5 DAYS FROM $2,299
Fly overnight to Chile
Begin your Patagonian adventure with an overnight flight to Puerto Montt, the gateway city to Chile’s Lakes District.
Walking tour of Puerto Varas, and a Welcome Dinner
After touching down in Puerto Montt, you’ll transfer to Puerto Varas and check into your hotel. After lunch on your own, get acquainted with this adventurous destination and its neighboring volcanoes, as well as lovely Lake Llanquihue on a short walking tour. Enjoy some time to explore further on your own before returning to the hotel for tonight’s Welcome Dinner.
Rapids, rainforests, and volcanoes: Inside Chile’s oldest national park
A scenic drive past dairy farms punctuating Lake Llanquihue’s southern shores brings us to Vicente Péres Rosales, where we’ll spend the day. Chile’s oldest national park is home to Valdivian temperate rainforests and three volcanoes, but first we’ll beeline for Petrohue Rapids, where we’ll enjoy a nature walk in this Chilean Lakes District hallmark. In these dense woodlands filled with orange myrtle, Chilean firebush, and hazel, we’ll keep an eye peeled for hummingbirds and other wildlife before lunch at a scenic fishing lodge.
Cultural Discovery: Over at the Antonio Felmer Museum, we’ll delve into 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. Spend the rest of your day at leisure, or continue the German theme with an optional German settlement tour with an included beer tasting and authentic Chilean barbecue.
The penguins of Chiloé Island, with a home-hosted curanto lunch
Our full-day nature excursion brings us to Puñihuil Cove on Chiloé Island, the only known shared breeding site for both Humboldt and Magellanic penguins. But there are 156 other avian species to delight us here on what the native Mapuche dubbed the “Island of the Gulls.”
Unforgettable Moment: Setting off on fiberglass boats, we’ll cruise three small islets in search of steamer ducks, red-legged cormorants, kelp gull, and other birds. Back on land, we’ll pass farmlands before exploring the historic wooden churches at Caulin and Chacao. More than natural beauty, Chiloé is home to dozens of 17th- and 18th-century wooden churches and a unique Chilota culture that blends mestizo traditions with religious practices introduced by Jesuit missionaries. Cultural Discovery: For lunch, look forward to a traditional, home-hosted curanto — a shellfish, sausage, and vegetable medley baked underground in a stone-lined pit. We’ll spend the evening back in Puerto Varas.
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 Angelmó fish and handicraft market and savor a traditional paila marina seafood stew lunch before flying to Punta Arenas, Chile, near the southern tip of South America. Founded as a penal colony, Punta Arenas later became a way station for ships prior to the completion of the Panama Canal. Settle into your centrally located hotel, which overlooks the Straits of Magellan and sits in walking distance to a park and local markets.
Delve into the seafaring history of Punta Arenas, or join an optional tour into Patagonian heritage
A morning walking tour acquaints you with the rugged history of Punta Arenas, once the regular 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 and learn how its location earned its status as “the center of the world.” Cultural Discovery: This afternoon, visit the Museo Regional de Magallanes, an old house from the early 1900s that showcases original furniture and depicts the golden era of Punta Arenas before the Panama Canal was open. Alternately, you may embark on an optional tour exploring Patagonian heritage, including a visit to the Punta Arenas Cemetery, a cypress-lined park steeped in history and interesting architecture. Enjoy dinner at the hotel this evening.
Adventure in Puerto Natales, then savor a gourmet dinner with Chilean wine pairings
After enjoying breakfast this morning, we’ll transfer to Puerto Natales, a colorful fishing port and the portal to adventure mecca Torres del Paine National Park. 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.
Exploring Torres del Paine, from nature walks to flora and fauna
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. Alongside its scenery and wildlife, the park is also home to three sky-high rock formations known as torres (towers). Unforgettable Moment: We’ll spend the day on the park’s west side, and explore Salto Grande, an emerald-green waterfall that spills into the Paine River. Enjoy an easy hike here, admiring long views of the jagged Cuernos del Paine. Afterwards, we’ll 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.
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, rheas, and condors. 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 park’s famous towers. We’ll regroup back at the hotel for cocktails and dinner this evening.
Enjoy a day at leisure, or perhaps you’ll opt for a Condor Hill hike or a horseback riding excursion
Spend the day as you please. Keep your eyes on the skies for condors during an easy hike up 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 might embark on an optional full-day tour of Patagonian glaciers and fjords, with an included barbecue lunch. Tonight, we’ll reconvene at the hotel for cocktails and dinner.
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 lunch is cordero a la parilla — grilled lamb. 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 Santiago hotel, enjoy an evening at leisure and dinner on your own.
Tour Santiago’s gems, then recount your memories at tonight’s Farewell Dinner
A bus tour of Santiago puts the city in perspective today. The capital of Chile since colonial times, Santiago today is a vibrant metropolis boasting a world-class culinary scene, excellent museums, and enough charm to convince nearly 40% of the country to call this city home. Cultural Discovery: During the 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.
The afternoon is free for you to further explore Santiago or relax before this evening’s Farewell Dinner at our boutique hotel, perhaps sampling the cafés and exploring the bohemian scene in the surrounding Lastarria neighborhood.
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 renowned Chilean winery. Later this evening, transfer to the airport for your overnight flight to the United States. If you are taking the post-trip extension, you’ll depart for your flight to Easter Island after breakfast.
Connect in your U.S. gateway city for your return flight home.
Enhance your understanding of Polynesian culture — and treat yourself to an exotic island experience in the “navel of the world” — on a post-trip extension to Easter Island, a Chilean territory and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rapa Nui, as it’s locally known, is distinguished worldwide as the one and only home of the mystifying moai statues. This extension is your opportunity to encounter these mystical talismans up close and disentangle history from legend. Who created these statues? How? Why? And what happened to them?
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.