No other country in the world offers such extreme contrasts as the long, thin nation of Chile – from Atacama in the north, which is the world’s driest desert, to the wilds of Patagonia and the Torres del Paine National Park located almost at the southern tip of South America. On this small group tour you will experience the extremes of the country and spend time in the capital Santiago.

• Santiago: 3 nights

• San Pedro de Atacama: 3 nights

• Santiago: 1 night

• Punta Arenas: 1 night 

• Puerto Natales: 3 nights

• Santiago: 1 night

14nights
NATURE
CULTURE
ACTIVE

No other country offers such extreme contrasts as the long, thin nation of Chile. Begin your adventure in the oasis town of San Pedro de Atacama and explore the world’s driest desert; drink, dine and discover the capital of Santiago and its surrounding winelands; and head down to the southern reaches of South America where the wild landscapes of Patagonia await. This busy yet rewarding itinerary makes the most of Chile's natural scenery, world-class produce and fantastic capital city.

• San Pedro de Atacama: 3 nights

• Santiago: 3 nights 

• Puerto Natales: 3 nights

• Santiago: 1 night

12nights
NATURE
CULTURE
ACTIVE
 
 
ITINERARY

Day 1: UK to Santiago Depart from the UK on your overnight flight to Chile.

Day 2: Santiago On arrival in Santiago, transfer to your central city hotel where you’ll spend three nights. Early check-in is included meaning you can relax following your journey. This afternoon, your group will be joined by a chef’s assistant who will accompany you to the fruit and vegetable market and the historic central market as you buy the ingredients for this evening’s dinner. The day concludes at a local restaurant where the chef prepares dinner while you watch and enjoy a traditional pisco sour drink. Stay: Luciano K (or similar). D.

Day 3: Santiago Your first full day in Chile begins with a tour which takes in the city’s main sights such as Cerro Santa Lucia, Parque Forestal and San Cristobal Hill. The sightseeing tour comes to an end at El Apero, a local restaurant serving Chilean cuisine. Stay: Luciano K (or similar). B, L.

Day 4: Santiago Today, head west to the Pacific Ocean coast for a tour of Valparaíso. During your time here you will ride a funicular up one of the city’s steep streets, visit the hilltop home of Nobel-prize-winning writer Pablo Neruda and sample the region’s incredible seafood at a local restaurant. Following a visit to the main square, travel back to Santiago through the Casablanca valley, stopping for a vineyard tour and wine tasting. Approx. journey time: 3 hours, 137 miles. Stay: Luciano K (or similar). B, L.

Day 5: Santiago to San Pedro de Atacama Rise early for a flight to Calama. Depending on the departure time, you will have breakfast at the hotel or a box breakfast en route to the airport. From Calama airport, transfer by road to San Pedro de Atacama. This afternoon, visit the breathtaking Moon Valley. Later, if the skies are clear and there’s anything but a full moon, you can enjoy the most incredible astronomical show in the company of French astronomer Alain Maury (mug of hot chocolate included). Your return to the hotel will be late at night. Approx. journey time: 3½ hours. Stay: La Casa Don Tomas (or similar). B, L.

Day 6: San Pedro de Atacama Today’s exploration takes you up into the Altiplano. Depart San Pedro and visit the peaceful village of Tocano and from there, head onwards to the Meñique and Miscati lagoons which sit at 4200 metres above sea level. Travel back down to the town of Socaire which has outstanding views over the Salar de Atacama, Chile’s largest salt flat. Later, learn more about local life as you meet members of a local family before lunch at a nearby restaurant or a picnic lunch at one of the town’s viewpoints. The final stop of the day will be at Laguna Chaxa, part of the Reserva Nacional Los Flamencos. If the previous night’s astronomical tour was unable to operate, there will be another opportunity tonight. Stay: La Casa Don Tomas (or similar). B, L.

