Santiago & Torres del Paine 7D Tour Outline:
Day 1 Arrival Santiago. Overnight in Santiago.
Day 2 Fly to Punta Arenas; transfer to Puerto Natales. Overnight in Puerto Natales.
Day 3 Visit toTorres del Paine. Overnight in Puerto Natales.
Day 4 Optional Glacier Excursion. Overnight in Puerto Natales.
Day 5 Transfer to Punta Arenas; Fly to Santiago. Overnight in Santiago.
Day 6 Optional tours: Santiago City, vineyards, Valparaiso. Overnight in Santiago.
Day 7 Transfer to Santiago airport.
Prices below are per person, based on 2 people sharing a room.
NB. flights not included.
|7 Days||£711 / $907|
Guaranteed Departure Dates: 2019:
Wed, May 8 - Tue, May 14
Wed, Jun 5 - Tue, Jun 11
Wed, Jul 3 - Tue, Jul 9
Wed, Jul 24 - Tue, Jul 30
Wed, Aug 7 - Tue, Aug 13
Wed, Aug 21 - Tue, Aug 27
Wed, Sep 11 - Tue, Sep 17
Wed, Oct 9 - Tue, Oct 15
Wed, Nov 20 - Tue, Nov 26
Wed, Dec 18 - Tue, Dec 24
Also available in a private service, outside of the above dates; and can be customised to exact timeframe and budget.
Santiago & Torres-del-Paine Day-by-Day Itinerary:
Day 1: Wednesday: Santiago
Upon arrival at Santiago Airport, we transfer you to your hotel in Santiago downtown.
Overnight at hotel in Santiago de Chile. You can choose (subject to availability) from the modern, eco-friendly Novapark Hotel, which is situated in Santiago's commercial and political centre, close to Santa Lucia park; or the swanky Plaza El Bosque Hotel, located in the upmarket district of Las Condes (at additional cost).
Day 2: Thursday: Santiago - Punta Arenas - Puerto Natales (Breakfast)
At the appropriate time, you will be transferred to Santiago Airport, for your flight to Punta Arenas.
Suggested flight LA297 SCL/PUQ Departure 1317 – Arrival 16:42 (not included).
On arrival in Punta Arenas, we are welcomed at the airport, and make the trip in a regular bus to Puerto Natales.
On arrival in Puerto Natales, we drive you to your hotel. Here you have the choice of Hotel Vendaval, a boutique hotel in the heart of the city; or Costaustralis, located on the shores of the Fjord of Last Hope, and with architecture inspired by a French chateau (at additional cost).
Day 3: Friday: Puerto Natales: Torres del Paine (Breakfast & Lunch)
We depart early this morning, for a full day in the famous Torres del Paine National Park. As we drive towards the park, we pass dozens of lagoons, filled with aquatic birds and mountainsides where guanacos (camelid relatives of the llama) graze. Stops during the morning include: Nordenskjold Lake whose waters are emerald green; Salto Grande (Big Waterfall) where we can admire the falls, as the water from Nordenskjold cascades into Lake Pehoe; Los Cuernos Viewpoint, where you can see the iconic Paine 'horns' - the three peaks that are symbolic of the area, Valle del Frances (Frenchman's Valley) and Paine Grande Mountain.
We then drive over and beside Grey River to its source: Grey Lake, which is in turn fed by Grey Glacier, at its northern end. As a result, its blue waters are littered with icebergs that have broken off the glacier. Here we go on foot for an hour, across Pingo River and along a well-marked track, enjoying the unbeatable landscape of lakes, glaciers and forests in the Paine Mountains.
We return to Puerto Natales, where we spend the night in our chosen hotel.
Day 4: Saturday: Puerto Natales: Optional Full-day Navigation to Balmaceda & Serrano Glaciers
Today we have the option of spending the day exploring Puerto Natales or taking a boat ride (at extra cost) to Balmaceda and Serrano Glaciers
We sail up Ultima Esperanza Fjord towards Bernardo O’Higgins National Park. Along the way, we learn about the history of Puerto Natales and can enjoy the beauty of the dramatic Patagonian scenery, including the Waterfall of the Condors.
Mount Balmaceda gradually looms larger as we sail closer, and after some two hours, we can finally appreciate the awe-inspiring glacier of the same name.
We then stay close to the shoreline as we sail to Puerto Toro where we disembark the boat in order to walk through a forest of native trees, to a viewpoint overlooking the equally impressive Serrano Glacier.
