Chile is a country rich in climatic, cultural and geographic diversity—from the world’s driest desert in the north, the Atacama Desert, to the Volcanic Lakes region southwest of Santiago, the Torres del Paine National Park in southern Patagonia and mysterious stone statutes of Easter Island. Today a thriving democracy, this 2653-mile-long country (which on average is only 110 miles wide) offers a little something for every visitor. This land of contrasts offers a multitude of choices for both soft adventure seekers and extreme adventure enthusiasts.
What’s To Love in Chile
Torres Del Paine National Park
Torres del Paine National Park, located in Chile’s southern Patagonia region, offers a variety of activities including: hiking, biking, kayaking, mountain climbing and horseback riding. The renowned blue towers (“paine”) and the horns of Cuernos del Paine, chiseled peaks rise above serene lakes making a beautiful backdrop of pink and purple skies at dawn and at sunset. The park is home to the famed “W” trek through verdant valleys, rolling hills, glaciers, crystal clear waterfalls and mountains.
Horseback through the Andes
Take a high-altitude horse trek along trails cut through the Andes, the world’s longest mountain range, or follow the old smugglers’ route from Patagonia into Argentina with views of volcanoes and mountain lakes along the way. On horseback you can see a host of wildlife—guanacos, llamas, pumas, condors and eagles. Multi-day treks with camping and glamping alternatives along the way can also be arranged.
Isla de Chiloè
Explore Isla de Chiloè, a large windswept island with charming villages, with their culturally distinctive music, crafts and dance which host legends and myths surrounding its creation. Chiloè is also known for its unusual wooden churches built by Jesuit missionaries during the colonial period.
Explore Santiago, a city of 9 million inhabitants and comprising 60% of the population of Chile. This walkable city, full of interesting and eclectic neighborhoods, offers a lively artistic scene, boutique hotels, outstanding restaurants, eclectic local markets and deep history.
Day trip to Valparaiso
Day trips from Santiago include wine tasting, hot mud baths, skiing, sunbathing, and cultural exploration. The city of Valparaiso, built on steep hills on Chile’s Pacific coast, is a colorful city filled with bohemian artists who have seemingly covered every square inch of buildings and walls with graffiti art.
Chile’s Lake District
Chile’s Lake District offers unspoiled nature at its finest. Dotted with pristine lakes and looking glass rivers and surrounded by volcanoes, the Lake district consists of a number of small towns and fishing ports. Activities include fishing, white water rafting, kayaking, mountain biking and trekking among the hills and volcanoes. Some of the finest family owned lodges and small hotels attract local and foreign visitors alike.
Take in the sights and explore the culture of Easter Island, Chile’s Pacific Polynesian Island, 2400 miles west of the mainland. Scattered throughout this small volcanic island are more than 600 giant stone sculptures of unknown origin, one of the most fascinating archeological mysteries of all time.
The world’s driest desert, the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, is a fascinating contrast to the lakes, glaciers, mountains and big cities that makes up the rest of Chile. Huge hot springs, geysers, sand dunes and blooming desert flowers offer some fascinating photographic opportunities. Clear desert skies makes for spectacular star gazing, and adventure seekers can try their luck at sand boarding the dunes. Some of the most architecturally significant boutique resorts offer guests an array of wonderful accommodations in the Atacama Desert.
Ski and snowboard at top-rated resorts in the Andes such as Portillo, Valle Nevado, La Parva, Nevados de Chillan during the South American winter, June to October.
Seasons in South America are opposite of the US.
General guidelines for travel are as follows:
Patagonia: Best time to travel is October through April; most properties in Southern Patagonia close Mid April through October 1. In Northern Patagonia most properties, but not all, stay open during the winter. The Lakes region stays open year round but activities may change.
In northern Chile, Atacama one can visit year round.
Santiago and Valparaiso are fine to visit year round.
Ski Season is June through August.
Typically for the type of Custom Itineraries we build, prices per person per day in Chile can run from $800-1100+ per person per day. We strive to work within your budget and provide guidance on how you can achieve your goal. Traveling to Patagonia generally is more expensive than other parts of Argentina and properties must be booked further in advance. Quoted Tour prices include hotels, required regional flights, guides, excursions, entrance fees, equipment rental, drivers and ground transfers, and daily breakfast. Depending on the itinerary many of the meals and beverages including alcoholic beverages may be built in as well.
Tour proposals exclude international flights, travel insurance, and gratuities. Each proposal will detail all inclusions and exclusions for clarity.