Recommended on tripadvisor®
Eco-Adventure Travel
to South America

Best Ever Chile Adventure

Experience the best that Chile has to offer from the vibrant art of Valparaiso to the rugged terrain of the Patagonian Andes. This trip has all the elements of a once-in-a-life time adventure.

Highlights

Hike the most famous trekking route in Chilean Patagonia.

Experience the life of a Chilean cowboy.

Break out your paint brush as you contribute to the vibrant art of Valparaiso.

 

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Santiago

Your guide meets you at the airport and accompanies you to the hotel to help you check in.

Relax after your international flight before joining us for dinner, and weather permitting, a trip to the top of San Cristobal Hill to watch the sun set over the sprawling city.

Hotel: Oporto Boutique (or similar)
Meals: Dinner

Day 2: Explore Santiago & Visit a Mapuche Community

Start the day at the Plaza de Armas, the main square of the city.

Visit the central market.

Stroll through the park on Santa Lucia Hill. This popular park is adorned with ornate facades, stairways, and fountains.

Visit a Mapuche community. The Mapuche are the original indigenous people of Chile.

Enjoy a traditional lunch in a Ruka (traditional Mapuche housing), while you learn about Mapuche history and culture.

Walk through the lovely park of Quinta Normal famous for its wide variety of tree species as you make your way to the Memory Museum. Tour the museum to learn about Chile’s tumultuous political history.

Enjoy a wine tasting honoring poet Pablo Neruda in the quaint neighborhood of Bellavista.

Hotel: Oporto Boutique (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast at your hotel and lunch with the Mapuche community

Day 3: Connect With Your Inner Picasso in Valparaiso

Visit Refugio de la Misericordia, a home for pregnant teens, and teen moms and their babies who have been placed there by the Chilean court system. Learn about the work the nonprofit organization, VE Global, is doing to help foster the positive development of these moms and their children.

Then, break out your camera and your paintbrush as you stroll through the colorful streets of Valparaiso. The city is wall-to-wall murals.

Get in touch with your inner Picasso as you literally add your brush strokes to the art the city is so famous for.

Hotel: Oporto Boutique (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast at your hotel

Day 4: Travel to Punta Arenas

Depart for the southern-most city on the continent, Punta Arenas!

Make sure to get a window seat on the plane so you can see the incredible views of the Patagonian ice fields.

Your guide meets you at the airport and accompanies you to the hotel to help you check in.

After lunch, enjoy a panoramic view of the city and Magellan’s Strait.

Then, learn about the history of the Magellanes at the Sara Braun Palace.

Wrap up the afternoon with a visit to the city cemetery. The exotic mausoleums and the striking memorial to the fallen indigenous people of the area tell the story of Punta Arenas’ rich past.

Stop by the Plaza Munoz Gamero where you’ll find a small plaque welcoming you to Antarctica. Touch the toe of the Tehuelche Indian statue and it’s said that you’ll one day return to Punta Arenas.

Hotel: Hotel Ilaia (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast at your hotel and lunch

Day 5: Visit a Penguin Colony

Sail through the Magellan Strait to Isla Magdalena and Isla Marta. The two islands form the Natural Monument to the Penguins.

Hang out with penguins, sea lions, sea elephants, cormorants, and skuas. If you are lucky, you may even see an austral dolphin.

After lunch, drive through open pampas and huge ranches on the way to Puerto Natales. Keep your eyes peeled for the nandu, a bird very similar to the ostrich, which inhabits the area.

Check into your cozy hotel on the ocean shore and enjoy views of the Last Hope Sound.

Enjoy a welcome dinner with your guide and learn about your upcoming hike in Torres del Paine National Park.

Hotel: Weskar (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast at your hotel and dinner

Day 6: Saddle Up to Experience the Life of a Gaucho (Cowboy)

Spend the day at a typical Chilean ranch.

Ride through the forest in search of cows to herd. Participate in typical ranch tasks and learn about the gaucho-way of life.

Feast on a traditional lamb barbecue as you enjoy the magnificent views of the unique Patagonian landscape.

Hotel: Weskar (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast at your hotel and lunch at the ranch

Day 7: Hike to the Towers (Las Torres)

Travel to Torres del Paine National Park along an unpaved road.