Once back on the vessel, we can have an aperitif, served with ice taken from the glacier!
Finally, we enjoy a typical Patagonian barbecue at a local ranch, before returning to Puerto Natales.
Day 5: Sunday: Puerto Natales - Punta Arenas - Santiago (Breakfast)
This morning, we have the option (at additional cost) of visiting Bulnes Fort, located 58 km (36 miles) south of Punta Arenas. Built in 1843, on a rocky outcrop into the Strait of Magellan, the fort was designed to defend the Strait from the claims of other nations. It was only in use for six years, before the inhabitants moved to the more agreeable Punta Arenas, but the original fort served its purpose, and has been reconstructed to include the church, prison, chaplain's room, water wells, gunpowder room, post office ... and even the cowshed! It gives a vivid insight into the life of the first colonizers of Chile's southern region.
As well as the historical interest of the fort, the journey there, a drive of about an hour beside the Strait of Magellan, is spectacular, allowing us to spot much of the flora and fauna of the region. Marine birds such as sheldgeese, black-faced ibis and cormorants, are prevalent around the water. And near the Fort, long-tailed meadowlark and southern crested caracara, among others, can be seen.
We return to our hotel at the end of the visit.
At the appropriate time, we transfer out from hotel to Puerto Natales bus station. From here, we take a regular bus to Punta Arenas in order to catch a flight back to Santiago.
Suggested flight LA284 PUQ/SCL Departure 1938 – Arrival 2258 (not included).
On arrival at Santiago Airport, we meet you and transfer to your chosen hotel in Santiago.
Day 6: Monday: Santiago: Optionals (Breakfast)
Half-day Santiago City Tour, including Santa Lucia Hill
Santiago is a cosmopolitan city that blends tradition with modernity. So, this morning, we will show you its origins, at landmarks such as the Plaza de Armas, the Cathedral, the Post Office and Santiago City Hall. The tour will continue past the Government Palace and we walk through traditional streets and neighborhoods.
We then head eastwards, to a more modern part of Santiago, which is in stark contrast to what we have seen earlier.
City Tour & Concha y Toro Optional
In the afternoon, you have the option of a half-day tour of the famous Concha y Toro Winery (NB. this has an additional cost).
Leaving Santiago, we drive to the picturesque Pirque Valley, where Melchor Concha y Toro established a vineyard, in 1883, using vines brought from the Bordeaux region in France. Today, this vineyard produces some of the best-known wine brands in the world, such as Casillero Del Diablo and Don Melchor.
We visit the distinguished main house and the beautiful, landscaped gardens that surround it, as well as having the wine-making process explained to us ... with the opportunity to taste and buy some of the produce at the end!
We then return to our hotel in Santiago, for our overnight.
Viña del Mar & Valparaiso Optional
Alternatively, we have the option (at additional cost) to spend the day at the interesting and contrasting coastal cities of Viña del Mar, Chile's main seaside town, known as the 'Garden City'; and Valparaiso, a port city founded in the 16th Century and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Located just 120 km (75 miles) from Santiago, the drive there takes us through the fertile Curacavi and Casablanca Valleys, with beautiful vineyards, fruit farms, and forest reserves.
On arrival at the Pacific Ocean, we start by visiting Valparaiso's highlights, including the National Congress Building, O'Higgins Park, Italia Park, Plaza de la Victoria, Plaza Sotomayor and the port area.
We then visit the Museum dedicated to the famous Chilean poet, writer and 1971 Nobel Prize for Literature winner (1971), Pablo Neruda, located in his former holiday retreat, La Sebastiana House.
Another feature of Valparaiso are the ascensores - funicular railways built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, to connect the hills of the city to the lower, seaside areas. As well as being historically significant, they offer great views of the city.
We continue to Viña del Mar, which abuts the Port of Valparaiso and is the country's best-known beach resort, with a good selection of restaurants, cafes, shops ... and a casino. Here, our visit El Reloj de Flores, a large clock with its numbers made of flowering plants; Quinta Vergara, a stately home set in large gardens; and Muelle Vergara, a historic pier that has now been refurbished. We then drive along the coast to Reñaca Beach.
Overnight in Santiago.
Day 7: Tuesday: Santiago (Breakfast)
At the appropriate time, you will be transferred to Santiago Airport to take your onward flight.
End of services.