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CHILE AND PATAGONIA WALK

13 days departing SANTIAGO Nov-Feb from £2499

Patagonia | Hotels

 

Journey through some of the most unbelievable landscapes you'll ever see, all in one country! Walk amongst the protruding glacial ridges and icebergs of Patagonia and see glaciers calving into the sea before venturing into the colourful lakes, salt flats and desert lands of northern Chile. Make sure you bring your sense of adventure on this one of a kind walking tour.

 

Prices are land only, let us know if you require a flight inclusive quote.

Price of tour vary depending on date of departure.

If you require further information please fill in the Query form below, also detailing the dates you would like to depart.

Trip Departure Time

 

As this tour departs at 1100 we recommend that you book pre-tour accommodation. Please request hotel details at the time of booking.

 

Day 1: Santiago

Discover the colonial heritage and mountain splendour of Chile by embarking on a walking tour of Santiago (approx. 4 hours) at midday from your hotel and incorporating many of Santiago's main sights. This is a great opportunity to not only become familiar with the capital of Chile but also your new travelling companions. You will visit the squares and streets of the colonial centre and the Presidential Palace as well as the San Cristobal Hill, on which a statue of the Virgin Mary stands. The peak of Cerro San Cristobal offers a birds-eye view of Santiago, the Andean Mountains and the Maipo-Valley and hands down the best viewpoint in the city! Time permitting you may also visit the wealthy suburbs of the `Barrio Alto', an area of elegant shops and first class restaurants. Accommodation: Hotel included I Meals paid locally

 

Day 2: Valparaiso & Vina del Mar

The historic World Heritage city of Valparaiso, or Valpo for short, is Chile's oldest port and home to the country's National Congress since democracy was re-established in 1989. The Pacific coast is just a short 1.5 hour drive from Santiago and today will reveal an interesting insight into Chilean culture as well as a chance to stretch your legs on a short walk. The city's hills are covered in a glorious sprawl of multi-coloured houses which cascade up the valley walls. This creates a spectacular panorama which can be enjoyed from a number of vantage points in the town or up in the valley itself. On your walking tour of the streets of Valparaiso you will encounter the residents of several neighbourhoods and absorb the quirky and artistic atmosphere, something different to anywhere else in Chile. You'll visit the former residence of poet and national treasure, Pablo Neruda, called La Sebastiana, with lunch at a typical restaurant in the port area. Due to the steep terrain, the city is home to numerous funicular lifts that transport residents up and down the hillsides. Many of these lifts have fallen into disrepair and sit suspended in time and hidden amid the labyrinth, however with a focus on restoring as many as possible you will also be able to see many functioning lifts. From Valparaiso you continue to the stunning beaches of Vina del Mar, named the Garden city for its many parks and green spaces. You return to Santiago in the afternoon where you overnight. Accommodation: Hotel included I Breakfast & lunch included

 

Day 3: Santiago & Puntas Natales

Fly over the peaks and glaciers of Torres del Paine en route to the pioneer town of Punta Arenas in the Magellanes region of Patagonian Chile. Aside from seafaring heritage, Punta Arenas is also known for its wealth of sheep and, of course, the discovery of gold which did nothing to stem the influx of foreign visitors from both South America and Europe. With no real time here you transfer to the bus depot for your public coach to Puerto Natales (approx. 4 hours) - your gateway to Torres del Paine National Park. You will cover a vast distance today and enter into remote Patagonia which leaves more free time for the following day. Accommodation: Hotel included I Breakfast included

 

Day 4: Puntas Natales & Torres del Paine National Park

This morning you enter one of the most beautiful national parks on the planet - Torres del Paine. Wild, rugged and stunning are words which spring to mind! Beginning at the Lago Sarmiento park entrance you hike northwards to Laguna Amarga, a short walk where you become acquainted with some of this park's unique flora and fauna including of large, flightless bird, indigenous foxes, and wild guanaco (similar in appearance to the domesticated llama). Additionally, you'll observe fascinating ancient rock paintings created by the region's indigenous population. Following the hike you drive to Laguna Azul (Blue Lagoon), discovered when the pioneer Florence Dixie explored this remote area in 1879 and it became the first tourist destination in Torres del Paine National Park. From here you can hike the path to Las Torres for views of the magnificent Torres peaks. Transfer from here to the refugio (mountain refuge) in the `Las Torres' area. Two hikes: approx. 8km (5-6 hours). Level: easy Accommodation: Mountain refuge (multi share) I Breakfast & boxed lunch included

