Chile Triangle

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$5,395/person

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This 12-day triangle of Chile tours takes you to three of the country’s most famous regions. It is absolutely the right trip if you think you’ll travel to Chile only once. You’ll spend the first four days in the photogenic Atacama Desert with San Pedro de Atacama as your convenient base. Expansive salt flats dotted with pink flamingoes, vibrant sunsets over a jagged geologic horizon, one of the world’s largest geyser fields and spectacular stargazing make this a destination like no other. You will then fly to Easter Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site 2,300 miles off Chile’s coast, to view its mysterious giant stone Moai statues. An estimated 1,000 Moai are scattered across this famous island, some having been transported up to ten miles from the volcanic quarries where they were carved. Rolling green hills, massive volcanic craters, a pristine coastline and the island’s fascinating Rapa Nui culture add to the experience. You’ll spend your final four days in Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park, ranked among the world’s top hiking destinations, in a setting of soaring granite peaks, pristine lakes and unique wildlife. Here you will select guided day-trips to suit your interests and fitness level, returning to your scenic accommodations at Hotel Las Torres for pampered evenings. Hike to the base of the giant Towers of Paine, horseback ride through the Enchanted and Ascencio valleys, trek around brilliant blue Lake Nordenskjold, visit archeological sites, or enjoy any number of other activities for any activity level and interest. The lodge has many comfortable common areas, a bar with artisan beers and premium wines, an extensive spa, and a restaurant featuring local organic ingredients. This Patagonia experience makes the perfect conclusion to a unique Chile vacation of extremes.

Details

Duration: 12 Days
Starts in: Calama
Ends in: Santiago
Group Size: 2-12
Difficulty: 1/5

Operated by:

Southern Explorations

No one knows Latin America like Southern Explorations. Our decades of experience gives you the flexibility to build and customize your ideal adventure to Latin America, or ...

Additional Information

Highlights 

Chile's most famous regions, Easter Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site , Atacama Desert, Torres del Paine National Park

Itinerary

DAY 1: CALAMA – SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA – VALLE DE LA LUNA

Upon arrival at the Calama airport, you will be met by your driver for the sixty-minute ride to your selected accommodation in San Pedro de Atacama. The town stands as an oasis in the midst of the world’s driest desert, where geological evidence suggests that certain areas have never experienced rainfall. Here a rich pre-Colombian cultural history dating back thousands of years lives on today in traditional artisan crafts and a renowned archaeological museum. Enjoy the morning getting settled and exploring on your own.

In the afternoon, you will travel to Valle de la Luna (Valley of the Moon), aptly named for its lunar-like landscape. Unique rock and salt formations carved over millions of years by floods and wind appear sculpted by man. You’ll watch the mesmerizing colors of the mountains change in a colorful sunset over the Cordillera de la Sal from your perch atop sand dunes. You will be returned to your hotel for a free evening.

DAY 2: LAGUNA CEJAR

Today you have the morning free and travel to Laguna Cejar after lunch. Located just twelve miles from San Pedro, the lagoon is an ideal spot for relaxation. It sits in the middle of the Atacama salt flat, surrounded by salt crystals. Due to the large concentration of salt, you float effortlessly in Cejar Lagoon’s waters. Nearby, you can also take a dip in the Ojos del Salar (Eyes of the Salt Flat), two smaller freshwater pools. After enjoying these refreshing sights, you will enjoy a delicious appetizer while witnessing a spectacular sunset over the Tebinquinche Lagoon before being returned to your hotel for another evening on your own. (B)

DAY 3: SALAR DE ATACAMA & TOCONAO

After breakfast, today’s visit to the famed Salar de Atacama (Salt Lake) begins. The first stop is the National Flamingo Reserve, entered through the Chaxa Lagoon. The sight is formed by a gigantic depression of more than 2,100 square miles. The Salar de Atacama is the largest salt field in Chile. Its large quantity of salt makes the vast surface white and rough, offering panoramic views of the area. The bottom of the salt field is composed of an enormous lake, which receives water from rivers and melting snow. As it has no runoff, several small lagoons have formed, where the three types of flamingos inhabiting the area, the James, the Andean and the Chilean, may be observed.

On the way back you pass through Toconao, a village of 600 inhabitants who make their living through agriculture and artisan handicrafts of local materials (llama and alpaca wool, cactus wood, volcanic rock). Here you will also see the Tower of Saint Lucas, a national monument and symbol of Toconao, as well as houses constructed of pumice extracted from the nearby quarry. On returning to your hotel, you have the rest of the day to yourself. (B)

DAY 4: TATIO GEYSERS – CALAMA – SANTIAGO

Thousands of stars and the mighty brushstroke of the Milky Way will still be visible at this morning’s 4 AM departure to experience sunrise at the Tatio Geyser Field, 14,000 feet above sea level. The early start gives visitors the most photogenic view of El Tatio, the third largest geyser field in the world. The eruptions of steaming water are produced by the convergence of groundwater above a lava field which causes huge plumes of steam and gas to expel through the cracks, sometimes exceeding 32 feet. Afterward, you may enjoy a rejuvenating soak in the thermal hot springs where temperatures reach 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

On the way back, the majestic Andean peaks seem close enough to touch. You’ll stop briefly at Machuca, a small llama herder settlement. This picturesque village is filled with thatched roof adobe houses and green wetlands. In the afternoon, you will be transferred to Calama for your return flight to Santiago and spend the night at your airport hotel accommodations. (B)

DAY 5: SANTIAGO – EASTER ISLAND

This morning you fly to Easter Island where upon arriving at Mataveri Airport where you will be picked up and taken to your selected accommodations on the island. In the afternoon you see your first Moai on a half-day excursion to Ahu Akivi, the island’s only Moai that face the ocean. Without the use of modern machinery, the platform was restored using what is believed to have been the “traditional” way of raising the Moai. You will be returned to your hotel for a free evening. (B)

DAY 6: ANCIENTE TEMPLES OF EASTER ISLAND

Today you take a full-day excursion to the famous sites on the eastern side of the island. The ancient temples of Ahu Vaihu and Ahu Akahanga have a total of twenty fallen Moai. Ahu Akahanga is said to be the burial site of the island’s first ruler, Hotu Matu’a. Ahu Tongariki is the largest monolithic monument in all of Eastern Polynesia, a platform that holds fifteen of the island’s largest Moai in a scenic setting of cliffs and sea. At thirty-one feet tall and weighing 82 tons, Ahu Te Pito Kura is the site of the largest Moai to be placed atop a platform, though today toppled. Called the statue factory, the volcano quarry of Rano Raraku is where 95% of the island’s Moai were carved. Some remain on the slopes of the volcano awaiting transport while others are in various stages of completion still connected to the mother rock. You will have the opportunity to hike to the top of the volcano for views of the beautiful crater and its fresh water lake.

The last stop of the day is the white sand beach of Anakena, the legendary landing spot of Hotu Matu’a and the center of the Miru royal clan territory. Here you will have the opportunity to swim and explore more Ahu. The single Moai at Ahu Ature Huke was re-erected on top of its Ahu by the islanders themselves to prove that they had retained this ancient knowledge. You are driven back to your lodgings at the conclusion of today’s excursion for a free evening. (B,L)

DAY 7: RANU KAU AND ORONGO

Enjoy a free morning before embarking on a visit to Rano Kau and Orongo. With a diameter of over 5,000 feet, 2.5 million year-old Rano Kau is one of the three principal volcanoes that created the island. Its beautiful crater lake is covered with a type of bulrush reed also found in Lake Titicaca in Bolivia. Afterward you will visit the ceremonial village of Orongo. On one side of the village is the picturesque caldera of Rano Kau and on the other, the ocean and the mysterious islets of Motu Nui, Motu Iti and Motu Kao Kao. Here ancient Tangata Manu or Birdman ceremonies were held. You will be returned to your lodgings for a last evening on your own on Easter Island. (B)

DAY 8: EASTER ISLAND – SANTIAGO

After breakfast, you will be transferred from your hotel to Mataveri Airport for your return flight to Santiago and a second night at your Santiago Airport accommodations. (B)

DAY 9: SANTIAGO – TORRES DEL PAINE

After breakfast, you take an early flight to Punta Arenas where you will be transferred to your lodgings in Torres del Paine National Park. Take the evening to get settled and learn more about the Patagonia hiking and other excursions in this stunning region. Hotel Las Torres is located near the trailheads for several of the park’s well-known hikes. The lodge has 84 cozy view rooms and a rustic yet stylish ambiance, perfect for relaxing after an active day exploring the park. The hotel offers ten to fifteen different activities to choose from daily. (B,L,D)

DAYS 10 -11: TORRES DEL PAINE NATIONAL PARK

Spend these two days touring Torres del Paine National Park and nearby areas of interest. Each excursion is led by a knowledgeable bilingual guide and is limited to eight travelers. After full days of exploration, you return each evening to your comfortable accommodations. (B,L,D)

DAY 12: HOTEL LAS TORRES – NEXT DESTINATION/HOME

After breakfast, you will be transferred to Punta Arenas, a five-hour drive, for your flight to Santiago to make international connections home or to another destination, marking the end of your Chile tours with Southern Explorations. Additional tours and trip extensions can be arranged. (B)

Trip Dates

Can’t find a date that works for you in the list below? Southern Explorations can arrange a private departure on any date that works with your schedule. Custom tours are also available. Contact us for details.

Thursday, October 3, 2019 to Monday, October 14, 2019

Thursday, October 17, 2019 to Monday, October 28, 2019

Thursday, October 31, 2019 to Monday, November 11, 2019

Thursday, November 14, 2019 to Monday, November 25, 2019

Thursday, December 5, 2019 to Monday, December 16, 2019

Thursday, December 19, 2019 to Monday, December 30, 2019

Thursday, January 2, 2020 to Monday, January 13, 2020

Thursday, January 16, 2020 to Monday, January 27, 2020

Thursday, January 30, 2020 to Monday, February 10, 2020

Thursday, February 13, 2020 to Monday, February 24, 2020

Thursday, February 27, 2020 to Monday, March 9, 2020

Thursday, March 12, 2020 to Monday, March 23, 2020

Thursday, April 2, 2020 to Monday, April 13, 2020

Thursday, October 1, 2020 to Monday, October 12, 2020

Thursday, October 15, 2020 to Monday, October 26, 2020

Thursday, October 29, 2020 to Monday, November 9, 2020

Thursday, November 19, 2020 to Monday, November 30, 2020

Thursday, December 3, 2020 to Monday, December 14, 2020

Thursday, December 24, 2020 to Monday, January 4, 2021

Thursday, January 14, 2021 to Monday, January 25, 2021

Thursday, January 28, 2021 to Monday, February 8, 2021

Thursday, February 11, 2021 to Monday, February 22, 2021

Thursday, February 25, 2021 to Monday, March 8, 2021

Thursday, March 11, 2021 to Monday, March 22, 2021

Thursday, April 1, 2021 to Monday, April 12, 2021

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Starting From

$5,395/person

Add your business today to reach The Outbound's audience of adventurous travelers.