Day 7: San Pedro de Atacama There’s a very early start this morning (4.30am) in order to see the stunning El Tatio Geysers at their best – as huge steam clouds rise into the cold dawn air with a desert sunrise as the backdrop. A packed breakfast will then be provided before you join a guided walk past geothermal features including small geysers and bubbling mud pools. En route back to San Pedro you can bathe in the Puritama hot springs. The group will then continue in to the Cordillera Domeyko mountain range to see the pre-historic petroglyphs at Yerbas Buenas (packed lunch provided). From here you’ll continue through a winding valley to the remote town of Matancilla and the Rainbow Valley. Stay: La Casa Don Tomas (or similar). B, L.

Day 8: San Pedro de Atacama to Santiago Transfer to the airport for your flight to Santiago. Approx. journey time: 3½ hours. Stay: Luciano K (or similar). B, L.

Day 9: Santiago to Punta Arenas Today’s flight takes you south to the Patagonian city of Punta Arenas where you’ll join an afternoon city tour following lunch at your hotel. This introductory tour begins with a stop on Cerro Mirador from which you can enjoy views over Punta Arenas and the Strait of Magellan.Continue on to the Memorial Hernando de Magallanes, the city cemetery and the Braun Menendez Palace Museum. Approx. flight time: 3½ hours. Stay:

Cabo de Hornos. B, L.

Day 10: Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales Today begins with a trip to see the colony of magellanic penguins which live on Magdalena Island. Following a two-and-a-half-hour boat trip, you’ll arrive on the island where you can follow a marked trail through the colony. Return to the mainland before your transfer to the city of Puerto Natales. Approx. journey time: 4 hours. Stay: Altiplanico Sur (or similar). B, L.

Day 11: Puerto Natales There’s an early start today for your cruise into the Última Esperanza Sound. The boat will continue on towards the Balmaceda glacier which seems to cling to the mountainside. Later, disembark at Puerto Toro and walk through a native forest to reach the wall of the incredible Serrano glacier. On return to the ship, enjoy an aperitif which is cooled by ice that has been taken from the glacier! On your way back to Puerto Natales visit a local cattle ranch where lunch will be served. Stay: Altiplanico Sur (or similar). B, L.

Day 12: Puerto Natales This morning, travel north along the Seno de Ultima Esperanza into the heart of Patagonia and the spectacular Torres del Paine National Park for a full day’s exploration. Make your way along the shore of Lago Grey en route to the Grey Glacier. Here you’ll board a boat for a closer view of the face of the glacier. Approx. journey time: 3½ hours. Stay: Altiplanico Sur (or similar). B, L.

Day 13: Puerto Natales to Santiago Make the return journey south to Punta Arenas for your flight to Santiago. This evening there’ll be a farewell dinner at a restaurant in the Bellavista neighbourhood. Approx. journey time: 7½ hours. Stay: Luciano K (or similar). B, L.

Day 14: Santiago Transfer to the airport for your overnight to the UK. B.


Stay longer

Easter Island, 4 nights

Day 1: Santiago to Easter Island Transfer to the airport from your city hotel for your flight to Easter Island (approx. 4½ hours). This evening, dinner will be served at Te Ra’ai, an immersive and entertaining restaurant that showcases the intriguing cultures of this remote island. Stay: Antiplanico Rapa-Nui (or similar). B, D.

Day 2: Easter Island Following breakfast, head to Anakena Beach, one of Easter Island’s most important sites. Not only beautiful, it is where the first king of the island and his men first landed. Continue on to Ahu Te Pito Kura which is home to one of the largest Moai statues on the island. You’ll also visit the Rano Raraku volcano, also known as the ‘Moai factory’; Ahu Tongariki, the site of one of the island’s most iconic images – 15 statues lined up in formation; and Ahu Akahanga where you will see the ruins of an ancient village. Stay: Antiplanico Rapa-Nui (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 3: Easter Island Travel to the south-west coast of the island and see two platforms, many fallen statues and a unique rock wall. The next stops are the volcanic crater – Rano Kau – which is a mile in diameter and 11 metres deep, and the ancient ceremonial city of Orongo where you can witness a number of petroglyphs. Your final afternoon on the island is spent at the Ahu Akivi archaeological site which is located in the centre of the island, and the quarry of Puna Pau where Moai headdresses (known locally as pukao) were carved.