 

Day 5: Torres del Paine National Park

The first couple of hours hiking upwards in the morning has you entering the Asencio Valley, stopping to admire the marvellous views of Lake Nordenskjold and Almirante Nieto Mountain (2,670 m.). After resting at Refugio El Chileno, you continue along the trail for about an hour and a half, passing through an age-old Lenga (Beech) forest and crossing streams to Campamento Torres. You continue climbing steeply uphill for 1 hour up the side of the valley, through a rock-covered glacial moraine, to the "Base Las Torres" viewpoint. This magnificent spot rewards you with memorable views of Torre Sur, Torre Central, Torre Norte, and Cerro Nido de Condor, before making your return down the mountain side and back to the refugio. You hike for approx. 18 - 19km (8 hours), reaching a maximum altitude of 1,000 metres. Level: strenuous. Accommodation: Mountain refuge (multi share) I Breakfast & boxed lunch included

 

Day 6: Hike to Grey Glacier, Torres del Paine

You sail by catamaran over Lake Pehoe before walking the western edge of the Paine Massif as you edge ever-closer to the incredible icy images of Grey Glacier. It can be common place for this high-altitude area to be windy however, as you hike past the icebergs of Grey Lake and through the beautiful beech forests you'll be treated to some exquisite views of Grey Glacier. You hike for approx. 22km (6 - 8 hours) reaching a maximum altitude of 90 metres. Level: moderate/strenuous (depending on weather conditions). Accommodation: Mountain refuge (multi share) I Breakfast & boxed lunch included

 

Day 7: Hike to French Valley, Torres del Paine

Today you hike through some fairly serious terrain en route to the stunning views from the Paine Grande whereupon you'll have the option of trekking onwards to the incredible Mirador Valle del Frances or heading for Refugio Paine Grande overlooking Lake Pehoe. For today's hike it's recommended that you leave your larger luggage with the rangers at Campamento Italiano before embarking with a smaller and lighter load en route to Mirador Valle del Frances. You hike for approx. 15 - 16km (7 - 8 hours), reaching a maximum altitude of 200 metres. Level: moderate/strenuous (depending on weather conditions). Accommodation: Mountain refuge (multi share) I Breakfast & boxed lunch included

 

Day 8: Torres del Paine & Punta Arenas

After breakfast and sharing tales of yesterday's incredible hiking expedition you'll sail by catamaran across Lake Pehoe and complete a short hike around the Cuernos del Paine viewpoint. Travel back to Punta Arenas by public bus. You hike for approx. 6km (2 hours) reaching a maximum altitude of 40 metres. Level: easy. Accommodation: Hotel included I Breakfast & box lunch included

 

Day 9: Santiago & San Pedro de Atacama

An early start will have you flying via Santiago to Calama in northern Chile before transferring to San Pedro de Atacama, your base to explore the region of the Atacama Desert. En route there are spectacular views of the Cordillera de la Sal (Salt Mountains). The Atacama Desert itself has been described as a 'perfect' desert as there are areas of it where no rainfall has ever been recorded. It is a strange landscape that stretches over 1200km, a surreal and barren region of volcanoes, salt flats, cacti, moon-like valleys, geysers and remote villages. Accommodation: Hotel included I Breakfast included

 

Day 10: San Pedro & Moon Valley

Explore San Pedro on a walking tour this morning before setting off into the fascinating landscapes of Moon Valley and watching the sun set on what promises to be a remarkable day. The option to visit the Padre Le Paige museum of archaeology gives you the chance to delve a little deeper into Chile's pre-Columbian heritage and with almost 400,000 artifacts on display there's plenty of food for thought ahead of this afternoon's walk through Cornizas and Moon Valley. You hike for approx. 5km (3 hours) reaching a maximum altitude of 2,500 metres. Level: moderate. Accommodation: Hotel included I Breakfast included

 

