Thrill & Chill Head to Toe Chile with Torres Del Paine - Awesome Experiences

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Thrill & Chill Head to Toe Chile with Torres Del PaineChile

From £4,962 per person for 11 nights (based on 2 adults sharing)*
You’ll traverse some of the globe’s most dramatic landscapes, on this adventure across the lunar-like plateau of the Atacama desert and the rugged, ice-capped terrain of the Torres del Paine national park. Nowhere else does epic scenery like Chile, and we’ve designed a trip that takes in its most breathtaking parts, with a little bit of extra time in Torres del Paine to top it all off.

Perfect for:

Fitness Level 1Must-do Outdoor Experiences Extraordinary & Secret Places
Summary

Chile

Discover Chile’s staggering diversity on our extended Head to Toe Chile experience. You’ll travel from the parched lunar landscapes of the Atacama Desert to the icy mountains of Patagonia, via cosmopolitan Santiago, the artists’ city of Valparaíso and the wildlife-rich islands of the Strait of Magellan.

AWESOME ELEMENTS INCLUDED IN THE TOUR PRICE:

  • Enjoy a spectacular sunset overlooking the of the Valley of the Moon with a cocktail in hand
  • Climb to a lung-busting 4,000 metres above sea level and visit the flamingo-filled Altiplanic lagoons of Miscanti and Miñiques
  • Watch the dramatic geysers explode at dawn whilst being served breakfast at El Tatio
  • Relax and refresh with a soak in the Puritama hot springs
  • Explore the rugged terrain of Torres del Paine National Park
  • Hike through thick forest to the spectacular Serrano glacier
  • Wander through the barrios of lively Santiago
  • Navigate the Strait of Magellan by boat, visit Magdalena Island and walk among 150,000 penguins

Your adventure begins in Northern Chile, as you explore the otherworldly landscapes of the Atacama, where scalding geysers burst from the parched earth and huge volcanoes tower over the desert. You’ll scale mountains encrusted with salt crystals and spend a night stargazing under some of the world’s clearest skies. Enjoy breakfast whilst witnessing the famous El Tatio geyser field erupting at dawn, then soak in healing hot springs and sip cocktails as you watch the sun set over the dramatic Valley of the Moon. 

Santiago, Chile’s cosmopolitan capital, is likely to come as something of a shock after your time in the desert. Spend some time taking in everything this buzzing city has to offer before flying south to discover a dramatic coastline of plunging fjords, roiling waters and islands teeming with thousands of penguins. Then head high into the wilderness of Torres del Paine National Park. Vast glaciers, crystalline lakes and ice-encrusted peaks are the backdrop as you explore by boat and on foot, in a world where humans are outnumbered by guanacos, wild ancestors of the llama and the alpaca. 

Head to Toe Summary


Torres del Paine

The Torres del Paine National Park is named after the colossal granite peaks of the Paine mountain range, a spur of the Andes. 'Torres del Paine' translates literally to the 'Towers of Blue' in the ancient indigenous language of the region, a perfect description of the mountains and their surroundings. The Paine massif soars high into the azure sky, surrounded by the crystalline waters of the park's many breathtaking lakes. There's also infamous glaciers, spectacular waterfalls and lush green pastures, providing all kinds of adventure. 

Our chosen hotel is Tierra Patagonia, where you'll transfer after finishing your experience in the National Park. Nestled in between craggy mountains, with a view of Lake Sarmiento from your room, this is the perfect place to relax after 3 days exploring the national park. The spa is equipped with glass walls, effortlessly connecting you to Patagonia while you rejuvenate and refresh with a selection of treatments using all natural ingredients, or take part in some of the hotel's alternative therapies. The restaurant prides itself on warming Patagonian cuisine, while the bar serves some of Chile's best vintages as well as the hotel's signature Calafate Sour, a flavour only found in Patagonia. 

The perfect way to rest and recuperate before you head back home, this 3 day trip has no organised activities, meaning that your time can be as relaxed or as active as you want it to be. 


Please click the Full Itinerary tab for the full daily itinerary, details of what's included and information about children and solo travellers.


GETTING THERE

Typical return Economy flights from London cost around £1000 per person and take approximately 22 hours outbound, 22 hours inbound depending on exact flight configurations and layover times. 

For this particular experience, we have found that the best option is normally to book a multi-stop flight from London - Calama - Punta Arenas - London. 