Stay: Antiplanico Rapa-Nui (or similar). B, D.

Day 4: Easter Island to Santiago Return to the airport for your return flight to Santiago (approx. 4½ hours) where you will stay one further night. Stay: Luciano K (or similar). B, D.

Day 5: Santiago Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK. B.

Day 1: UK to San Pedro de Atacama Depart from the UK on your overnight flight to San Pedro de Atacama via Santiago.

Day 2: San Pedro de Atacama On arrival, transfer to your hotel where you’ll spend three nights. The rest of the day will be free to relax after your long flight to Chile. Once the sun has set, you’ll have the option of joining a stargazing tour led by French astronomer Alain Maury (this tour will only go ahead if the skies are clear and the moon is not full). Thanks to the combination of minimal light pollution and high altitude, the night skies in the Atacama Desert are some of the best you’ll ever see, so sit back and sip on a mug of hot chocolate as you learn about the southern constellations. Approx. journey time: 3½ hours. Stay: Altiplanico Atacama (or similar). D.

Day 3: San Pedro de Atacama If you’ve joined the optional star gazing excursion, you’ll be glad of the free time this morning. A little later you’ll join the group and tour leader for a welcome lunch and an introductory walking tour of the desert town of San Pedro de Atacama. See the white-washed Catholic church and spend a little time browsing the stalls at a local market. The awe-inspiring Moon and Death Valleys are two of the desert’s highlights and late this afternoon you’ll get to see them at their best – as the golden glow of the early evening casts shadows on the otherworldly landscapes. As the sun dips below the horizon you’ll be served a refreshing cocktail. Stay: Altiplanico Atacama (or similar). B, L.

Day 4: San Pedro de Atacama Today’s exploration takes you high up into the Altiplano. Depart San Pedro and visit the peaceful village of Tocano and from there, head onwards to the Meñique and Miscati lagoons which sit at 4200 metres above sea level. Travel back down to the town of Socaire which has great views out over the Salar de Atacama, Chile’s largest salt flat. You’ll have the chance to meet a family and discover what it’s like to live in this unique environment before finding a spot for a picnic lunch. The final stop of the day will be at Laguna Chaxa, part of the Reserva Nacional Los Flamencos, the best place in the country to see flamingos. Before heading back down to San Pedro, there’ll be another chance to catch another Atacama sunset with a cocktail in hand. Stay: Altiplanico Atacama (or similar) . B, L.

Day 5: San Pedro de Atacama to Santiago There’s a very early start this morning (4.30am) so you can see the stunning El Tatio Geysers at their best – as huge steam clouds rise into the cold dawn air with a desert sunrise as the backdrop. You’ll then stop for your packed breakfast before joining a guided walk past geothermal features including small geysers and bubbling mud pools. On your way back to San Pedro, you can bathe in the Puritama hot springs, before enjoying a picnic lunch. Later, transfer to the airport for your flight to Santiago where you’ll spend three nights. Approx. journey time: 3½ hours. Stay: Luciano K (or similar). B, L.

Day 6: Santiago Following your early start the previous morning, there’ll be a chance to relax this morning. You could wander round the Lastarria neighbourhood and the nearby Parque Forestal, or enjoy a leisurely morning making the most of the hotel’s pool and rooftop terrace. Santiago is considered one of South America’s most cosmopolitan cities and this afternoon you’ll get to explore it on a short guided tour. Wander along the paths which wind their way up Cerro Santa Lucía and head up to the summit of Cerro San Cristóbal for far-reaching views over the sprawling city. Later in the afternoon your group will be joined by a chef’s assistant who will accompany you to the fruit and vegetable market and the historic central market as you buy the ingredients for this evening’s dinner. The day ends at a local restaurant where the chef prepares dinner while you watch and enjoy a traditional pisco sour drink. Stay: Luciano K (or similar). B, D.

