About Chile Luxury Travel
Santiago: The result of 20 years of uninterrupted economic growth is a capital city that is one of Latin America’s most modern metropolitan areas. With the amenities of a world-class city, it boasts some of Latin America’s most modern transportation infrastructure, including a metro system. Santiago is headquarters to many global companies and is a regional financial center. Set in a valley with a mild Mediterranean climate, the city’s charm is found in its old quarter, European-style districts, Spanish colonial churches, gardens and government palaces. Chile’s famous wine estates are nearby.
Isla Negra, Valparaiso & Vina Del Mar: Isla Negra, just south of Valparaiso, is primarily known as the home of Nobel poet Pablo Neruda. The eccentrically designed house is now a museum containing works of Chile’s beloved man of letters who died in 1971. For 500 years, Valparaiso has been a port of call for vessels from around the world. From conquistadors and pirates to Charles Darwin and James Whistler, all came in search of some kind of treasure. It is the country’s principal port and second-largest city. Its hilltop suburbs are reached by funicular railways and stairway footpaths. Viña del Mar was first developed in the 1870s as an exclusive residential and summer retreat for the wealthy. Today, it is Chile’s “Riviera,” with parks and gardens, social clubs, casino, theater, sport facilities, beaches, golf, tennis, horse racing, and a lively nightlife.
Winelands: A favorite excursion from Santiago, the Winelands are the center of a thriving wine-growing region dating back generations. Many historic wine estates remain family-run. In Maipo Valley, visitors learn about Chile’s rich heritage. Several wine estates have accommodations and guest facilities. Casa Real, for example, is a renovated 19th-century vineyard that includes a superb small hotel, once the owner’s private mansion. Santa Rita was founded in 1880, yet its modern innovations have propelled it to the forefront, receiving international recognition for the quality of its wines.
Lakes District: Abundant physical beauty, German mansions and a Baroque church echo Europe’s Bavarian Alps. The fjord-like Todos los Santos, the green Petrohue Falls and Osorno Volcano add to this rich palette. Chiloe Island is home to unique architecture, folklore and handicrafts. The bounty of scenery blends with the eccentric character of the area to create a captivating destination.
Atacama Desert: The Atacama Desert sidles up to the coast along the Pacific Ocean and reaches up into the Andes Mountains. Even though Atacama gets almost no rainfall, there are some pockets of water in salt lakes, remnants from earlier periods; and it snows at higher elevations. In this rugged and largely untouched wilderness, adventurers come to experience the primitive landscape. Some excursions by horseback take in Moon Valley and a 12th-century Indian fortress, while other options include desert hikes, visits to an archaeological site, and travel to El Tatio geysers at 14,000 feet.
Torres del Paine National Park: In one of the wildest, most ruggedly beautiful and unspoiled settings on Earth, this national park encompasses extraordinary mountain formations, glacier, lakes and rivers in southern Chile. The Cordillera del Paine is the centerpiece of the park, and is in a transition area between the Magellanic subpolar forests and the Patagonian Steppes. Bernardo O’Higgins National Park borders it to the west, while Los Glaciers National Park is just north in Argentina. The scenery is dominated by the Paine massif, an eastern spur of the Andes located on the east side of the Grey Glacier. Small valleys separate spectacular granite spires and mountains of the massif. The variety of outdoor pursuits include climbing, fly fishing, sailing, horseback riding, kayaking, trekking and mountaineering. Activities are tailored to each person’s skill and fitness level. This exciting locale makes a memorable vacation.
Pucon & Villarica: Pucon is a small city in the middle of the southern lake region in Chile. The Andes here change into a series of spectacular volcanoes, age-old forests and lakes of distinctive beauty. Pucon is a fashionable resort area with abundant outdoor activities such as trekking, horseback riding, glacier treks, boating and mountain bike adventures. Snow-covered Villarica, one of Chile’s most active volcanoes, is one of only four volcanoes worldwide known to have an active lava lake within its crater. This region with its wealth of natural attributes simply begs discovery.
Easter Island: Few places have gripped the world’s imagination more than Easter Island and its giant stone figures. Some 600 of these mysterious moai figures dot the island. This lonely speck of land is about 2,300 miles west of Santiago in the Pacific Ocean. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Rapa Nui National Park, includes Ahu Vinapu’s Inca-like precise stonework, Rano Raraku quarry where the giant figures were carved; and Rano Kao with it curious ruins of the village of Orongo, a likely center for the ancient birdman cult. Other areas to explore include historic Ana Tepahu caverns; Puna Pao quarry, source of the giant red cylinders crowning many of the statues; Rano Raraku Volcano; and the toppled moai of Akahanga. Easter Island remains a truly exceptional adventure.
Patagonia: The Skorpios cruise ship offers a seven-day cruise, and the Mare Australis cruise features a four or five-day cruise through the Southern Patagonia Ice Fields. Each cruise navigates through Patagonian channels, past fjords and glaciers that continue their slow work crushing rocks and plowing out valleys and immense canals. Many legendary explorers have walked these ice fields such as Ladrillero, Darwin and Fitz Roy. The ships sail through Montanas Fjord, past the enormous mountains surrounding it. Trekkers can walk into the dense forest to the base of the Bernal Glacier, with its bluish ice free from any contamination. This fjord is the last part of the Southern Ice Fields.
Suggested Chile Tour Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive Santiago, Chile
Day 2: Santiago - Valparaiso & Viña del Mar
Day 3: Santiago - Maipo Valley
Day 4: Santiago / Puerto Varas
Day 5: Puerto Varas - Osorno & Petrohue Falls
Day 6: Puerto Varas - Chiloe Island
Day 7: Puerto Varas / Santiago / Depart
Custom Travel Options
Winelands (2 days)
The winelands are home to many long-established, family-run wine estates, noted for their superior vineyards.
Atacama Desert (4 days)
This largely untouched wilderness boasts primitive scenery, a 12th-century Indian fortress and El Tatio geysers at 14,000 feet.
Torres del Paine National Park (5 days)
This park encompasses mountains, glaciers, lakes and rivers in southern Chile, offering an outstanding roster of activities from mountaineering to kayaking.
Pucon & Villarica (3 days)
Towering mountains, spectacular volcanoes and age old forests beckon with their distinctive beauty. Pucon is a fashionable resort area.
Easter Island (5 days)
Easter Island and its giant stone sculptures are among the handful of places in the world that remains shrouded in mystery and myth.
Patagonian Cruises (5 or 7 days)
Mare Australis Cruise features a five-day cruise through the utterly compelling Southern Patagonia Ice Field, while the Skorpios cruise ship offers a seven-day cruise through the Chilean Fjords.