Experience start point: Calama (CJC). Arrive by 12pm on first day of tour. If travelling internationally we suggest arriving earlier to acclimatise to the altitude before the trip starts.

End point: Punta Arenas (PUQ). Suggested departure time: after 4pm.


All tour departures up to 31st December 2018 are part of our Pioneers Club promotion. Click here for more information about the Pioneers Club.

Map
Full Itinerary

Itinerary

Chile

Day One: Salt Flat and Sunsets

Upon arrival in Calama, you’ll be transferred to your hotel in the dusty desert town of San Pedro de Atacama – 2,407m above sea level and gateway to the incredible, arid landscapes of the Atacama plateau. In the afternoon, you’ll embark on a trip to the Cordillera de Sal, a vast mountain range dusted in white salt crystals. See the sweeping dunes of Death Valley before ending your first day in Chile by watching an unforgettable sunset among the sculptural sand formations of the Valley of the Moon, with a cocktail in hand.

Overnight in San Pedro

Classic - La Casa de Don Tomás 

Premium - Altiplanico San Pedro Hotel

Deluxe - Cumbres San Pedro de Atacama Hotel

Meals included: None

Valley of the Moon


Day Two: Adventure through Atacama

Spend the day exploring the lunar-like mountains and plains of the region. Your first stop is the Gran Salar de Atacama, the largest salt flat in Chile, where flamingos perch in plate-glass lagoons. You’ll break for lunch in Socaire, a tiny mining village with incredible views of the salt flat. Over a meal in a local house, you’ll learn about the ancient traditions of the villagers, who still revere Pachamama, the Inca ‘Mother Earth’ goddess. Then it’s on to the serene Altiplanic lagoons of Miscanti and Miñiques, 4,000m above sea level and backed by green and purple mountains. At this height, you feel incredibly close to the peaks and volcanoes that inspired ancient legends. After your tour, you will transferred back to your hotel for the night. 

Salar de Atacama

During your time in the Atacama, there’s the chance to book an optional two-hour ‘Big Bang’ experience on any night, beginning at 9pm under an unpolluted sky lit up with stars (please see Extras tab). The region is renowned as one of the best places in the world to stargaze and, over the course of two hours, you’ll learn more about the night sky from an incredibly knowledgeable guide who’ll help you spot stars with your naked eye and by telescope, as well as tell you more about the Big Bang, life and the universe. You’ll keep warm with a typically Chilean poncho and mug of hot chocolate, and you’ll finish your evening with a photo taken with the star-studded sky as a backdrop. Transfers to and from the hotel are provided.

Stargazing Chile

Overnight in San Pedro

Classic - La Casa de Don Tomás 

Premium - Altiplanico San Pedro Hotel

Deluxe - Cumbres San Pedro de Atacama Hotel

Meals included: Breakfast


Day Three: Hot Springs and Geysers

It’s an early start, as you make your way to the vast geyser field of El Tatio, 4,320m above sea level. Here, fumaroles soar up to 50m from huge craters backed by unique fauna and mesmerising mountain scenery. The geysers are at their most dramatic in the early morning, when you’ll also see some of the region’s captivating wildlife – llama-like vicunas, nandues (which resemble ostriches), and cute viscacha rodents. You’ll savour a breakfast made and served at the geysers, then journey onwards to the Puritama Hot Springs, eight staggered natural pools packed with minerals, 3,475m above sea level. Navigate between them on wooden walkways through a rambling, rocky landscape: the water is a comforting 25-35 degrees. After your soak, you’ll be transferred back to your hotel for the night.

Overnight in San Pedro

Classic - La Casa de Don Tomás 

Premium - Altiplanico San Pedro Hotel

Deluxe - Cumbres San Pedro de Atacama Hotel

Meals included: Breakfast

El Tatio


Day Four: Welcome to Santiago

After breakfast, you’ll be transferred to Calama airport, ready for your onward flight to Santiago. Once you’ve landed, you’ll take a private transfer to your hotel (30 minutes). Then get acquainted with Chile’s complex capital with your private guide. Start on San Cristobal Hill, for knock-out views over the city from 800m up, before moving into its heart at the grand, colonial Plaza de Armas. From there, take in the cobbled streets and crumbling mansions of the old, colonial barrios before exploring Santiago’s modern eastern suburbs. The rest of the day is yours to settle in. Be sure to leave some time for once - a traditional Chilean evening snack. 

