Chile’s slender silhouette stretches some 4,269 kilometers/2,653 miles from the tropics of the north down into Patagonia and the icy fingertip of the continent. It encompasses an enormous diversity of geology and terrains and is home to indigenous peoples eager to share their traditions. Bolivia is a landlocked country but it does share Lake Titicaca, Latin America’s largest lake, with Peru. One third of the county is in the Andean mountains, but it is the stark Altiplano that gets much of the attention.
Chile appeals to nature lovers, sports enthusiasts and adventurers. Immense ice fields and glaciers combine with the surreal granite spires of Torres Del Paine in Patagonia. The driest spot on earth, the Atacama Desert is home to fantastic moon-like topography, geysers, sculpted dunes and flamingo lagoons. It is also one of the best locations on earth for star gazing. The Altiplano is freckled with lakes, marshes, salt flats, geysers, and 6,096-meter/20,000-foot volcanoes. The dazzling lakes and snowcapped volcanoes of the Lake District; and the hot springs, glaciers and temperate forests of the Carretera Austral invite exploration. The Magellan Strait opens to the wildlife lands of Tierra del Fuego and Cape Horn. Some 3,701 kilometers/2,300 miles offshore await the mysteries of the giant stone heads, moais, of Easter Island. In a beautiful valley surrounded by snowy Andean peaks, sophisticated Santiago is a wonderful base for exploring historic wine estates. The country has also witnessed the struggle of its indigenous peoples to maintain their traditional customs. In the region of Pucon, you can still encounter the living heritage of the Mapuche peoples, who share a common social, religious and economic structure, as well as linguistic heritage.
Bolivia shares Lake Titicaca, the largest lake in South America, with Peru. One-third of Bolivia’s terrain is spread across the Andean mountains, but its largest city and its principal economic centers are on the Altiplano Plateau, known also for dramatic salt flats. This plateau is the most extensive area of high plateau on earth outside of Tibet. The bulk of the Altiplano lies within Bolivian and Peruvian territory while its southern parts lie in Chile and Argentina. The Altiplano was the site of several pre-Columbian cultures including the Tiawanaku and became one of the furthest points of the Inca Empire. Spain conquered the region in the 16th century. The Altiplano Plateau is home to cities such as El Alto, La Paz, Puno, Oruro, Potosí and Cuzco. Several of Bolivia’s dramatic salt flats can be reached from Chile. The combination of Chile and Bolivia makes for an exciting and varied adventure.
Custom Chile & Bolivia Tour Varied Days Navigator Series Interest(s): Romantic Getaways, Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel
Starting Price: $5,000
Chile has a vast repertoire of adventure settings from icy Patagonia to far off Easter Island to dramatic Atacama Desert. Bolivia shares Lake Titicaca with Peru, and one-third of Bolivia’s terrain is spread across the Andean mountains. Bolivia became one of the furthest points of the Inca Empire. Both countries offer a wealth of culture and cosmopolitan cities, and both should be on your must-see list.
President’s Pick: Chile’s Patagonia & Mapuche Culture 14 Days President’s Picks Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel
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“Everywhere I look when I see itineraries for Chile, I keep seeing the same four or five locations over and over. For quite some time, I felt that something more existed, an experience or interaction that not only showed me something new about Chile, it also met a personal requirement of mine regarding sustainability. Enter the Mapuche communities, one of the oldest indigenous cultures in a country. There is tremendous history in Chile dating back to the Incas and beyond that reaches beyond Chile’s tourist locations that everyone already visits. I am delighted to be able to take our guests off the track to see the real Chile.”
Discovering Northern Chile 7 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Romantic Getaways, Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel
Starting Price: $3,900
Discover Northern Chile and travel through the unique landscapes and small villages of the Andes in Chile’s northern reaches; encounter ancient indigenous cultures; and take in fascinating ecosystems, from the Salar de Surire Natural Monument salt flat to Lauca National Park with its rich biodiversity.
Chile & Argentina 17 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel
Starting Price: $11,900
Explore some of the natural features and lesser known cultures in Chile and Argentina from Chile's engaging traditional Mapuche community to Argentina's Aymara culture in Salta. In Atacama, experience more ancient cultures including the Incas, reaching back in time like no other location in Chile. End your journey at the cultural epicenter of the Aymara culture Argentina, a location where everything can be found in place – Salta. Explore the wines of Cafayate, and explore on horseback or on foot, go skiing in winter or sailing in summer. Savor this well-rounded journey into two dynamic countries.
Chile & Bolivia 16 Days New Reality Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel
Starting Price: $11,300
Discover some of the most dramatic and largely untouched landscapes in Latin America, including Patagonia, Atacama Desert and the Bolivian Antiplano.
Antarctica & Chile including remote Patagonia 16 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel
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Explore dramatic ecosystems: Patagonia's remote Aysén Region and the Antarctic.
Patagonia, Southern Ice Fields & Northern Chile 13 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel
Starting Price: $7,295
Diverse environments offer adventures from ice fields to deserts, to one of the world's highest lakes.
Patagonia, Atacama & Easter Island 16 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Adventure Travel
Starting Price: $9,490
This adventure takes in some of the most iconic sights in South America, from the staggering Atacama Desert, to Patagonia's ice fields, to one of the world's most mysterious islands.