Day 11: Altiplano Lagoon & Salar de Uyuni

Today you drive the stunning high plateau of the Altiplano, rising to an altitude of 4,500m to be rewarded by stunning views of blue-black twin lagoons Meniques and Miscanti, edged by a white crust of salt. Wildlife in this area is abundant, with huge numbers of nesting birds (in season) around the lagoons and llamas and vicunas (relative of the llama). You visit the small town of Toconao, where the houses, church and bell tower are built from bricks of white volcanic stone. Today's final stop is Chile's largest salt lake, the Salar de Atacama. Rich in minerals, including borax and lithium, it is home to various species of flamingos as well as many other birds. The Laguna Chaxa, part of the Reserva Nacional de los Flamencos, offers a terrific opportunity to get closer to these birds in their natural habitat. In the evening we return to our hotel in San Pedro. You hike for approx. 1.5km (1 hour) reaching a maximum altitude of 4,200 metres. Level: moderate (due to altitude) Accommodation: Hotel included I Breakfast & lunch included

 

Day 12: El Tatio Geysers & Guatin Valley Hike

In order to experience the El Tatio Geysers you need to rise early to reach the geyser field (located over 4300m/14,108ft above sea level) in time for sunrise! The fountains that shoot up to 10m/33ft high occur when the morning sun melts the nightly ice caps that form over the hot springs. The sun's first rays reflect an array of colours as they mingle with boiling jets coming from the geysers to create strong contrasts of steam and light. Upon your return you will go for a trek in Guatin Valley where the confluence of two rivers, one coming from the Puritama thermal springs carrying earth and minerals in its warm waters, and the other being the Purifica River which flows down from its origin in the Andes. This extraordinary mixture of hot spring water and clear melt water creates a unique ecosystem in the Guatin Canyon. A hike here is simply incredible, not least for the giant candelabra cacti that grow in the canyon, some of which are already up to 500 years old. This leisurely hike begins in the Guatin Canyon, whose vibrant red rocks provide a wonderful display of colours. The walk along the canyon floor follows a steady incline through unique local flora, before reaching the Puritama thermal springs. Seven natural pools with crystal clear thermal water are ideal for a relaxing swim, before being driven back to San Pedro (optional - approx. US$30). Altitude is between 3.200-3.500 metres above sea level. Hike: approx. 4.5km (4 hours) Level: easy Accommodation: Hotel included I Breakfast & lunch included

 

Day 13: Santiago

Fly back to Santiago via Calama where your South American adventure will finally draw to a close. Meals: Breakfast included

Included Highlights

Hiking in the Atacama Desert

Trekking in Torres del Paine National Park

The bizarre lunar landscape of the Moon Valley

The sandy streets and dwellings of San Pedro de Atacama

Walking tours of Santiago & Valparaiso

Explore the wilds of Patagonia

Catamaran trip on Lake Pehoe

The salt pans and plateau of the Altiplano

See the blue and green lakes & pink flamingos of the Atacama desert

Internal flights included

 

 

Tour Facts & Features

Accommodation:  8 hotel nights in twin share accommodation + 4 mountain refuge nights in multi-share. For your own room request our optional Solo Sleeper (see Dates & Prices tab).

Transport:  All transportation by private vehicle, public bus & internal flights

Meals:  12 breakfasts & 8 lunches included

Guided:  Services of a professional bilingual tour leader

Group size:  Maximum 16

Age range:  18+

Optional Activities (paid locally)

El Tatio Geysers US$88 including breakfast (min 6 people).

Puritama Thermal Springs US$20

A 10% deposit per person is required to book

Full payment is due 8 weeks before the tour departure

Optional Solo Sleeper

There are no forced supplements for single travellers. Accommodation is based on twin-share, so if you're travelling on your own, you'll share with a fellow passenger of the same sex. However, if you would prefer your own space our Solo Sleeper Option can be requested from £240 per person. This will guarantee you your own room for the 8 nights spent in hotels. The number of single rooms we can offer is limited, so it's best to book early. Simply select the "Solo Sleepers" check box on the booking form or request over the phone.

Travel Insurance

 

Before you join your Grand American Adventures tour you MUST be covered by insurance that includes adequate coverage for baggage, medical expenses and the cost of repatriation.

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