Overnight in Santiago

Classic - Hotel Novapark 

Premium - Hotel Plaza San Francisco 

Deluxe - The Singular Lastarria Hotel

Meals included: Breakfast

Santiago Sunset


Day Five: Lush Country and Coastal Cities

Discover two not-to-be-missed coastal cities, on a drive from Santiago. Your private adventure takes you by car through the lush Curacaví and Casablanca Valleys, filled with vineyards, fruit plantations and forest reserves, towards lively Valparaíso. In this UNESCO World Heritage city, rainbow-hued homes climb the cliffs. The best way to explore is by foot, passing bright murals and funiculars that slope up steep alleys, as well as landmarks including grand Plaza Sotomayor and the busy, buzzy dockside of Prat Muelle. 

Next, it’s time for contrasting Viña del Mar (‘Vineyard by the Sea’), a neatly-landscaped resort city that’s popular with Chileans and packed with pristine parks. You’ll visit some of these, as well as the skyscraper-topped seaside boulevard of Avenida del Peru, home to Chile’s oldest hotel, the del Mar. Then it’s time to return to Santiago for the night.

Overnight in Santiago

Classic - Hotel Novapark 

Premium - Hotel Plaza San Francisco 

Deluxe - The Singular Lastarria Hotel

Meals included: Breakfast

Valparaiso


Day Six: Gateway to the Strait of Magellan

Transfer to Santiago Airport before flying south to a town that English sailors once called ‘Sandy Point’: Punta Arenas on the Strait of Magellan (3hrs 25mins). This rich cultural heritage of this city draws on the nationalities of its founders, who came from Croatia, Spain, Italy, Germany and England, as well as Chile. When you’ve checked into your hotel, you’ll head out to admire the view to the Strait of Magellan from Mirador Hill, before driving to the Nao Victoria museum. Here, Charles Darwin’s ship, the HMS Beagle, has been lovingly recreated, alongside one used by Shackleton and another by Fernando Magellan.

Overnight in Punta Arenas

Classic - Diego De Almagro Punta Arenas 

Premium - Isla Rey Jorge Hotel 

Deluxe - Dreams Del Estrecho Hotel

Meals included: Breakfast

Strait of Magellan


Day Seven: Walk with the Penguins 

See the Strait of Magellan’s extraordinary wildlife, on a half-day boat trip to the Marta and Magdalena Islands. You’ll circumnavigate Marta Island, where rare seabirds live alongside elephant seals, austral dolphins and more than 1,000 sea lions (landing is forbidden in order to protect the native species). Then make for the shore of Magdalena Island, to walk among its 150,000-strong penguin colony. On the boat back to the mainland, look out for the Overas Tonina (Commerson’s dolphin), a rare black and white dolphin, found in only two places in the world. This trip is reliant on good weather. An alternative will be provided in bad conditions. End the day with a transfer to your hotel in Puerto Natales, the gateway to Torres del Paine (2hrs 50mins).

Overnight in Puerto Natales

Classic - If Hotel 

Premium - Costaustralis Hotel 

Deluxe - The Singular Patagonia

Meals included: Breakfast

Magdalena Penguins


Day Eight: Glacier Country

Explore the incredible landscapes of the Torres del Paine National Park, a protected area of Patagonian mountains, glaciers and lakes, which spans 700 square miles. After an early start, the hour-long drive towards the jade green Nordenskjold Lake will take you past lagoons and lush pastures where wild flocks of guanacos (llama) can be seen. From Nordenskjold Lake, walk to the Salto Grande waterfall and a viewpoint offering photogenic vistas over the Paine range. Then you’ll continue higher into the mountains by car, stopping to tramp across to Pingo River and catch your first glimpse of icebergs, followed by the dramatic Grey Glacier. 

Overnight in Puerto Natales

Classic - If Hotel 

Premium - Costaustralis Hotel 

Deluxe - The Singular Patagonia

Meals included: Breakfast

Torres del Paine


Day Nine: On the Water

Take a boat trip past fishing cormorants, gliding condors and basking sea lions en route to the Balmaceda Glacier and the mountain of the same name, which soars to 6,675 feet. Then make an hour-long hike around the Tempanos lagoon, wandering through dense forest towards the immense Serrano glacier, before returning to your vessel and heading back to Puerto Natales to disembark. Upon return to Puerto Natales you will be transferred to your hotel in Torres del Paine.

