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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
Suggested itineraries in Chile
Nights: 11 | from £3,450
A private wine tasting at Perez Cruz winery, visit Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda’s Valparaiso residence and enjoy lunch at Felini in Valparaiso
Nights: 12 | from £4,995
Navigate snow-capped mountains and Atacama’s desert landscapes as well as the Wine Country and towering peaks of Torres del Paine on this 12 night journey.
Highlights of Chile
Nights: 9 | from £2,995
From exploring Santiago to wine tasting in Colchagua Valley and roaming the desert plains of Atacama, our 9 night ‘Highlights of Chile’ itinerary has it all.
Summer Ski & Self drive, Chile & Argentina
Nights: 11 | from £3,985
Strap on your skies in Valle Nevado before heading off on a self-drive adventure to Bariloche, passing lakes, volcanoes and national parks along the way.
Islands, Savannas & the Amazon: Around the World by Private Jet
Nights: 25 | from £70,600
An incredible around-the-world trip by private jet taking in spectacular destinations, like Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Bali, Sri Lanka, Kenya and Monaco over 25 nights.
Lakes & Fjords of Chile
Nights: 12 | from £3,995
Journey from Patagonia to Tierra del Fuego travelling through untamed coasts, spectacular fjords, pretty villages and national parks.
Connections - Chile & Argentina: Patagonia & Beyond
Nights: 12 | from £5,520
Enjoy Chile’s picturesque Lake District and meet a local fisherman to sample his harvest of oyster, learn about life in the wilds with a visit to a Patagonian ranch and more ...
Exploring Easter Island
Nights: 5 |
Spend 5 nights on Easter Island, one of the most isolated places on earth, and find out about the formidable and mysterious moai stone statues.
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