Day 7: Santiago Today, head west to the Pacific Ocean coast for a tour of Valparaíso. During your time here you’ll ride a funicular up one of the city’s steep streets, visit the hilltop home of Nobel-prize-winning writer Pablo Neruda and sample the region’s incredible seafood at a local restaurant. Following a visit to the main square, travel back to Santiago through the Casablanca valley, stopping for a vineyard tour and wine tasting. Approx. journey time: 3 hours, 137 miles. Stay: Luciano K (or similar). B, L.

Day 8: Santiago to Puerto Natales Transfer to the airport for your flight south to Punta Arenas and then continue onwards by road to the city of Puerto Natales. Approx. flight time: 3½ hours; approx. journey time: 4 hours. Stay: Altiplanico Sur (or similar). B, D.

Day 9: Puerto Natales There’s an early start today for your cruise into the Última Esperanza Sound. Pass the Balmaceda glacier, which seems to cling to the mountainside, before disembarking at Puerto Toro. Follow a trail through a native forest to reach the wall of the incredible Serrano glacier. On return to the ship, enjoy an aperitif cooled by ice that’s been taken from the glacier. On your way back to Puerto Natales, visit a local cattle ranch where lunch will be served. Stay: Altiplanico Sur (or similar). B, L.

Day 10: Puerto Natales This morning, travel north along the Seno de Ultima Esperanza into the heart of Patagonia and the spectacular Torres del Paine National Park. Make your way along the shore of Lago Grey on the way to the Grey Glacier, part of the Southern Patagonian Icefield. The highlight of the day is a boat trip that takes you close to the face of the glacier. As you travel back to Puerto Natales you’ll stop at Milodón Cave where the fossilised remains of a mylodon – an extinct, 1000kg ground sloth – were found in the late 19th Century. In the evening there’ll be a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. Approx. journey time: 3½ hours. Stay: Altiplanico Sur (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 11: Puerto Natales to Santiago Make the return journey to Punta Arenas for your flight to Santiago. Approx. journey time: 4 hours; approx. flight time: 3½ hours. Stay: Luciano K (or similar). B.

Day 12: Santiago Transfer to the airport for your overnight flight to the UK. B.


Stay longer

Easter Island, 4 nights

Day 1: Santiago to Easter Island Transfer to the airport from your city hotel for your flight to Easter Island (approx. 4½ hours). This evening, dinner will be served at Te Ra’ai, an immersive and entertaining restaurant that showcases the intriguing cultures of this remote island. Stay: Antiplanico Rapa-Nui (or similar). B, D.

Day 2: Easter Island Following breakfast, head to Anakena Beach, one of Easter Island’s most important sites. Not only beautiful, it is where the first king of the island and his men first landed. Continue on to Ahu Te Pito Kura which is home to one of the largest Moai statues on the island. You’ll also visit the Rano Raraku volcano, also known as the ‘Moai factory’; Ahu Tongariki, the site of one of the island’s most iconic images – 15 statues lined up in formation; and Ahu Akahanga where you will see the ruins of an ancient village. Stay: Antiplanico Rapa-Nui (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 3: Easter Island Travel to the south-west coast of the island and see two platforms, many fallen statues and a unique rock wall. The next stops are the volcanic crater – Rano Kau – which is a mile in diameter and 11 metres deep, and the ancient ceremonial city of Orongo where you can witness a number of petroglyphs. Your final afternoon on the island is spent at the Ahu Akivi archaeological site which is located in the centre of the island, and the quarry of Puna Pau where Moai headdresses (known locally as pukao) were carved.

Stay: Antiplanico Rapa-Nui (or similar). B, D.

Day 4: Easter Island to Santiago Return to the airport for your return flight to Santiago (approx. 4½ hours) where you will stay one further night. Stay: Luciano K (or similar). B, D.

Day 5: Santiago Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK. B.

ABOUT THIS TOUR

Is this for you?

