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Argentina | Brazil | Chile | Peru | Bolivia | Uruguay | Equador | Belize | Costa Rica

South America pulsates with a vibrant fusion of traditional and cutting-edge culture. While Buenos Aires is uniquely urbane with its southern European heritage, bohemian neighborhoods and the rippling essence of the tango, to the west and south, Patagonia and the rugged range of the Andes provide dramatic beauty, solitude and pristine lakes. A visit to an authentic estancia is a cultural must. A bit further west of this remote region and on the opposite side of the Andean divide stretches Chile with her fjords and vineyards. North of the cosmopolitan capital of Santiago and seaside cities of Valparaiso and Viña del Mar, one finds the spectacular desert landscapes of the Atacama with its resident pink flamingoes.

Still to the north, Peru is home to the archaeological wonder of Machu Picchu and ancient Incan city of Cuzco. Lima's trendy sophistication and unsurpassed culinary scene are not to be missed. From Peru, the mighty Amazon flows to and through the massive country of Brazil whose resource-rich terrains and tropical eco-regions, indigenous peoples, colonial cities, expansive beaches and natural wonders like Iguassu Falls have given rise to Rio's sultry sound of the samba.

In our short summary, we shouldn’t fail to mention the pre-historic archipelago and living laboratory of the Galapagos Islands, and the pacific beauty and biological diversity of prosperous Costa Rica. Discover the high-spirited wonders of our immediate neighbors. These remarkable countries - on our doorstep – are only the tip of the iceberg!

Chile Top to Bottom


On a trip tailored just for you, experience Chile's vast diversity. After a look at Santiago, go south to the stunning, remote Aysén region to discover the newly opened Patagonia National Park. The new airport near Patagonia's Torres del Paine is making it easier to reach this jaw-dropping national park in Chile, named best adventure travel destination by the World Travel Awards. For two full days, hike amid glowing, glaciated landscapes dotted with waterfalls, guanacos, and wildflowers, and learn about conservation efforts. From here it’s another day of travel - and well worth every minute - to reach the Lake District, a gorgeous patchwork of peaks and lakes that’s crisscrossed by fertile farms, dense woodland, German-flavored towns, and Mapuche settlements. From a sophisticated, riverside hacienda, explore with a range of activities from hiking to river rafting and rodeo watching to craft-market shopping. Then fly north to the lunar-like Atacama Desert, the world’s driest place. Among its high tableland of sprawling salt flats, you will find 20,000-foot volcanoes, steaming geysers, and Aymara villages - through which you may stroll, hike, bike, and ride horses. Fully invigorated, return to Santiago for flights homeward bound.


Day 1:  Arrive in Santiago
Most flights to Santiago are overnight, arriving in the early morning. Upon arrival, you are greeted by one of our representatives and transfer to your hotel. In the afternoon, set out with your private guide to explore Chile’s thriving capital. Your tour provides an insight into the Chilean capital’s colonial past, as well as its modern business hub. Downtown, stroll through Santiago’s vibrant market where local families shop for their meals alongside buyers from Santiago’s top restaurants. Upon return to your hotel, the remainder of the evening is at your leisure to look around and dine at the restaurant of your choice.  The Singular

Day 2:  To Aysén and Chacabuco Valley
This morning fly south to the Aysén, landing at the tiny airport of Balmaceda. Then drive five to six hours down the Carretera Austral, a very remote and mostly gravel highway, passing lakes, glacier-fed streams, small towns, and jagged mountains. En route, you will take a brief kayaking trip to see Marble Caves, a group of columns and tunnels carved in the marble by thousands of years of wave action. Arriving in the Chacabuco Valley, check into the only hotel in the area, the intimate Lodge at Valle Chacabuco, recently named one of Chile’s best hotels by Outside magazine.
Estancia Chacabuco  BLD

Days 3–4:  Chacabuco Valley
For the next two full days you’ll explore the Chacabuco Valley’s extraordinary beauty and biodiversity, and gain insight into the efforts of Conservación Patagónica. This nonprofit is dedicated to restoring and protecting this land, creating Patagonia National Park, which will be nearly the size of California’s Yosemite and as spectacular as Chile’s famed Torres del Paine. You’ll meet with conservation experts, (possibly including Conservación Patagónica founder Kris Tompkins, whose work over the past two decades with her husband, businessman and philanthropist Douglas Tompkins, has protected more than two million wilderness acres in Chile and Argentina).

