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Returning clients frequently tell us about extraordinary, unexpected moments on their A&K holidays in Chile. Here's a hot contender for the top ten. One of our traveller's helicopter had landed on a Patagonian glacier to find the guides had chipped off ice and laid out a frozen selection board of cheese and ham, accompanied by a scotch on the natural rocks.
Two very different examples of how our guides can make an Abercrombie & Kent holiday to Chile both memorable and safe. They're part of a multi-centre South American team offering seamless travel across the continent. With 22 multi-lingual staff, our Santiago office can also arrange unique experiences from private polo classes to dinner at the home of famous chef, Emilio Peschiera, and surprise opera performances during private suppers.
Chile, you'll gather, offers a diverse holiday. Hugely diverse. There's sophisticated Santiago, a gateway to fine wineries, with its acclaimed Pre-Columbian Art Museum; and coastal Valparaiso where our guide responded to your request for 'real life' by swapping the private car for a tram, a funicular and long walk along tiny cobbled alleys teeming with locals.
Book-ended by the Andes and Pacific, it also has marvellous wilderness from Patagonia's widescreen scenic drama to the South's Lake District with its blue waters, white-tipped volcanoes and forests, and the North's Atacama Desert where salt flats, geysers and volcanic peaks come with the planet's starriest sky. And we haven't even mentioned subtropical Easter Island with its enigmatic stone moai and mysterious, compelling history.
A&K is waiting to show you the lot, but first, a final traveller's tale of seriously remote comfort. His guide, knowing the party were keen photographers, took them to a sublime spot where Atacama dunes were alchemised gold by the setting sun. He then iced the cake by whipping out a chequered tablecloth for a cheese and wine feast: a gourmet greeting for the stars.
Best time to be there
As the climate varies hugely from north to south, different places are best at different times, although spring (September to December) is universally good. Atacama can be visited year-round, central Chile enjoys a Mediterranean climate with good weather throughout. Patagonia is best for hiking in Spring or Summer.
LAN Chile daily via Madrid
GMT -4 hours
Not required for UK passport holders
Yellow fever certificate required if arriving from an infected area
The Hotels you (Charlie Lockwood) selected were superb in Peru, Chile, Argentina and Brazil, what a pleasure it has been to stay in the Belmond Hotels, everyone was so helpful, the exception being the Four Seasons Hotel in Buenos Aires equally superb.
- TW, London
Suggested itineraries in Chile
Nights: 11 | from £3,450
Nights: 12 | from £4,995
Highlights of Chile
Nights: 9 | from £2,995
Summer Ski & Self drive, Chile & Argentina
Nights: 11 | from £3,985
Crossing the High Andes
Nights: 12 | from £4,195
Islands, Savannas & the Amazon: Around the World by Private Jet
Nights: 25 | from £70,600
Lakes & Fjords of Chile
Nights: 12 | from £3,995
Connections - Chile & Argentina: Patagonia & Beyond
Nights: 12 | from £5,520
Exploring Easter Island
Nights: 5 |
Suggested accommodation in Chile
Australis Expedition Cruises
Torres del Paine National Park
Termas de Puyuhuapi
La Casona at Matetic
Explora Rapa Nui's Posada de Mike Rapu