Keep your eyes peeled and your camera ready for guanacos, grey fox, flamencos, and black-necked swans.

Trek through an unbelievable beech forest to the base of the famous towers.

Hotel: Camping or Torre Central Refugio
Meals: Breakfast at your hotel, lunch, and dinner
Hike Details: 7 – 8 hours hiking, 11 miles, (4,266 feet elevation gain/4,266 feet elevation loss)

Day 8: Hike to Camp Serron

Hike through a deciduous beech forest.

Enjoy views of Paine Chico Mountain in the distance.

Hotel: Camping or Dome at Serron
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Hike Details: 4 – 5 hours, 5.5 miles, (984 feet elevation gain/984 feet elevation loss)

Day 9: Hike to Camp Dickson

Today’s hike is the easiest section of the trail.

Hike along Paine Lake and enjoy distant views of many mountains, including Cerro Escudo (the Shield) and Cerro Cabeza del Indio (Indian Head Mountain).

Finish the day at the beginning of Paine River from where you’ll be able to see Cerro Cubo (Cube Mountain) and Dickson Lake.

Hotel: Camping or Dickson Refugio
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Hike Details: 6 – 7 hours, 11.5 miles, (500 feet elevation gain/328 feet elevation loss)

Day 10: Hike to Camp Perros

Hike along an undulating path that follows the Perros River.

Cross a hanging bridge to arrive at the terminal moraine of the hanging glacier.

Hotel: Camping
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Hike Details: 5 hours, 5.5 miles, (1,312 feet elevation gain/328 feet elevation loss)

Day 11: Hike to Camp Grey

This is the most difficult day of the trek. But, the dramatic beauty of the surrounding landscape makes it worth the effort.

Ascend to the top of the John Garner pass. From here you’ll have a spectacular view of the Grey Glacier and Southern Ice Field.

Descend from the summit on a path that winds alongside the glacier. If you are lucky, you may witness ice calving from the glacier’s front wall.

Hotel: Camping or Grey Refugio
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Hike Details: 10 – 11 hours, 13.5 miles, (2,297 feet elevation gain/3,069 elevation loss)

Day 12: Ice Hike & Kayak

Today you can relax with a book at the refugio or choose to participate in an ice hiking or kayaking adventure.

Ice Hiking: Take a zodiac to the glacier where you meet specialized guides who will outfit you with the necessary technical equipment. Walk on the glacier and marvel at the deep blue cracks gracing its surface.

Kayaking: Get up close and personal with the glacier as you paddle around icebergs floating in the lake.

Hotel: Camping or Grey Refugio
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Activity Details: 5 hours ice hiking, 3 hours kayaking

Day 13: Hike to Pehoe Lake

Meet with a representative from Torres del Paine Legacy Fund to learn about how this non-profit organization is helping to preserve and maintain the park.

After lunch, take a short hike to Pehoe Lake

Hotel: Camping or Paine Grande Refugio
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Hike Details: 3.5 hours, 7 miles, (656 feet elevation gain/984 feet elevation loss)

Day 14: Hike to the French Valley

Hike through the forest to the hanging bridge over the French River.

Continue though a Japanese-garden-like landscape to reach the French Valley.

Return to the refugio. A catamaran ferries you across the lake where a van awaits to drive you back to Puerto Natales.

Hotel: Weskar (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast and lunch
Hiking Details: 6 – 7 hours, 10.5 miles, (1,640 feet elevation gain/1,640 feet elevation loss)

Day 15: Return to Santiago

Wave goodbye to the magnificence of Patagonia as you return to the airport at Punta Arenas from which you’ll catch your flight to Santiago.

Catch your international flight from Santiago home.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel

 

Trip Rating

Strenuous

Prices

Prices for 2016

2 to 4 people – $9,192/person

5+ people – $6,578/person

Prices for 2017

2 to 4 people – $8,347/person

5+ people – $6,541/person

Included In Price
  • Accommodations – double occupancy
  • Airport/hotel transfers
  • Carbon offsets
  • English speaking guides
  • Entrance fees for scheduled tours
  • Meals specified in the itinerary
  • Transportation specified by the itinerary
Excluded From Price
  • Airfare
  • Airport taxes
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Baggage costs
  • Meals not specified by the itinerary
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips
  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Voluntary philanthropic gifts

Departure Dates

Private departures upon request December through March

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