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Explore the unique and contrasting panoramas and wildlife of the north and south of the country.

From the lunar landscapes of the Atacama Desert in the north, to the incomparable splendour of the granite peaks of Torres del Paine in Chilean Patagonia in the south, the extremes of Chile are staggering, not only in their diversity, but also by their overwhelming beauty. The addition of Lauca National Park (not a usual stop on a Chilean itinerary, but more than worthwhile for any lover of nature and wildlife) to this already rich mix of experiences, adds the final touch.

Suggested Itinerary

  1. Day 1: Depart UK

  2. Day 2: Arrive Santiago

    City tour of Santiago

  3. Day 3: Fly to Calama & drive to San Pedro de Atacama

    Transfer back to the airport for a domestic flight to Calama. On arrival at Calama you will be transferred to your accommodation to freshen up and then enjoy lunch (own expense) at a local restaurant in San Pedro de Atacama.

    In the afternoon enjoy an excursion to Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley), located 13km/8 miles west of San Pedro in the Salt Mountain Range. The valley has beautifully strange lunar landscapes and is considered one of the driest places on the planet. 

    Accommodation: Hotel Kimal. 3-nights

  4. Day 4: Excursion to explore Tatio Geysers

    The very early wake-up call will be well worth it when you arrive at the amazing Tatio Geysers and see them in action. From almost 900 metres below the earth, boiling steam bursts up to 40 metres over the surface of these spectacular geysers. Breakfast will be served on arrival before you walk through the geothermal fields with the geysers erupting nearby. As you drive back, there is a magnificent view of the Tocopurri and Sairecabur volcanoes. Arrive back in San Pedro in time to have lunch and the afternoon will be free to rest after the early start, high altitude and low temperature faced in the morning.

  5. Day 5: Excursion to Altiplano lagoons

    Today you'll take an excursion to the Altiplano lagoons of Miscanti and Meñique, located 4,500m above sea level, where you will be able to see unique flora and fauna. Included is lunch in the town of Socaire, where old Andean traditions still exist today.

  6. Day 6: Fly to Arica and transfer to Putre

    Today you drive to Calama, then board a flight to Arica (via Santiago) and head to Putre (about 2 hours drive) where you overnight.

    On your way you visit the fertile oasis of Azapa Valley, known for its unique type of purple olives, and the archeological museum.

    Accommodation: Terrace Lodge, 1-night. 

  7. Day 7: Full day guided excursion in Lauca National Park

    Today you explore Lauca National Park and Chungara lake with your expert guide. Look out for the typical vicuna, guanaco, alpaca, and their predator as you visit the reserve.

    In the afternoon you return to Arica for the night.

    Hotel Casa Beltran, 1-night

  8. Day 8: Fly to Punta Arenas via Santiago

  9. Days 9-11 : Transfer to Torres del Paine National Park

    Returning to the now familiar Santiago airport, fly to Punta Arenas, considered the world's most southern city before the growth of smaller towns like Ushuaia, Argentina. You will be met at the airport and driven to EcoCamp Patagonia, located in the world-famous Torres del Paine National Park. The total drive is 330km, however a stop will be made on the way in Puerto Natales for lunch.

    Explore Torres del Paine’s glaciers and lakes on foot.

  10. Day 12: Transfer back to Punta Arenas

  11. Day 13: Fly to Santiago

  12. Day 14: Depart Santiago

  13. Day 15: Arrive UK

Key info

Our trip ideas are offered to inspire you and can be tailored to suit your requirements.
  • Duration and price including flights from/to UK: 15 days from £7,145 pp
  • Duration and price excluding international flights: 13 days from £6,545 pp
  • Single supplement: From £1,875
  • When to go: Oct-Apr
Featured locations:

Atacama Desert & The Altiplano

Chile’s northern desert comprises virtually lifeless coastal plains divided by dramatic deep gorges, while further east the barren landscape changes as it rises through the Andes. The altiplano is an impressive expanse of alluvial salt flat edged by snow-capped volcanic peaks, home to a surprising variety of wildlife.

  • Where: Atacama Region
  • Ideal for viewing: Andean flamingo, Chilean flamingo, guanaco, rhea, vicuna

Torres del Paine National Park

Chilean Patagonia’s premier attraction is a scenic mix of craggy peaks, glacial lakes, icefields and green valleys – a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The omnipresent Paine Massif, a magnificent set of rocky spires formed from granite and sedimentary rock, dominates the landscape.

  • Where: Última Esperanza Province
  • Ideal for viewing: Andean condor, South American grey fox, guanaco, puma, South Andean deer
  • Excellent for: Wildlife photography

Lauca National Park

This spectacular northern area of dry, high altitude grassland plain and giant volcanoes supports many plants and a few mammals. Temperatures oscillate between -10°C at night and 20°C by day, and rainfall here is rare. This is one of the best parks in Chile for birding, with many species living around the lakes.

  • Where: Putre Parinacota Province
  • Ideal for viewing: Chilean flamingo, guanaco, taruca, vicuna, vizcacha
  • Excellent for: Birdwatching

Santiago de Chile

Chile’s capital and its largest city is located in the central valley, with the snow-capped Andes to the east, and the coastal range to the west. A lively and dynamic place, it is one of Latin America’s most sophisticated locations, and here is lots to see in the city and surrounding Andes.

  • Where: Santiago Metropolitan Region
  • Excellent for: City stopover, History & culture
Suggested accommodation is shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Eco-Camp Patagonia

Designed to withstand the elements of the Patagonian wilderness and minimise environmental impact, Eco-Camp is an innovative complex of geodesic dome tents on wooden platforms. The accommodation is warm and comfortable and offers a perfect compromise between a hotel and camping.