Across Patagonia: Chile's Lakes, Mountains & Wildlife - 2018

Santiago • Puerto Varas • Chiloé Island • Puerto Natales & Torres del Paine • Chilean Fjords
  • EXPLORE THE MOST AMAZING NATURAL SITES DURING TWO FULL DAYS IN TORRES DEL PAINE
  • PUERTO MONTT AND PUERTO VARAS LAKES DISTRICT CULTURE
  • CHILOE ISLAND PENGUINS
  • ENJOY 5 DAYS AT THE ALL-INCLUSIVE PATAGONIAN REMOTA DELUXE LODGE
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$5,299
  • $441
    PER DAY
  • 12
    DAYS
  • 14
    TOURS
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Across Patagonia unveils Chile’s cultural and natural diversity on an epic stage with beauty that will astound you. Come journey from Chile’s glittering capital, Santiago, along the Patagonian coast to the very ends of the Earth at Punta Arenas, Chile's southernmost city. Along the way you’ll spend two full days exploring the abundant wildlife and sky-scraping spires of Torres del Paine National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Cruise to the teeming penguin rookeries of Chiloe Island, the only place in the world where both Humboldt and Magellanic species can be found. Explore the Lakes District town of Puerto Varas, where Chile’s German, Amerindian, and Latin cultures find quirky expression. Admire the turquoise rapids of Petrohue and incredible views of Orsorno Volcano. Along the way, you’ll see electric blue icebergs and Andean peaks that are larger than life, fluffy guanaco and sleek sea lions, vibrant orchids and ladyslippers no bigger than your thumbnail. And with improved pacing and increased Cultural Discoveries, you'll experience more than ever before!


Itinerary at a Glance

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DAY 1:

Fly overnight to Chile

Begin your Patagonian adventure with an overnight flight to Santiago de Chile.

DAY 2:

Walking tour of Puerto Varas, and a Welcome Dinner

After touching down in Santiago, you'll board a short connecting flight to the capital of the Lakes District, Puerto Varas. After lunch on your own, get acquainted with the city on a short walking tour. Enjoy some time to explore further on your own before returning to the hotel for tonight’s Welcome Dinner.

Included Meals:

Dinner

DAY 3:

Rapids, rainforests, and volcanoes: Inside Chile’s oldest national park

Today’s full-day adventure begins with a scenic ride past dairy farms scrolling out from the southern shore of Lake Llanquihue. Our destination is Vicente Peres Rosales, Chile’s oldest national park and the home to the Valdivian temperate rainforest and three volcanoes. Here, we visit Petrohue Rapids, one of the most famous landmarks of the Chilean Lakes District, and enjoy a nature walk through woodlands dense with bright orange myrtle, Chilean firebush, and hazel. Keep your eyes open for the hundreds of hummingbirds and variety of other birds and wildlife that inhabit the area. We'll also enjoy a tasty lunch at a scenic fishing lodge. Cultural Discovery: Next, we'll stop at the Antonio Felmer Museum, which chronicles the history of German immigration in Chile. Working farm implements, antique furniture, housewares, textiles, and more shed light on the lives of these hardy 19th-century settlers. The rest of your day is at leisure. Or, embark on an optional German settlement tour with included beer tasting and authentic Chilean barbecue.

Included Meals:

Breakfast  & Lunch
Optional Tour: German settlement tour, with beer tasting & barbecue

German settlement tour, with beer tasting & barbecue

  • Approximate Cost: $139 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 4 hours
  • Location: Puerto Varas
  • When: Half-day tour
Visit southern Chile’s Lake District and enjoy views of Orsono Volcano, along with quaint buildings reflecting the town of Frutillar’s colonial past. This German settlement has a fascinating history and you’ll learn about those who immigrated here in addition to visiting a brewery with Old World-style drafts like bock, stout, and ale; and savor a delicious Chilean barbecue dinner paired with these beers.

DAY 4:

The penguins of Chiloé Island, with a home-hosted curanto lunch

Our full-day nature excursion brings us to Puñihuil Cove on Chiloe Island, the only known shared breeding site for both Humboldt and Magellanic penguins. But there are other 156 avian species to delight us here on what the native Mapuche called the "Island of the Gulls." Unforgettable Moment: We travel among three small islets aboard fiberglass boats in search of steamer ducks, red-legged cormorants, kelp gull, and others. On land we pass farmlands and stop to explore the historic wooden churches at Caulin and Chachao. In addition to its natural endowments, Chiloe boasts a unique Chilota culture that blends mestizo traditions with religious practices instituted by Jesuit missionaries. Cultural Discovery: For lunch, look forward to a traditional, home-hosted Chilota curanto, a delicious seafood, dumpling, and vegetable medley that is baked underground in a stone-lined pit. Return to Puerto Varas for the evening.

