- Sample Santiago's trendy eateries and bars in the Bellavista district
- Enjoy a picnic in the Andes, accompanied by Chilean wine
- Hike to the top of the Osorno volcano, stopping at different vantage points for photos
- Take a boat to Isla Magdalena, home to Chile's largest colony of penguins
|Day 1||Arrive in Santiago de Chile||Santiago|
|Day 2||Maipo Valley Full-Day Tour||Santiago|
|Day 3||Fly to Puerto Montt, Transfer to Puerto Varas||Puerto Varas|
|Day 4||Tour of Osorno Volcano, Petrohué Waterfalls & Lago Todos los Santos||Puerto Varas|
|Day 5||Chiloé National Park Tour||Puerto Varas|
|Day 6||Transfer to Puerto Montt, Fly to Punta Arenas||Punta Arenas|
|Day 7||Visit Isla Magdalena Penguin Colony, Transfer to Torres del Paine||Torres del Paine|
|Days 8-9||Explore Torres del Paine National Park||Torres del Paine|
|Day 10||Transfer to Punta Arenas, Depart|
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 1: Arrive in Santiago de Chile
Welcome to Chile! Upon arrival in Santiago, a driver will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. You'll have the rest of the day to explore the city at your leisure. You could hike to the top of Cerro San Cristóbal for the most magnificent views in Santiago, stroll the cobblestone streets of fashionable Barrio Bellavista, visit the Plaza de Armas, located in Santiago's historical center, or snap some pictures in front of the Palacio de la Moneda.
For dinner, enjoy a culinary adventure in the city. In recent years, Santiago has emerged as a global foodie destination. Chilean chefs are reinventing traditional dishes like empanadas, cazuelas (stews), and seafood, with ingredients harvested all the way from the northern deserts and southern Patagonian regions. You can find great restaurants and wine bars not only in the Bellavista neighborhood but also in the revitalized historic barrios of Yungay and Italia.
Day 2: Maipo Valley Full-Day Tour
Experience even more of Chile's famous natural beauty today with a visit to Cajón del Maipo, located 45 minutes southeast of Santiago. You'll first arrive in the fertile San José de Maipo region, with its hills and vineyards. Then it's an ascent into the mountains, and the landscapes will become even more dramatic as massifs and snowcapped peaks dominate the skyline. After reaching 9,843 feet (3,000 m) above sea level, exit the vehicle at the shores of the Embalse de Yeso, a reservoir nestled in the Andes whose glassy surface shines bright turquoise.
There will be ample time to marvel at this landscape and snap photos of the panoramic vistas. You'll also walk around the shore as your expert guide offers insight into the geology of the area, as well as the history of the reservoir, a result of damming the Río Yeso back in 1964. For lunch, pull up a seat near the water and enjoy a picnic accompanied by a selection of top Chilean wines. Afterward, return to San José de Maipo and stop in at a local restaurant to try a traditional Chilean empanada. Finally, transfer back to your hotel in Santiago.
Day 3: Fly to Puerto Montt, Transfer to Puerto Varas
A quick flight of under two hours takes you to Puerto Montt, a port city in southern Chile that's also known as a gateway to the Andes mountains and Patagonian fjords. When you arrive, meet your English-speaking guide, who will transport you in a private vehicle to neighboring Puerto Varas. From here, drop your luggage off at the hotel, have lunch, and then rejoin your guide for a tour of this charming city next to Lago Llanquihue. Enjoy the city's mix of German architecture and Mapuche Indigenous cultural influence.
In the afternoon, drive to the famous Petrohué Waterfalls, where you'll get a great view of the snowcapped volcano of Osorno. At the end of the day, return to your hotel in Puerto Varas, where you'll have the rest of the evening to explore the "Ciudad de las Rosas," or "City of Roses."
Day 4: Tour of Osorno Volcano, Petrohué Waterfalls & Lago Todos los Santos
After breakfast in Puerto Varas, a driver will pick you up for a full-day scenic tour of the area, including the most famous sites such as the Osorno volcano, the Petrohué Waterfalls, and Lago Todos los Santos. The first part of the drive takes you along the shores of Lago Llanquihue, where you'll pass the mouth of Río Pescado. You'll also pass by the villages of La Poza and Los Riscos before reaching Ensenada, a small town at the foot of Osorno. Begin a hike up the volcano, stopping at different vantage points, until you ultimately reach an impressive lookout at a height of 4,068 feet (1,240 m) above sea level.
After hiking back down, lunch will be served, after which time you'll continue toward the waterfalls of the Río Petrohué. Fed by the nearby Lago Todos los Santos, the Petrohué is famous for its electric blue waters and cascading waterfalls that have carved a network of chutes into the surrounding basaltic lava rock. There's a network of pathways all around that offer various vantage points where you can observe these thundering waterfalls in all their glory. The tour finishes with a visit to the turquoise waters of Todos los Santos, before returning to Puerto Varas in time to enjoy dinner in town.
