacama, the Chilean Lake District, Santiago, Valparaiso, Patagonia and Easter Island.
Start in the Atacama where you’ll spend three nights in the world’s driest desert discovering its eerie moonscapes and ancient landscapes.
Then, fly to Patagonia where you’ll spend six nights visiting first the scenic Lake District, before heading south to explore Torres del Paine National Park - packed full of guided tours, this part of the trip gives you every opportunity to discover more about Chile’s history, culture and natural wonders.
Leaving mainland Chile, you’ll head to Easter Island (Rapa Nui), one of the most remote islands on earth and home to the captivating Moai statues.
Finally, you’ll end this unforgettable holiday in Santiago spend your last day reminiscing about your experiences on this once in a lifetime trip.
Depart the UK from your chosen airport.
On arrival at Calama airport in northern Chile, you’ll be met and driven by a shared transfer to your hotel in San Pedro de Atacama where you’ll check in for a 3-night stay. This colourful village is located 2,440m above sea level in the middle of a green oasis.
Later in the afternoon, you’ll be picked up at your hotel and taken for a tour to the mysterious Death Valley and Moon valley – two weird and other-worldly landscapes with amazing stone and sand formations. You’ll stay until sunset so you can watch the light fade gradually over these vast, canyon-like landscapes.
After breakfast, you’ll have some time to explore San Pedro de Atacama and take a short drive to the 3000-year-old pre-Columbian village of Tulor. The archaeological remains here are the oldest evidence of the human settlement in the valley. You’ll continue to the Pukara de Quitor fortress.
After lunch, you’ll visit Toconao, an interesting village where local people carved sculptures from local, white volcanic stone. Your journey continues to the Atacama Salt Lake, and fascinating, ancient inland sea dominated by rock formations and vast, brilliant-white crystallised salt flats.
You’ll be driven back to your hotel in San Pedro.
Today you’ll be picked up before dawn and driven to El Tatio Geysers, a geothermal field situated at 4,300m on the Altiplano. We suggest bringing warm clothes as temperatures at this altitude and time of day can be below zero.
Don’t worry about the early start as your hotel will provide a packed breakfast – and the early start promises the best views of boiling geyser jets contrasts against the cool early morning mists!
Late morning, you’ll drive Machuca, a small village typical of the region, then early in the afternoon you’ll arrive back in San Pedro de Atacama for some relaxation.
Today you’ll be collected and taken by shared transfer to the Calama airport for your flight south to Puerto Montt.
Once you land, you’ll be met and driven by a shared transfer to your hotel in Puerto Varas, on the shores of Lake Llanquihue, where you’ll check in for a 3-night stay. Here you can stroll along the lakeside shore, admiring beautiful peaks of the Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes and the lakeside beach.
Today, you’ll be driven along the shore of the tranquil Llanquihue Lake passing various beaches and the town of Ensenada before you reach Petrohué.
You can stop at the gushing Petrohué Falls, known for their remarkable emerald coloured waters, with the volcano towering behind. At Petrohué, a catamaran will be waiting to take you across Todos Los Santos Lake to the town of Peulla which is in the centre of the Andes, on the road to Bariloche in Argentina.
You’ll have time for lunch and optional outdoor activities. In the afternoon you’ll return to Puerto Varas to spend the night.
Today, you’ll leave Pargua and take a day trip to the Island of Chiloé by ferry.
Your first stop is Chacao, with its main square and the church of San Antonio. Continue to Dalcahue where you’ll visit the museum and church and take a stroll along the waterfront to visit a market selling a range of local arts and crafts. Your journey continues to the city of Castro, the capital of Chiloé which has many stilt houses built above the water’s edge.
You’ll be taken back to your hotel in Puerto Varas.
Today you’ll be collected from your hotel by shared transfer and driven to Puerto Montt for your flight to Punta Arenas in southern Patagonia.
On arrival, you’ll be met and taken for a tour of the city and its main highlights. After the tour, you’ll take a shared transfer to your hotel in Puerto Natales, approximately 3 hours away, where you’ll check in for the night.
Today is all about exploring Torres del Paine National Park! You’ll be picked up and driven to the park with some stops along the way. Visit the Mylodon Cave where a giant sloth lived about 12,000 years ago. As you make your way through the Pampa steppes, you’ll pass the Amarga Lagoon and have the opportunity to look for local wildlife including rheas, guanacos, foxes, black-necked swans, condors and eagles. You’ll be able to admire the views of the Paine Massif, Almirante Nieto, and Torres del Paine itself. We’ve also included a short trek so you can explore the beauty of this stunning park.
You’ll be driven to Las Torres Hotel, right inside the national park where you’ll spend the night.