Included Meals:

Breakfast  & Lunch

DAY 5:

Shop for handicrafts during a market visit with traditional seafood lunch, then fly to Punta Arenas

Enjoy a leisurely morning in Puerto Varas before we transfer to Puerto Montt. Here, we'll visit the Angelmo Fish and Handicraft market and enjoy a paila marina seafood stew lunch at a local cocineria before flying to Punta Arenas near the southern tip of South America. Punta Arenas was founded as penal colony; later, it was a way station for ships rounding South America before the completion of the Panama Canal. Settle into your centrally located hotel, which boasts fine views of the Straits of Magellan and faces a park and local markets. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast  & Lunch

DAY 6:

Delve into the seafaring history of Punta Arenas, then time travel to the 1900s at the Brain Menendez Palace

A morning walking tour acquaints you with the rugged history of Punta Arenas, once the haunt of sailors, sealers, and Antarctic explorers. We’ll admire some 19th-century mansions built by wool barons and Gold Rush profiteers during a walking tour of this charming town; its location on the Strait of Magellan earned it the nickname "the center of the world". Cultural Discovery: We'll also get a chance to tour the Braun Menendez Palace; once the stately house of a wealthy family, it is now preserved as a museum that offers fascinating insight into the history and architecture of the 1900s. Your afternoon is at leisure. Alternately, you can choose embark on an optional tour exploring Patagonian heritage. Enjoy dinner at the hotel this evening. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner
Optional Tour: Patagonia Heritage and the Early Explorers

Patagonia Heritage and the Early Explorers

  • Approximate Cost: $55 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 3 hours
  • Location: Punta Arenas
  • When: Half-day tour
Get a fascinating look at the past and present of Patagonia on this explorative tour. Our first stop is the interactive Nao Victoria Museum for an intriguing firsthand look at Magellan’s legacy. Let the exact replica of Magellan’s ship, the Nao Victoria, take you back in time to when he set sail with dreams of conquering the world. We head next to the Punta Arenas cemetery, inaugurated in 1894. Stroll among the immaculate trees and grand mausoleums; this cemetery is home to many pioneers, immigrants, and other diverse families that left their mark in the colonization of this isolated part of the world. Our final stop on the tour is Cerro de la Cruz, where we’ll be rewarded with incredible aerial view of the city below.

DAY 7:

Adventure in Puerto Natales, then savor a gourmet dinner with Chilean wine pairings

After enjoying breakfast this morning, we'll transfer to the adventure outpost of Puerto Natales. Unforgettable Moment: Our spectacular all-inclusive hotel here is set on Última Esperanza Sound ("Last Hope Sound") and is known for its award-winning sustainability model. Spend the rest of the day exploring the grounds, enjoying the spa facilities, touring Puerto Natales, or biking among the scenic trails. Enjoy complimentary drinks in the lounge, and this evening’s gourmet dinner with Chilean wine. The Remota’s cuisine features fresh and creative fare, much of it grown right on the premises.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 8:

Exploring Torres del Paine, from nature walks to flora and fauna

Unforgettable Moment: Today we explore one of the hemisphere’s most spectacular sites, Torres del Paine National Park, where the plains and lakes of the Patagonian steppe meet the soaring rock crags of the Andes. We’ll spend the day on the park’s west side, and explore Salto Grande, an emerald-green waterfall that tumbles down the Paine River. Enjoy an easy hike here, admiring long views of the jagged Cuernos del Paine. Afterwards, we take a nature walk along Lake Grey, a glacial wonderland on the Southern Patagonia Icefield. Keep alert and have your camera ready for the birds and wildlife that inhabit this unique ecosystem, including flamingos, condors, ostrich-like ñandues, pygmy owls, and southern parakeets. Blue icebergs, snow-white peaks, and red and yellow wildflowers will make for a wonderfully technicolor day. Back at the hotel, we regroup over cocktails and dinner.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 9:

