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Chile: 12 Nights
Chile is known as the thin country and stretches down the South American continent where, centuries ago, Native Americans settled in the fertile valleys between the Pacific coastline to the west and the Andes Mountains to the east. On this 12 day journey through Chile see landscapes as diverse as snow-capped mountains reflected in clear lakes, the geological sites of the desert of Atacama, the lush vineyards of the Wine Country and the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Torres del Paine National Park.
- Salt flats and red desert landscapes in the Atacama
- Boutique wine producers in the Colchagua Valley
- Towering granite peaks of the Torres del Paine National Park
Day 1 - UK / Santiago
Fly overnight to Santiago via Madrid.
Day 2 - Santiago
A member of the A&K team will meet you on arrival to begin your exploration of this cosmopolitan city located between the snow-capped Andes to the east and the sun-soaked Pacific coastline to the west.
Day 3 - Santiago / Atacama
A flight north will take you to Calama, the gateway to the geological and archaeological terrain of the central Atacama Desert.
Day 4 to 5 - Atacama
Today you can explore archaeological sites, volcanoes, vivid mineral lakes and dramatic lunar landscapes by four wheel drive, bicycle, on horseback or on foot. Alternatively, you may like to spend a day relaxing in the hot springs of the salt lagoons - your guides will ensure you get the most out of this truly spectacular destination.
Day 6 - Atacama / Wine Country
You'll fly back to Santiago today and head out to the Casablanca Valley, one of Chile's newest wine growing regions producing crisp, fresh wines. On arrival at the beautiful La Casona at Matetic, an intimate wine lodge set in pretty gardens, you can perhaps explore the estate on foot or on horseback and take a wine tasting.
Day 7 - Wine country
Today you'll take a tour towards the coast to explore the multi-coloured port town of Valparaiso, set on steep hills overlooking the ocean. Visit La Sebastiana, poet Pablo Neruda's home and explore the twisting streets accessed by funicular railway and the old fishermen's wharf.
Day 8 - Wine Country / Torres del Paine
This morning you'll return to Santiago and fly to Punta Arenas in the far south. A few hours drive north will bring you to the spectacular Torres del Paine National Park, a spectacular land of ice fields and lofty peaks.
Day 9-11 - Torres del Paine
You'll experience the dramatic sights and sounds of the park by exploring in small group tours in and around this majestic landscape. You'll discover lakes, glaciers and granite peaks on foot or by boat, horseback, mountain bike or kayak. At the end of the day, you can return to your delightful contemporary lodge to relax by a cosy fire and indulge in gourmet cuisine or a pampering spa treatment.
Day 12 - Torres del Paine / Santiago
You'll return to Punta Arenas today ready for your afternoon flight to Santiago. Perhaps spend the last of your time in Chile with a classic jazz concert in the hip Bellavista quarter or enjoy a sumptuous dinner at one of Santiago's fine seafood restaurants.
Day 13 - Santiago / UK
Today you'll return to the UK on an overnight flight - or why not extend your adventure by heading out to the remote and mysterious Easter Island.
With A&K all journeys are individually tailored to suit your needs and timescale. As a guide, this 13 day suggested journey in Chile will cost from £4,995 per person based on two adults sharing with international flights from the UK and subject to availability
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 Orient Express Hotels, everyone was so helpful, the exception being the Four Seasons Hotel in Buenos Aires equally superb.
- TW, London