This morning, you can choose to take part in an excursion offered by your hotel, including hikes and horse riding and this afternoon, you’ll be driven back to Puerto Natales where you’ll check in for your last night in Patagonia before heading over to Easter Island!
Today you’ll be collected from your hotel by shared transfer and driven to Punta Arenas for your flight to Santiago. On arrival, make your way to a hotel situated right in front of the airport, where you’ll check in for one night before your Easter Island flight.
After breakfast, make your way to the airport for your flight to Easter Island. On arrival at Hanga Roa airport, you’ll be welcomed with a traditional flower necklace and driven by a shared transfer to your hotel.
You’ll have this afternoon free to explore a little – so why not visit the nearby village and church? There’s also a local market and museum, rich in Rapa Nui artefacts and culture.
Today is the start of your Easter Island discovery! As you drive south along the coast, the shoreline is dominated by black, volcanic rocks and amazing views of the Pacific Ocean. Stop at Hanga Te’e where you’ll see some toppled Moai statues, before continuing to the Rano Raraku volcano.
This volcano is also the site of an ancient quarry that supplied most of the stone from which the island's sculptures were carved, and you’ll learn a little more about the history here. In the early afternoon, you’ll be driven to Ahu Tongariki, the largest restored Ahu (stone platform) on Easter Island with 15 Moai.
Next, you’ll visit Te Pito o Te Henua –a huge round rock the islander’s historically called the “bellybutton” of the world. Finally, you’ll visit Anakena beach, known for its white sands and coconut palms. Take a rest here, or even go for a swim! At the end of the tour, you’ll be taken back to your hotel.
Today will be packed with exciting historical and cultural discovery, with some incredible views along the way.
This morning, you’ll be driven up Rano Kau, an extinct volcano, and before passing a crater lake, you’ll get panoramic views over the entire island! Next, you’ll visit the village of Orongo to learn about the history of the birdman cult and to see some ancient petroglyphs, before visiting another Ahu and a cave where you’ll find interesting wall paintings.
Relax at the hotel for a few hours, before heading to Ahu Akivi to see seven Moai that have been re-erected. Continue to Hanga Poukura where you’ll see more tumbled statues and visit Puna Pau quarry that provided the red volcanic rock that villagers used to carve the Pukaos – the ‘hats’ of the Moai. Last but not least, you’ll head to the ceremonial site of Tahai which has 3 Ahus, some restored statues and the remains of boathouses.
Today you’ll be collected from your hotel by shared transfer and driven to Hanga Roa for your flight back to Santiago. On arrival, you’ll be met and taken by a private transfer to your hotel where you’ll check in for a 3-night stay.
After breakfast, you’ll be picked up and driven on a tour to the Casablanca Valley - Chile’s most important grape-growing valley and known for the production of premium white wines. Enjoy a wine tasting and a guided tour of a winery, before driving on to Viña del Mar.
Finally, you’ll reach Valparaíso, the oldest and most important harbour in Chile. You’ll have some time this afternoon to explore Valparaiso’s pretty cobbled streets and use the 16 funicular railways that link the various hilly areas of the city, before returning to your hotel.
You have a full day to explore Santiago independently. We suggest visiting Santiago’s bohemian quarter, Barrio Bellavista, which has plenty of cafés, restaurants and boutiques. You could also visit La Chascona Museo, Pablo Neruda’s home in Santiago and now a museum dedicated to the poet’s work and life.
You’ll be collected from your hotel today and taken by private transfer to Santiago airport where you’ll connect with your onward flight back home.
Why not add in a stopover?
As this holiday covers many areas and climatic zones of Chile it might be challenging to find the perfect time to go but below is a general outline:
Santiago is an all year destination, however, better to avoid the months of June, July and August as these mark the winter and temperatures can get quite low. This advice is especially valid for Patagonia, where it is much better to avoid the winter altogether. The best time to visit this region is between late September and early April. The Atacama and Easter Island can be visited all year round. However, January to March is the Altiplano winter in the desert that can bring heavier rains. The famous Tapati festival normally takes place on Easter Island during February.
If you'd like to get a feel for this trip, read our blog post https://www.travelnation.co.uk/blog/a-visit-to-chile-things-to-do-in-santiago-and-the-winelands and https://www.travelnation.co.uk/blog/how-to-travel-to-easter-island-to-see-the-moai-head-statues - written by one of our consultants who has been there.
This itinerary is purely a suggestion and can be tailor-made to your requirements, so please contact us with your dates and requests, and we’ll put together a bespoke quotation for you.
Seventeen nights in 4* standard accommodation.
Hotels in this category include: