Precious Journeys Chile

Pick your adventure - horseback riding in the Atacama Desert, or trekking in famed Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia. Chile - the way you like it.

Country Information

Chile

Precious Journeys Chile Precious Journeys

(Countries Visited)

Chile


(Interest Type(s))

Sustainable Travel

,

Adventure Travel

,

Family Travel


(Tour Length)

10 Days


Tour Highlights

Starting at: $4,989
  • Enjoy guided walking tour in Santiago that includes the city’s famed subways with murals by some of Chile’s contemporary artists
  • Experience the immense Atacama Desert, an ideal location for adventure seekers with excursions that are to your preferences and pace from easy strolls to intense treks to horseback
  • Explore the small town of San Pedro de Atacama, considered the archaeological capital of Chile, and the surrounding area that was the cradle of ancestral cultures such as the Tiahuanaco and the Inca
  • Discover the staggering beauty of Torres del Paine National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that encompasses granite peaks, glaciers, lakes and waterfalls
  • Big Five partners with properties such as Tierra Hotels which, together with Reforest Patagonia, launched an unprecedented citizen campaign that aims to plant 1,000,000 trees in the Chilean Patagonia

Day 1:  Arrive Santiago
Welcome to Chile.  Upon arrival, you are met by your Big Five Chile representative and transferred to your hotel.  Santiago, the capital of Chile, is a focal point of Latin American commerce.  The city is clean and modern and sits in a basin between the Coast Range to the west and the Andes to the east.  World-class ski areas in the central Andes lie only forty-five minutes away, up steep switchbacks that climb over 7500 feet in twenty-six miles.  Distinguished vineyards surround the capital, and along with hot springs and heritage cities in the Coast Range, make easy day trips.  At night, visitors may choose from a variety of restaurants serving all types of regional and ethnic cuisines.  Arrive at your stunning residence.  This afternoon enjoy an out of the ordinary half-day guided walking tour of Santiago.  Explore the cities subways for a true sense of the city.  You see murals created by some of Chile’s most important contemporary artists.  Visit La Bolsa Street facing the Stock Exchange building; La Moneda Presidential Palace, which has a changing of the guard ceremony every 48 hours, and an art exhibition in its Cultural Center.  Absorb the flavor of the old district with its provincial atmosphere; the sophisticated, European-style modern districts of Vitacura, Las Condes and Providencia; the Spanish colonial churches, gardens and government palaces off the Plaza de Armas.  See the elegant racetrack, university, and gracious estates dating from the 17th century.  Rising above the streets of the capital, Cristoval Hill has panoramic views; Santa Lucia, site of Santiago’s founding in 1541, and the crumbling ruin of the 16th-century fort.  The balance of the day is at leisure.  Ritz Carlton Hotel (B)

Day 2:  Santiago / Punta Arenas / Patagonia
Transfer from the hotel to the airport for your flight to Punta Arenas.  Upon arrival, you are transferred to your hotel (an approximately 5 hour drive).  You’ll pass through Patagonian steppe, a wide-open, vast territory where it is possible to view regional birds such as the Darwin’s Rhea and the Upland Goose.  Arrive at your hotel later this afternoon where you begin your activities after lunch.  Located on the eastern border of the Torres del Paine Park, (a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve), Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa sits in one of the most commanding settings anywhere on the planet.  The Hotel lies a little over 400 meters from Lago Sarmiento, the biggest lake inside the national park.  This is where your exploration of Patagonia begins, surrounded by interesting geological formations, and abundant native flora and fauna.  Tierra Patagonia (B,L,D)

Days 3 -5:  Patagonia
Today you will have the opportunity to experience some of the amazing activities in the area.  Venture into the remote reaches of the Torres del Paine.  Tierra Patagonia’s excursions are led by qualified and experienced guides; with them you will be able to experience varied activities such as treks, horse rides, scenic trips and bicycle rides to world famous locations and also to areas less travelled.
Torres del Paine National Park owes its awesome beauty to its four distinct ecosystems, the flora & fauna found in the park, and its wide variety of geological elements such as mountains, forests, pampas, glaciers, lakes, rivers and waterfalls.  Starting with the mountains and peaks, visitors are awed by the Torres del Paine towers, the Cuernos del Paine peaks and the great expanse of the Paine Massif.  There are four glaciers within the park to discover, the Grey, Pingo, Frances and Dickson glaciers.  The lakes of the Torres del Paine National Park include Sarmiento -where Tierra Patagonia is located-, Pehoé, Nordenskjold, Pingo and Dickson, each with its unique beauty and vista.  There are also numerous smaller lagoons to be discovered, including the tranquil Laguna Verde, Laguna Azul and Laguna Larga.  Tierra Patagonia (B,L,D)

Day 6:  Patagonia / Punta Arenas / Santiago
Return to Punta Arenas where you fly back to Santiago.  On arrival, you are met and transferred to your hotel.  Ritz Carlton Hotel (B)

Day 7:  Santiago / Atacama Desert
This morning you are transferred to the airport for your flight to Calama.  On arrival you are met by the Tierra Atacama team and transferred to your hotel, a boutique hotel on the edge of San Pedro de Atacama.  Tierra Atacama was created by the Purcell family, long time owners and operators of the Ski Portillo, famous in Chile for its excellent skiing, food and warm hospitality.  Like Portillo, Tierra Atacama provides guest experiences that combine outdoor adventure and sports with indoor comforts, hospitality and excellent service.  The architecture, interiors, grounds and spa of Tierra Atacama were designed by Chilean professionals with an aim of preserving local cultural influences while also creating a place that allows guests to relax, spoil themselves and enjoy the good-life in this unusual part of the earth.  Tierra Atacama (B,L,D)

Days 8 – 9:  Atacama Desert
Enjoy the activities available from your lodge which features everything from walking, hiking, biking, volcano climbing, exploring on horseback, or even stargazing.  The high Altiplano of the Atacama Desert has rivers, green canyons, lakes, geysers, salt flats with flamingos, sand dunes and natural hot springs.  Our experienced guides look forward to showing you this unique and spectacular place.  The Andes Mountains and the Domeyko Range glorify the area with their spectacular forms.  More than eight volcanoes are visible from the hotel, two still active.  Their peaks reach a height of nearly 21.000 feet (6.000m).  San Pedro de Atacama is an oasis village fed by two rivers and surrounded by outstanding natural beauty, including the Andes Mountains, volcanoes, salt flats filled with flamingos, high plateau, grassy river beds and salt crusted caves.  It is at an altitude of 7.920 feet/2.400 meters.  San Pedro's history starts with civilizations from 10,000 years ago, and its people, traditions and culture of today descend from the Incas, Aymarás and Atacameñans.  The village has an excellent museum, numerous restaurants, a historic church, and a wide variety of crafts sold by local people in the town market.  Outlying streets are shaded with twisted desert trees and lined with lovely, hand-hewn fences.   Tierra Atacama (B,L,D)

Day 10:  Atacama Desert / Santiago / Depart
Depart by air back to Santiago where you connect with your flight home.  (B)

Departure Dates:  Jan 1 to Apr 30, 2013

Land price, per person, double occupancy:  Starting from $4989

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