Day 5: Chiloé National Park Tour
Embark on a full-day excursion into Chiloé National Park, one of the natural highlights of the island of the same name. This 166 square-mile (430 sq km) protected area encompasses a large portion of the western side of Chiloé. The region is notable for its vast Valdivian forest comprised of southern beech and alerce trees. Your journey will take you to Playa Rahue on Isla Chiloé, where you'll embark on a short hike to the famous Punta Pirulil. This lookout point offers sweeping vistas of the green Chiloé coastline and the Pacific Ocean beyond.
Also here is the symbolic Muelle del Alma (Dock of the Soul), a wooden boardwalk that rises over the grassland and looks out over the western edge of the island. Take a rest nearby as your guide recounts some of the local history and lore. Afterward, head back to the car and transfer to Quilque, an Indigenous community where you'll stop at a local house for a traditional lunch. Later in the afternoon, make one last stop in Chiloé National Park for an easy hike into a forest on the El Tepual Trail, which will take you along more boardwalks surrounded by stunning temperate rainforest.
Day 6: Transfer to Puerto Montt, Fly to Punta Arenas
It's time to go deep into Chilean Patagonia! The journey starts in the morning with a private transfer to the airport at Puerto Montt, where you'll catch a two-hour flight to Punta Arenas, a city located near the tip of Chile's southernmost Patagonia region. Due to its location on the Strait of Magellan, which connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, Punta Arenas is often used as a base for excursions to the surrounding wilderness and Antarctica.
Upon arrival, you'll transfer to your hotel and will have the rest of the evening to explore the city at your leisure. Founded in 1848, Punta Arenas, in its heyday, was home to the crème de la crème of Patagonian society. Some activities to enjoy here today include strolling the leafy Plaza Muñoz Guerrero, touring the Palacio Sara Braun, taking a walk along the waterfront, visiting the Reserva Nacional Magallanes, or watching the sun go down at Mirador Cerro de la Cruz. Be sure to head out in the evening to try some local culinary specialties, such as chupe de centolla (king crab soufflé).
Day 7: Visit Isla Magdalena Penguin Colony, Transfer to Torres del Paine
Transfer from downtown Punta Arenas by vehicle to a pier on the Strait of Magellan, where you'll board a vessel that will take you 19 miles (30 km) northeast to Isla Magdalena. On this island is Los Pingüinos Natural Monument, a protected area home to Chile's largest colony of penguins. First, though, travel to Isla Marta, located in the middle of the strait. It's home to a large colony of Patagonian sea lions whose numbers top a thousand. However, these aren't the only residents on this rocky outpost. You'll also find a number of seabirds, including cormorants, skuas, arctic pigeons, and more.
When you arrive at Isla Magdalena, disembark and spend one hour on shore. Follow a 2,624-foot (800 m) path to an old lighthouse that offers sweeping views of the Strait of Magellan. On your way, be sure to enjoy the company of the island's residents: a Magellanic penguin colony that can reach up to 170,000 in number. Next, return to the vessel and make the journey back, reaching Punta Arenas by midday. After lunch, a four-hour transfer takes you to the iconic Torres del Paine National Park. On the way, you'll certainly spot some of the local fauna, including many species of birds as well as the guanaco, a wild camelid related to the llama.
Days 8-9: Explore Torres del Paine National Park
While visiting Torres del Paine National Park, you'll be able to choose between several half or full-day tours. Regarding the shorter tours, you might be surprised at how much you can see of Torres del Paine in just three or four hours. Whether by foot, horse, or vehicle, these half-day guided excursions are packed with adventure and interesting information about the park's flora, fauna, geology, and human history. A guide will take you to impressive natural wonders like the Salto Grande waterfall and Laguna Azul. Throughout the journey, you'll pass through lenga forests teeming with wildlife.
Full-day excursions tend to last between seven and 10 hours, and they leave in the morning after breakfast at your hotel. Embarking on one of these outings will give you an opportunity to explore the best hiking paths, horse trails, scenic roads, and the various lakes of Torres del Paine. For full-day tours, the hotel will prepare a box lunch that you can take with you, as well as enough water and snacks to keep you energized for your park adventure.
Day 10: Transfer to Punta Arenas, Depart
It's time to say goodbye to Torres del Paine and Chile. In the morning, you'll take a bus from Puerto Natales to the Punta Arenas airport. There you'll catch a domestic flight to Santiago and transfer to the international terminal for your flight back home. ¡Buen viaje!