Contrast Santiago’s historic city streets with the scenic vineyards of the Casablanca Valley, Chile’s fastest growing wine hot-spot. Explore the delightful port town of Valparaiso, where culture spills out into the streets and a rainbow of houses line the coast. Head out to the Moon Valley in the Atacama Desert and climb to the top of a sand dune for an unforgettable sunset. Visit the otherworldly El Tatio geyser, one of the highest elevated geyser fields in the world (4,300 metres above sea level)
Introducing Intrepid’s first Chile-only adventure. Awash with phenomenal landscapes, this destination stands every bit as tall as its photogenic neighbours Peru, Argentina and Bolivia. Set off from the cobbled streets of Santiago, pop over to the Casablanca Valley for a winery tour, and explore what must be one of the most romantic (and good-looking) little towns in South America – Valparaiso. Before returning to the capital, venture up into the Andes and the Acatama desert and spend a few days checking out hot springs, lagoons, hiking trails, geological oddities and high-altitude geyser fields.
Breakfast Included: 7 Lunches Included: Dinner Included:
Welcome to Santiago, Chile. Your adventure begins with a short meeting at 2 pm (followed by an orientation walk). Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place when you check in. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. For those unable to attend at this time there will be a Welcome meeting at 6pm, with the entire group, details will be in the hotel lobby.
The orientation walk will take between 1- 2 hours and will take in sights such as La Moneda, Plaza de Armas and Mercado Central.
Santiago / Valparaiso
Head west towards the coast late morning. Stop for a wine tasting on the way in the Casablanca Valley, located about 45 minutes outside of Santiago. Sitting on a coastal plain between the capital and Valparaiso, the valley is Chile’s fastest growing wine region; its rich soil and perfect climate make it a wine lover’s paradise. This visit (approximately 1 hour) is focused more on the sustainability and organic goals of the vineyard and the characters of biodiversity rather than tasting wine. Nice to know however that this area is known for crisp Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, but also for stunning reds like Pinot Noir, Merlot and Syrah. Continue (approximately 1.5 hours) through the lush green vineyards to the coast and the colourful city of Valparaiso, notable for its brightly hued houses spread across a series of hills overlooking the ocean. As a creative hub, the city has no shortage of options for a drink, so perhaps find yourself a place to sip some ancho reyes alongside locals for the evening.
Enjoy a walking tour of Valparaiso. It's a colourful, chaotically laid out town that's full of surprises, and much romanticised by poets such as Pablo Neruda. Your tour includes Plaza Aníbal Pinto, Paseo Gervasoni, Reloj Turri, Paseo Yugoslavo, Calle Serrano and and many more boulevards and areas of interest. Later on the walk takes in the Lukas Museum, which houses the collection of works by the cartoonist and illustrator Renzo Pecchenino (Lukas).
The walk culminates in Muelle Prat (Prat Dock), a nice spot to watch sailors arrive in their lanchas (small ships) and to soak up the general buzz and bustle of harbourside life.
San Pedro de Atacama
Transfer back to Santiago and take an included flight to Calama. Travel by private vehicle to San Pedro (approximately 1.5 hours). Your tour leader will take you on an orientation walk around the small town. The remainder of the afternoon is free.
San Pedro de Atacama
The first half of today is free for optional activities. In the late afternoon, head out on an included excursion to the Moon Valley in the Atacama desert with an English speaking local guide. Located around 10 km away from San Pedro de Atacama, this has been declared a natural sanctuary as part of the Los Flamencos National Reserve (within the Salt Mountain range). On this tour, you see a geological spectacle of many colours and formations, similar to the moon's surface. Also visit the Tres Marias statues, the salt cave and go up to the Gran Duna (Great Dune) where you can admire a beautiful panorama as the sun sets and the colors in the sky change.
San Pedro de Atacama
This morning begins nice and early at around 430am. Head out on an included excursion to the El Tatio geyser (located 4300 meters above sea level) in the Atacama desert with an English speaking local guide. This is highest-elevation geyser fields in the world. Watch in awe as more than 100 geysers huff and puff around you, shooting streams of water and gas into the frigid air on this trip to the third-largest geyser field in the world. The El Tatio Geyser Field stands just over 14,000 feet (4,267 m) above sea level in the Andes Mountains of northern Chile, and getting here is half the fun. Travel up winding mountain roads, surrounded by the snow-covered peaks of both active and dormant volcanoes. Magma trapped beneath the surface of the earth heats the water underground, resulting in an explosive release of pressure. Run-off from the geysers drains away into emerald-green geothermal ponds, while small streams trickle down towards lower altitudes. As you walk through the fields, steam rising all around you, keep an eye out for the geyser field's fascinating local wildlife, which shows that nature's beauty can thrive even in harsh conditions. This activity will finish around 1pm and the remainder of the day is free. There are plenty of optional activities available including a visit to the hot springs, various hikes and a visit to one of the lagunas, please speak with your tour leader for some options.
Transfer back to Calama airport for your included flight back to Santiago. Enjoy a free afternoon to further explore Santiago and perhaps head out for a final group dinner.
The adventure ends after breakfast.