Trekking Torres del Paine’s east side, including Guanaco Valley and waterfalls

Today we return to Torres Del Paine, this time focusing on the east side where we enjoy a photo safari in search of the llama-like guanaco, or perhaps a wild rhea or soaring condor. We'll spend the morning enjoying a nature walk in the Guanaco Valley before proceeding to the Cascades del Paine, a beautiful waterfall set in a wide valley. Here at the “mirador,” we’ll find the best views of the famous “towers” of the Paine Massif. We'll regroup back at the hotel for cocktails and dinner this evening.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 10:

Enjoy a day at leisure, or perhaps you’ll opt for a Condor Hill hike or a horseback riding excursion

Today you are invited to spend the day as you please. Keep your eyes on the skies above for soaring condors during an easy hike on Condor Hill, or embark on a horseback riding excursion in Dorotea Hill (and don't worry, you don't have to choose between these excursions, you can enjoy one in the morning and one in the afternoon if you wish). Alternatively, you can choose to embark on an optional full-day tour of Patagonian glaciers and fjords, with an included barbecue lunch. Tonight, we'll regroup in the hotel for cocktails and dinner. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner
Optional Tour: Balmaceda Glacier

Balmaceda Glacier

  • Approximate Cost: $250 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 8 hours
  • Location: Puerto Natales
  • When: Full-day tour
Don’t miss your chance to see some of the most spectacular glaciers in Patagonia on this full-day tour, which includes a fjord and glacier sailing with an authentic barbecue lunch. You’ll witness the dramatic peaks of cliffs, nesting birds, finally coming to Balmaceda Mountain and its eponymous glacier. Don’t forget your camera!

DAY 11:

Experience the rugged Patagonian lifestyle at a historic ranch, then fly to Santiago

This morning finds us on an adventure to a historic Patagonian ranch, where you'll enjoy a delicious lamb barbecue lunch. We'll return to the hotel to gather our belongings, then transfer to the Punta Arenas airport for our flight to Santiago de Chile. After arriving at our hotel in Santiago, enjoy an evening at leisure and dinner on your own. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast  & Lunch

DAY 12:

Walking tour of Santiago’s gems, then recount your memories at tonight’s Farewell Dinner

Today we'll explore Santiago during a walking tour. The afternoon is free for you to explore or relax before this evening’s Farewell Dinner at our boutique hotel, perhaps sampling the cafes and exploring the bohemian scene in the surrounding Lastarria neighborhood. Cultural Discovery: During the walking tour, you’ll enjoy a visit to the acclaimed Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art. Beautifully displayed in the former Royal Customs House, its collections date back some 15,000 years. 


Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 13:

Spend a day soaking in Santiago, or take an optional tour to a Chilean winery

Spend your final day in Chile as you wish, either on your own in Santiago or on an optional tour to a famous Chilean winery. Later this evening, transfer to the airport for your overnight flight to the United States.

Included Meals:

Breakfast
Optional Tour: Best of Chilean Wineries

Best of Chilean Wineries

  • Approximate Cost: $115 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 3 hours
  • Location: Santiago de Chile
  • When: Half-day tour
Visit one of Chile’s largest producers of wine today, considered among the best varietals from this award-winning region. Founded in 1883, Chile has put its own stamp on the grape varieties imported from Bordeaux here. Several varietals are grown in Chile, including chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and carmenere. You’ll taste a variety of them and learn about the production process — which also includes a tasty empanada snack at lunchtime!

DAY 14:

Return home

Connect in your U.S. Gateway City for your return flight home.

Important Notice: The above day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Vantage Adventure Leader or regional expert.

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Vantage Tauck Tours Vantage Advantage
Journey Across Patagonia: Chile's Lakes, Mountains & Wildlife Patagonia
Price without Air* $5,299 $6,365 + $625 internal air Save $13,582 per couple!
Trip Length 12 days 11 days Better pacing — enjoy more time in each destination!
Per Diem $441 per day $635 Save $546 per couple per day!
Small Group travel Yes! No more than 24 travelers per departure! Not offered on this itinerary Smaller group size, lower price!
Extend Your Value Puerto Varas, 3 days from $199, just $66 a day! Easter Island from $1,699 pre-extend your hotel stay in Santiago, Chile post-extend your hotel stay in Buenos Aires, Argentina Extend your discoveries at an unbeatable value and enjoy the services of a local representative
Sightseeing 21 sightseeing tours & Cultural Discoveries 11 Sightseeing Tours and Excursions The most enriching tours & Cultural Connections, including an excursion to Chiloe Island, and two full days in Torres del Paine National Park!

*Prices are subject to change and based on comparable departure months.
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