Day by Day Itinerary Summary
- Arrival to Santiago de Chile. A private transfer brings us to the chosen Hotel for check-in and later a half-day city tour of the capital city.
- Overnight at the chosen Hotel in Santiago.
- Full day tour to the port city of Valparaiso, including lunch OR Full day tour to the Casablanca Wine Route, also including lunch.
- Overnight in Santiago.
- Today we fly from Santiago to the southern city of Calama.
- A private transfer brings us to the Hotel of choice at the San Pedro de Atacama area, our home-base for the following days’ Atacama adventure.
- Full day exploring the Atacama Desert area.
- Full day exploring the Atacama Desert area.
- Full day exploring the Atacama Desert area.
- Transfer from San Pedro de Atacama for the flight from Calama to Santiago de Chile.
- Transfer to chosen Hotel. Overnight in Santiago.
- Transfer from the Hotel to the airport for the onward flights.
Upon international arrival and check-in at the selected Hotel, the first day is dedicated to a half-day tour of Chile’s capital city of Santiago. The city’s main highlights are visited, including the Civic Center, the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Main Square or Plaza de Armas, La Moneda Presidential Palace and later the Santa Lucìa Park with its castle and the lively Lastarria Neighborhood, a residential area with neoclassic architecture from the early 20th century, packed with art galleries, restaurants and coffee shops.
The following day is devoted to either a full day excursion to the highly scenic port city of Valparaiso, one and a half hours away from Santiago, OR a full day tour of the Casablanca Wine Route. If Valparaiso is your tour of choice, you will enjoy the colorfulness of the houses and the hilly layout of this historic port on Chile’s Pacific coast. A walking excursion includes the natural observatories at the El Peral; Cerro Alegre and Concepciòn Hills and neighborhoods; the Paseo Gervasoni with its famous Café Turri and the narrow alleys crossing Cerro Alegre, down to the Plaza Sotomayor. The visit includes also the famous Sebastiana Museum (Nobel Laureate Chilean poet Pablo Neruda’s House) and lunch at a selected local restaurant.
If the tour you chose is the Casablanca Wine Route, you will enjoy a 45 minute ride from Santiago into the lovely countryside of the Casablanca and San Antonio Valleys, one of Chile’s most famed and superb wine regions, near the Valparaiso region. Here we will visit two of the most prominent vineyards: Emiliana and Matetic, where we will learn about the wine processing and delight with wine tasting sessions. These estates, in addition to producing top quality wines, are known for their sustainable, organic and biodynamic practices. Lunch is featured at a restaurant in the area, before heading back to Santiago.
The following day finds us flying from Santiago to Calama, a two-hour flight into the extreme north of Chile, before proceeding by motor coach, a one hour ride, to San Pedro de Atacama, to settle at the chosen Hotel, which will serve as our base for the exploration of the stunning deserts, mountains, geysers and salt marshes of the fabled Atacama Desert area. The small town of San Pedro is considered the archaeological capital of Chile and is renowned for its eternally blue skies.
The next four days will find us exploring a unique area. The stark beauty and fascinating mysteries of the Atacama Desert will be discovered through the many options of touring and activities offered from our exploration-base near San Pedro de Atacama. The days here will be outdoor lessons of geography, geology, archaeology, ecology, botany, wildlife and astronomy. Around 50 alternatives of hiking, horseback exploration or biking outings are there for us to choose. From a couple of hours to a full day; from moderate levels of effort to hard-core adventure are ready for the visitors. The outings feature unique animal and plant life; encounters with the descendants of ancient cultures; archaeological sites; salt-marshes, geysers and hot springs, oasis, mountains and rivers. Atacama is considered the best location on the Southern Hemisphere for celestial observation. The eternally clear skies over the desert allow for outstanding sky-watching. The powerful telescope of our Astronomical Observatory will provide stunning observation of galaxies, constellations, stars and planets.
Finally, on day seven we take the flight back from Calama to Santiago de Chile for overnight at the hotel of choice in Santiago. After breakfast on day eight, a departure transfer brings us to the international airport for the outbound flights.
Santiago de Chile: Historic and traditional yet very modern and bustling capital.
Valparaiso: Lively, picturesque and hilly port, full of color, magic and history.
Casablanca Wine Route: Beautiful scenery, world-class vineyards and wine tastings.
