Chile Tourism: Home > Destination Tours > Contrasts Of Chile: Lakes & Desert

THE CONTRASTS OF CHILE: LAKES & DESERT (14 Days)

Desert Atacama

Experience this land of extremes: geography and climate, with the heat of the deserts in the north and the cold of the glaciers in the south, earning Chile the reputation as a Land of Fire and Ice.

The journey begins with a tour in one of the safest and most modern cities in Latin America, Santiago, where you can see a combined city with colonial buildings of French and Spanish style, contrasting with modern skyscrapers. Also, visit Valparaiso, a natural bay surrounded by a mountain range where the sea washes the coastline, here you can hike along its colorful mountains and see the Pacific Ocean

The journey will continue torward Puerto Montt - Puerto Varas, overlooking Osorno Volcano. This is part of the Chilean Lakes District and one of the world’s scenic jewels. Once here, you will visit the beautiful island of Peulla in Todos los Santos Lake, the marvelous Petrohue Waterfalls, the German style Frutillar village and the mystical Chiloe Island and its seafood.

Finally, you will explore in the midst of vast landscapes, San Pedro de Atacama, where the desert and sky become one. You may enter to the impressive Atacama Salt Lake, where the air is extraordinarily dry giving a perfect transparency, allowing you to observe the other side of the lake; is habitat of unique flamingos and variety of migratory birds.

It will be impossible to forget this magical journey.

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Day 1: ... / Santiago

Transfer from the Airport to the Hotel. Private Service.

Overnight at Eurotel Providencia Hotel.

Meals Included: Breakfast.

Day 2: Santiago

PANORAMIC TOUR WITH CERRO SAN CRISTÓBAL:

Departing from our hotel, we drive to the civic center of Santiago to visit the Government Palace of La Moneda. We continue through the financial area and then we visit the heart of Santiago and the center of social life, the Main Square (Plaza de Armas) which is surrounded by historical buildings such as the Metropolitan Cathedral, the main post office, and the National Historical Museum. Afterwards we will drive through the Barrio Bellavista with its many cultural activities, art galleries, theaters, restaurants and dance halls proceeding to the Cerro San Cristóbal, a very well-known recreational area with a fantastic view of the city.

Shared Service.

Overnight at Galerías Hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast.

Days 3: Santiago:

VALPARAISO AND VIÑA DEL MAR WITHOUT LUNCH

Departure in the early morning from Santiago, you will pass through the beautiful Casablanca Valley to reach the magical port of Valparaíso dubbed a World Heritage site by UNESCO. You will continue your tour to cerro Alegre. Then, visit the Open Sky Museum with walls and stairways of murals painted by local artists. You will continue your tour along the coast to Viña del Mar to enjoy a panoramic view of the city. Return to Santiago. Shared Service.

Air ticket Santiago - Punta Arenas.

Overnight at Eurotel Providencia Hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast.

Day 4: Santiago / Puerto Mont / Puerto Varas

Transfer from the Hotel to the Airport (without guide). Private Service.

Flight from Santiago to Puerto Montt.

Puerto Mont

Overnight at Weskar Lodge.

Transfer from the Airport of Puerto Montt to the selected hotel in Puerto Varas. Private Service.

Puerto Varas

Overnight at Colonos del Sur Hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast.

Day 5: Puerto Mont / Puerto Varas

FRUTILLAR GERMAN STYLE VILLAGE:

Frutillar is located at the Llanquihue Lake in front of the Osorno Volcano and counts 15.500 people. Historically it has been a very important city as it was the place where the first German colonies settled. Frutillar is famous for its music festival “Las Semanas Musicales de Frutillar” that came into being in 1968 and that compromises concerts, operas, choir and jazz music. Another remarkable characteristic of Frutillar are the houses in German style, the beach and the beautiful gardens in the town. You can visit the German Colonial Museum, the amphitheater and the Forest reserve Edmundo Winckler.

Puerto Varas

Overnight at Colonos del Sur Hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast.

Day 6: Puerto Mont / Puerto Varas

NAVIGATION TO PEULLA :

You will go on a boat trip to the beautiful island of Peulla which is situated in the Todos los Santos Lake. You will depart early in the morning from Puerto Varas to Petrohué and enjoy impressive views of the volcanoes Osorno and Calbuco that dominate the scenery here. When you arrive at Petrohué, you will have 30 minutes break before the boat leaves to Peulla and crosses the Todos los Santos Lake. If the weather conditions allow it, you will be able to see volcano Osorno, the Puntiaguado hill and the Tronador from our boat. After your arrival at Peulla you will visit the ecological villa which is a true paradise for nature enthusiasts. A couple of hours later you will return to Puerto Varas or to Puerto Montt. Shared Service.

Puerto Varas

Overnight at Colonos del Sur Hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast.

Day 7: Puerto Mont / Puerto Varas

CASTRO & DALCAHUE :

Early morning departure towards Chacao Channel, where we cross in a ferry enjoying nature. From Chacao we drive directly to Dalcahue along the highway. There we can the see Chilote handicrafts, houses on stilts (palafitos) and also visit the Church of Dalcahue which has been declared Mankind’s Heritage. From there we head towards Castro, where you can have lunch at a palafito if you wish so, to head later to the Port, the handicraft market with artisans working on their different products, the Plaza with its Church of San Francisco, Castro Museum and the observation points. In the afternoon we will head towards Puerto Montt or Puerto Varas. Private Service.

Puerto Varas

Overnight at Colonos del Sur Hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch

Day 8: Puerto Mont / Puerto Varas

Transfer from the hotel in Puerto Varas to the Airport of Puerto Montt. Private Servicer.

Puerto Montt

Air ticket to Santiago.