You will have many hiking options to choose from, including the first official trail of the future park Laguna Altas, a 14-mile loop with spectacular views of the valley and opportunities to swim in high alpine lakes. You may also follow a trail up the dramatic Aviles Valley, which connects the Jeinimeni Mountains to the Chacabuco Valley, or make your way to the Lago Chico area, which offers vistas of Lago Cochrane and the surrounding mountains. Estancia Chacabuco  BLD

Day 5:  Lakes District
After breakfast you’ll travel back to the airport for your flight to Puerto Montt. Upon arrival, you’ll transfer about 20 minutes outside of town to Casa Molino, a property nestled on the edge of Lake Llanquihue and situated with breathtaking views of the regions' abundant volcanoes. This afternoon, enjoy the scenery with a hike around the stunning Osorno Volcano, or spend your time biking, fishing or rafting.  Casa Molino  BL

Day 6:  Pucón
Today you’ll drive through the beautiful countryside of the lakes district, passing through lush farmland, dense forest, snowcapped volcanoes and deep, clear lakes. Your four hour drive takes you to the Hotel Vira Vira, featuring a 56 acre native park along the shores of the Liucura River and offering an oasis of peace and recreation.  Vira Vira  BLD

Days 7-8:  Pucón
The crystal clear Liucura River, brimming with trout and salmon, weaves its way through lush ancient forests, under the active glare of snowcapped volcanoes before passing through the manicured grounds of Vira Vira. The area is a nature and adventure lover’s dream, surrounded by no fewer than five national parks and three national reserves – offering volcanos, rivers, waterfalls, hot springs, lakes and temperate rain forests to explore. Additionally, this area is the heartland of the indigenous Mapuche people, offering a unique cultural intensity.

Vira Vira also includes a complete farm managed by ecological standards as well as a modern cheese and milk dairy, which supplies the kitchen and master chefs with fresh seasonal ingredients.

Your days here may include horseback riding, river rafting, kayaking, great hiking tours, ascents to the active volcano, explorations for untouched flora and fauna, or relaxing in a natural hot spring. Excursions range from just a few hours up to a full day, and can be catered to any level of physical ability or interest. You may also choose to simply stroll the paths around the property or soak in one of three wood-fired hot tubs and gaze at southern constellations while listening to the nearby river flowing.  Vira Vira  BLD

Day 9:  Fly to Calama 
Today you depart for the airport in time to board your flight to Calama. You’re met upon arrival for the two hour drive through the Domekyo and Salta mountain ranges, to San Pedro de Atacama and the charming Tierra Atacama hotel. At an altitude of 7900 feet in the very heart of the Atacama, Tierra Atacama is your gateway to the geological and archaeological wonders of the central desert. This is the world’s driest landscape, cut off from storm systems by high-pressure air currents and by Chile’s twin mountain ranges; no precipitation has been recorded here since the days of Spanish colonization, four hundred years ago!  Tierra Atacama  BD

Days 10-12:  Atacama Desert
While visiting the Atacama, you have the freedom to enjoy daily explorations accompanied by Tierra’s knowledgeable guides. There are hiking and walking excursions of all levels of difficulty, as well as opportunities for bicycling and horseback riding. The excursions have maximum flexibility and can be catered to your interests and abilities. You may visit archaeological sites, geysers, salt flats, moonscape valleys, and other Aymara villages near the town. The choice is yours.  Tierra Atacama  BLD

Day 12:  Depart Chile 
This morning you are transferred back to Calama to catch your return flight to Santiago and onward.

 

 

courtesy of and in association with GeoEx

Offered November–March as a private departure.

 


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Four-Time Award Recipient - Condé Nast Traveler

Condé Nast Traveler Award
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