Overnight in Torres del Paine

Classic & Premium - 

Deluxe - 

Meals included: Breakfast; dinner

Torres del Paine Glacier


Day Ten and Eleven: Time to Relax

The next two days will be at your leisure to do as much or as little as you want. If you just want to relax and take in the beautiful views Tierra's spa has that covered with a selection of amazing treatments, yoga and meditation programs, alternative therapies and facilities like the outdoor whirlpool, sauna and steam rooms, hydro massage and relaxation spaces. If you fancy a bit more activity, there's plenty to choose from. The hotel runs daily hike, bike and horse riding excursions as well as so much more. You could kayak across Lake Grey, gliding between the imposing arctic ice blocks, spend some time fishing or go on a birdwatching excursion. There's also walking tours giving you an insight into the local indigenous history and geological formations. After 3 days here, you'll feel deeply connected to the natural environment.

Overnight in Torres del Paine

Classic & Premium - 

Deluxe - 

Meals included: Breakfast; lunch; dinner


Day Twelve: Homeward Bound

After a final breakfast overlooking the mountains, you'll be transferred to Punta Arenas airport for your flight home. 

Meals included: Breakfast


Overall meals included: 9 Breakfasts


Accommodation

You will get a choice of hotel options for the duration of your experience:

Classic ★★★

Classic hotels provide mid-range accommodation (minimum three-star rated), with comfortable rooms and private facilities. We’ve selected these hotels based on positive client feedback.

Premium ★★★★

Premium hotels are typically upper mid range (usually four star), with more amenities than our classic choices. They all have comfortable rooms with private facilities and have received good client feedback.

Deluxe ★★★★★

Deluxe hotels are luxury hotels with excellent facilities and service, usually categorised as 4.5 or 5 star. Clients rate them extremely highly.

When booking an experience, please remember that the hotel category you select is for the whole tour. The table below displays the hotels listed for each category. Please note that the actual hotel selection will be driven by availability at time of booking.


What's included:

  • Private English-speaking guides unless stated otherwise
  • Private transfers and internal flights, unless stated otherwise
  • Meals as listed
  • Mandatory taxes and service fees
  • Entrance tickets and permits unless stated otherwise
  • Watch the sunset in the Valley of the Moon with a cocktail
  • Hot springs relaxation
  • Boat and walking excursions in Patagonia

What's not included:

  • International flights to/from the start/end point of our experiences
  • Optional extras listed
  • Tips for guides, drivers, hotel and restaurant staff
  • Any visa, customs, airport taxes or similar charges before or after the tour
  • We cannot guarantee the included hotel breakfast for early departures
  • Drinks during meals unless stated otherwise
  • Personal expenses, such as laundry

What to pack: hiking boots; sun cream; swimsuit; warm layers


For Home Office travel advice to this country, read more here


GETTING THERE

Typical return Economy flights from London cost around £1000 per person and take approximately 22 hours outbound, 22 hours inbound depending on exact flight configurations and layover times.

For this particular experience, we have found that the best option is normally to book a multi-stop flight from London - Calama - Punta Arenas - London. 

Experience start point: Calama (CJC). Arrive by 12pm on first day of tour. If travelling internationally we suggest arriving earlier to acclimatise to the altitude before the trip starts.

End point: Punta Arenas (PUQ). Suggested departure time: after 4pm.

All tour departures up to 31st December 2018 are part of our Pioneers Club promotion. Click here for more information about the Pioneers Club.

Extras

Awesome Experience bonuses

Many of our experiences have optional features available at an added cost. Please see below for available extras for this experience. Please continue to checkout to select any optional extras and to see pricing information.

Optional Extras

To customise your experience, you can select any of theses extras at an additional cost during the basket stage.

Two-hour ‘Big Bang’ Experience

Starts at 9pm for 2 hours. The region is renowned as one of the best places in the world to stargaze and you’ll learn more about the night sky from a knowledgeable guide who’ll help you spot stars with your naked eye and by telescope, as well as tell you more about the Big Bang, life and the universe. You’ll keep warm with a typically Chilean poncho and mug of hot hocolate, and you’ll finish your evening with a photo. Hotel transfers included.

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