Santiago

Transfer from the Airport to the Hotel. Private Service.

Overnight at Eurotel Providencia Hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast.

Day 9: Santiago / San Pedro de Atacama :

Transfer from the Hotel to the Airport (without guide). Private Service.

Air ticket Santiago - Calama

Calama

Transfer from the Airport to the hotel located at San Pedro de Atacama. (1 hour ride aprox.) Private Service.

San Pedro de Atacama

Overnight at the Lodge Terrantai.

Meals included: Breakfast.

Day 10: San Pedro de Atacama

A TRIP TO THE PAST, THE QUITOR ARCHEOLOGICAL VILLAGE:

Transport yourself back in time as this three-hour guided tour traces the history of Chile to over 2,800 years! Both informative and fun, this archaeological tour from San Pedro de Atacama will be enjoyed by the whole family. This is a great sightseeing tour for those wanting to discover the ancient beginnings of this amazing place! Visit the indigenous fortress of Quitor, a defensive site where the first shepherds of this civilization once lived. Continue on to one of the 'ayllus' or settlements which reflect the social system and communal aspects of this subsistent society. Return to San Pedro. Private Service.

SHAPES OF THE DAWN, VALLE DE LA LUNA

Visit a place with beautiful shapes and colors located at 8km from San Pedro de Atacama, where you will walk and enjoy a great geological spectacle that has been repeatedly compared with the surface of the moon, with its angular geology and rocks sculpted by millenniums of erosion. Visit the salt caverns before climbing the mayor sand dune where you can marvel at the kaleidoscope of colors that appear over the Andes at sunset. Return to Hotel. Shared Service.

Overnight at the Lodge Terrantai.

Meals included: Breakfast.

Day 11: San Pedro de Atacama

ATACAMA SALTFLAT & ALTIPLANIC LAGOONS

You will start early in the morning to visit the town of Toconao, a 600 inhabitants town who make their living through agriculture and handcrafts. You will look at typical handcrafts made of llama wool, cactus wood, volcanic rock and alpaca wool. You will visit the Tower of San Lucas, which is a National Monument and symbol of the town. The houses of Toconao are constructed mostly from liparita, a very white stone extracted from the nearby quarry. You will continue the trip to see the Salar de Atacama (salt lake) and enter the National Flamingo Reserve at Chaxa Lagoon sector. This National Reserve is formed by a gigantic depression of more than 3.500km2, located at 2.300 m.a.s.l. The Salar is the biggest salt field in Chile and its large quantities of salt make the surface white and rough. The dryness and altitude of the salt field allow an excellent panoramic view of the area. The bottom of the salt field is composed of an enormous lake, which receives water from mountain, rivers and melting snow. As it has no runoff, several small lagoons have formed, where you can observe the three types of flamingos living in the area, the English, the Andean and the Chilean. You will continue towards the Altiplano. You will stop at Socaire village at 3.300 m.a.s.l.  to acclimatize and photograph the small church of San Bartolomé. It is the last village of Lican Antai or Atacameño culture for the travelers on their way to Salta in Argentina, along the Sico Pass international road. You will continue your trip to Miscanti and Miñique lagoons of crystalline water and intense blue color at 4.350 and 4.100 m.a.s.l. Surrounded by numerous volcanoes and mountains, they are a habitat for a variety of species, such as the Chilean flamingo, the small parina, the playero and the horned crane, among others. In the surrounding scenery, the hills of Miscanti and Meñiques can be seen, and the area is part of the Los Flamencos National Reserve. Return to San Pedro de Atacama. Private Service.

Overnight at the Lodge Terrantai.

Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch.

Day 12: San Pedro de Atacama

EL TATIO GEYSERS & PURITAMA HOT SPRINGS:

You will leave the hotel at 04.00 am to arrive at 07.00 am. To see the Tatio Geysers at 4.320 m.a.s.l. The geysers are located 90 km Northwest of San Pedro. They are shaped by a series of fumaroles that erupt water and steam of volcanic origin. You will see this spectacle at dawn in its entire splendor. After Tatio, you will visit the old village of Caspana and its church. Caspana lies in a fertile valley in a deep gorge. Caspana has a large cultivated area of approximately 46 ha. in terraced style (Inca style) and extensive fields of flowers and vegetables in the riverbeds. All this makes Caspana a mystical Andean village. After visiting the “El Tatio Geysers”, you will visit the Puritama hot springs, a native name meaning "hot water". The place is located in the middle of the desert, a little more than 30 kilometers north of San Pedro de Atacama, 3.475 meters above sea level. For the past years they have been managed by the Counsel of Pueblos Atacameños who take care of maintaining the installations and facilities. These springs were known for centuries by the locals, but only some years ago were opened to the public and tourism, which is why they still they preserve their purity and original charm. Surrounded by desert, the Baños de Puritama possess modern installations and adequate comfort for those who want to enjoy nature and the imposing desert landscape. The waters are tepid, refreshing and revitalizing. They flow from the subterranean nappe to a temperature close to the 33ºC. The waters of the Baños de Puritama are sulphurous and said to alleviate rheumatic illnesses, exhaustion and the stress. The zone that surrounds the Baños de Puritama is famous around the world for its archaeological deposits, especially San Pedro of Atacama. Private Service.

Overnight at the Lodge Terrantai.

Meals included: Breakfast.

Day 13: San Pedro de Atacama / Santiago

Transfer from the selected hotel to the hotel at Calama. Private Service.

Calama

Air ticket to Santiago de Chile

Santiago

Transfer from the Airport to the Hotel. Private Service.

Overnight at Eurotel Providencia Hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast.

Day 14: Chile / ...

Transfer from the Hotel to the Airport (without guide). Private Service.

International Departure.

Meals included: Breakfast.

 

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