This tour takes in the contrasting landscapes of this long, thin country. Due to the scale of Chile you should be prepared for long days of travel.

Good to know

• For guests over 16 (unless travelling on a private journey)

• Average group size of 12 guests

• A maximum of 16 guests.

What to expect

• Wide variations in temperature, landscapes and altitude (the maximum altitude reached is 4200 metres above sea level)

• The tour involves a number of very early starts and considerable travel, returning to Santiago between destinations in the north and south of the country

• Luggage allowances on internal flights can vary
• The weather in Chile is unpredictable; certain conditions can lead to changes in the itinerary, sometimes at late notice.

Accommodation on tour

The hotels we have chosen are part of local chains, providing a bit of local character. The design hotel Luciano is a boutique property located in the heart of Santiago’s historic Lastarria neighbourhood which is home to many bars and restaurants. Puerto Natales' minimalist hotel Altiplanico Sur has just 22 rooms, each with far reaching views over the Patagonian landscapes.

Single travellers

Single room supplement from £759

Is this for you?

This tour takes in the highlights of this long, thin country and is perfect for first-time visitors. Due to the scale of Chile you should be prepared for long days of travel.

Good to know

• For guests over 16 (unless travelling on a private journey)

• Average group size of 10 guests

• A maximum of 16 guests
• Journey times do not take into account stops or traffic conditions
• We recommend travelling with no more than one suitcase and one day bag.

What to expect

• This tour is not suitable for those with walking difficulties or respiratory problems due to uneven terrain, steps, hills and visiting altitudes up to 4200 metres above sea level
• Temperatures and weather conditions that can vary dramatically; we recommend taking layers that can be easily added or removed, and a waterproof jacket. a pair of comfortable walking boots is essential 

• For internal flights, a local baggage fee of approx. CLP 25,000 per flight is payable locally

• A number of early starts and considerable distances covered
• A good level of fitness is required.

Accommodation on tour

We’ve handpicked hotels that are packed with local charm. In San Pedro de Atacama, enjoy the town’s-edge setting and village-inspired architecture of Altiplanico Atacama. Luciano K, the boutique retreat in Santiago, blends period charm and Art Deco design and features a rooftop pool and bar while the hotel in Patagonia shines thanks to its waterfront position and Última Esperanza Sound views from every room.

Single travellers

Sole-use room from £5537

DATES AND INCLUSIONS

Tour dates

2019 Mar 09, Nov 09

Included in price

• Quality accommodation

• Insightful local tour leaders

• Hand-picked itineraries

• Flexible arrival times

• Small groups and a relaxed approach

• Porterage and guide tips

• Meals where most convenient (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner), or the freedom to explore local restaurants independently

• All specified flights.

Upgrade your tour

Private tour Upgrade to a private tour with a local tour leader on the same itinerary, departing on the date of your choice for a supplement from £1149 per person.

Tour dates

2020 Mar 12; Oct 29

Included in price

• Quality accommodation

• Insightful local tour leaders

• Hand-picked itineraries

• Flexible arrival times

• Small groups

• Porterage and guide tips

• Meals where most convenient (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)

• All specified flights.

Upgrade your tour

Private tour Upgrade to a private tour with a local tour leader on the same itinerary, departing on the date of your choice from £6059 per person

Excursions

Day 2: Astronomical Tour from £108 per person.

Kuoni highlights

This is an extensive and busy itinerary which includes many typical and contrasting Chilean experiences. You can appreciate the beauty of the night sky in the company of an expert astronomer and see unique geothermal features in the Atacama desert, cruise past towering glaciers and meet the penguins of Magdalena Island in Patagonia and sample the country's renowned wine on a day trip from Santiago.

Kuoni highlights

Due to its size and shape and position almost halfway around the world, Chile can be a challenge to travel to, from and around. When creating this journey we’ve taken this into account and followed any long flights, early mornings or late nights with some time to relax. Standout moments along the way include sunset cocktails in the Atacama desert and a barbecue lunch and glacier ice-cooled drink in Patagonia.