Atacama Desert: The driest in the world; a mysterious and amazing wonderland.
- Three nights’ accommodations at the selected Hotel in Santiago, including breakfasts and four nights accommodations at the chosen Hotel in the San Pedro de Atacama area, on full board basis
- All transfers in Chile, as described on itinerary
- Half day guided tour of Santiago, full day guided tour to Valparaiso OR Casablanca Wine Route, including lunch in either case
- All programmed guided tours and activities included in the Atacama package
- Specified entrance fees where applicable.
- International air tickets
- Domestic air transportation Santiago-Calama-Santiago
- Meals not specified in the program
- Bar expenses (drinks and soft drinks)
- Personal Insurance
- Domestic and International airport taxes
- Gratuities, gifts and other items of personal nature
- Items not mentioned on itinerary
- Operational Days: Operates all year.
- Length: 8 Days and 7 Nights.
- Level of difficulty: Soft to Moderate
- Minium age: 12 years old
- Minimum for program operation: 2 passengers
- Itineraries are subject to modifications in their sequence of activities at specific locations or routes, due to climatic or operational reasons. While these cases are exceptional; the general itinerary should be considered only as basic guideline.
For travel to Chile, visitors need a valid passport, extending its life for at least six months beyond the intended stay. Nationals of the United States, Canada and several European, Latin American and other countries, do not require visas. For specific nationalities’ detailed information, please ask us or contact the nearest Consulate or Embassy of Chile. No Vaccines are required for the locations included on this tour. However, it is recommended to check for updates a few weeks prior to departure.
For more detailed information about travel facts for Chile, please check the “Country Information” section about Chile on our website, or ask us.
Best season for travel: Year around.
Clothing; what to bring and what to wear:
Climate and weather conditions vary widely according to seasonal factors; regional and ecological characteristics; altitude and other elements. Thus, it is recommended to look for specific advice regarding climate, weather and appropriate clothing, depending on the places included on the tour and the time of the year your trip is being planned for. Please ask us for details.
In general, the “warm” months in Chile are between December and April and the “cold” months between May and October. San Pedro de Atacama has a peculiar climate type known as “desertic marginal of altitude”, being at over 6.000 feet above sea level. There are two marked seasons: cooler months between May and September and warmer months from October to April. The area enjoys clear skies and sunshine 90% of the year and due to its altitude, San Pedro has moderate temperatures.
Dress depends on the climatic conditions and altitudes of the diverse outings. In general terms, this voyage mainly requires to “dress in layers” to accommodate for varying temperatures and ambiances along each day. Dress codes on this tour range from informal to very informal. Essential elements to bring are good walking shoes such as sneakers with firm soles; long pants as well as long and short-sleeved lightweight shirts and T-shirts, preferably of dry-fit fabrics (fibers that dry quickly); a cap or wide-brimmed hat and bathing suits. Sweaters, outdoor jackets and/or windbreakers, gloves and even headbands to protect ears from strong winds will be useful, especially if you choose high mountain climbing options. (These require experience and acclimatization). Highly recommended items also include sunscreen and high solar protection; flashlight, sunglasses and personal medicines.
A suggested packing list (for basic reference):
- Trekking pants, ideally ones that can be unzipped into shorts. Jeans are not recommended.
- Warm thermal underwear for colder weather, preferably of dry-fit fabrics.
- Sweaters, windbreakers, gloves and/or warm jackets for cool climate and higher altitude outings.
- Hat, cap, bandana and/or headband to protect your ears from wind.
- Long and short-sleeved shirts, T-shirts, Polos.
- Bathing suit.
- Good walking shoes with anti-slip soles and ankle support.
- Sneakers or sports shoes with rubber soles.
- Flip-flops of sandals for use at the Puritama Hot Springs or lagoons.
- Several pairs of socks.
- Flashlight and batteries.
- Small pair of binoculars (optional).
- Refillable bottle for water.
- Sunscreen and lip protection
- Waterproof backpack or waist-pack for camera and/or other personal items
- Personal medicines
Please check with us for other details about climate and clothing suggestions for Santiago and surroundings.
For Safety, Dietary and Medical Restrictions and facilities and other travel facts, please consult the relevant section of Chile’s Country Information section on our website, or inquire us.