Make your way around a series of unforgettable natural attractions — including national parks, mountain peaks, icy glaciers, penguin colonies, pristine lagoons, and more — on this two-week tour around Chilean Patagonia and the Lake District. Bookended on both sides with a few days in the bustling capital city of Santiago, the itinerary takes you first to Patagonia and the cities of Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales, gateway to Torres del Paine National Park. Move on to the Lake District, side-tripping to the mythical island of Chiloé. Trek through native forests to waterfalls and marvel at volcanoes before heading back to Santiago, where the trip comes to a close.

Highlights

  • Explore the dynamic capital city of Chile, Santiago
  • Tour Torres del Paine, one of South America's finest national parks
  • Discover Chilean traditions on picturesque Chiloé Island
  • Fall in love with Patagonia, a natural paradise at the end of the world
  • See penguins in the wild on a boat tour off the coast
  • Get inspired by the colorful street art of Valparaíso

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Santiago & Go on a City Tour Santiago
Day 2 Day-trip to Valparaíso & Viña del Mar Santiago
Day 3 Visit a Chilean Winery Santiago
Day 4 Travel to the "End of the World," Patagonia Punta Arenas
Day 5 See Penguins & Boat to Isla Magdalena Puerto Natales
Day 6 Explore Torres del Paine National Park Puerto Natales
Day 7 Boat Past Glaciers in the Park Puerto Natales
Day 8 Continue to the Lake District  Puerto Varas
Day 9 Marvel at Volcanoes, Lakes & Waterfalls  Puerto Varas
Day 10 Discover the Mythical Island of Chiloé Puerto Varas
Day 11 Trek in Alerce Andino National Park Puerto Varas
Day 12 Circle Back to Santiago Santiago
Day 13 Enjoy a Free Day in Santiago Santiago
Day 14 Depart Chile - End of Trip  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Santiago & Go on a City Tour

Stroll through Chile's bustling markets
Stroll through Chile's bustling markets

Welcome to Chile! Upon arrival at Santiago's airport, a driver will meet you and transfer you to your hotel. After settling in and taking a break for coffee or a snack, you'll immediately head out on a half-day tour of the city. Highlights of the tour include wandering the aisles of Santiago's Mercado Central and Mercado La Vega. These markets are the beating heart of the city, overflowing with vendors and local residents eager to get their hands on the day's fresh produce. You'll also visit the Plaza de Armas, located in Santiago's historic center. There's a lot of history within the four corners of this expansive stone plaza, as it was founded in 1541. Nearby is the impressive Catedral Metropolitana, a neoclassical church dating to 1748, with towering twin bell towers dominating the north side of the plaza. Head back to your hotel and get some rest before the adventure continues.

Day 2: Day-trip to Valparaíso & Viña del Mar

Valparaiso
Colorful rooftops in Valparaíso

After breakfast at the hotel, you'll head off to the coastline of the Pacific Ocean and the cities of Viña del Mar and Valparaíso. Along the way, you'll pass through the scenic Casablanca Valley, a wine-producing region. When you arrive in Viña del Mar, nicknamed the “Garden City," you'll visit some of the city's landmarks, including the striking Quinta Vergara Amphitheater, the waterfront promenade, and the famous flower clock. Your next stop will be the unique and interesting city of Valparaíso, famous for its bohemian air, narrow streets, colorful houses, vibrant street art, and hilly landscape. Some highlights of the historic port city are Victory Square, Sotomayor Square, and the bustling waterfront. At the end of the tour, you'll return to Santiago to spend the night.

Day 3: Visit a Chilean Winery

One of the many wineries around Santiago
One of the many wineries outside of Santiago

Indulge in a hearty breakfast to begin your day. Today you'll go on an exciting half-day tour of a winery in the Maipo Valley, one of Chile’s famous wine regions. Taste world-renowned wines and learn more about the production process — all while enjoying the beautiful scenery around you. Later on, return to your hotel, where you will have free time to relax or further explore Santiago.

Day 4: Travel to the "End of the World," Patagonia

View of Punta Arenas
Looking out over Punta Arenas

Today you'll leave Santiago behind and start your journey to the south. Go to the airport to catch a flight to Punta Arenas, part of Chilean Patagonia. Settle in at your hotel and go out for a stroll, stopping in a local restaurant to sample regional specialties, like empanadas and seafood stew. Get to bed early, as day five starts early with an incredible excursion.

Day 5: See Penguins & Boat to Isla Magdalena

Some of the inhabitants
Penguins on Isla Magdalena

An early wake-up call starts this day. Hop on a boat for a tour to Isla Magdalena, an island that's home to the largest colony of Magellanic penguins in the world. After some time to walk around the island and take photos of the penguins, return to Punta Arenas and transfer to the bus station. You'll board a bus to Puerto Natales. Enjoy your evening in this quiet Patagonian town, checking into a local hotel to get some sleep. 

Day 6: Explore Torres del Paine National Park

The famous "Cuernos" (Horns) of Torres del Paine

Leaving the town of Puerto Natales on today's adventure, you'll get to see the onetime home of a mysterious prehistoric herbivore, the Milodon, that used to inhabit these lands about 12,000 years ago. The journey continues to Torres del Paine National Park, one of the finest national parks in South America. On your tour of the park, you'll see stunning natural features like Nordenskjold Lake, Salto Grande, and Pehoe Lake.  Walk through a forest to a lookout point over Grey Glacier and its icy surroundings. As the sun starts to lower in the sky, you'll head back to Puerto Natales for dinner in town and rest at the hotel. 

Day 7: Boat Past Glaciers in the Park

Beautiful Patagonian landscape
An icy Patagonian landscape

After breakfast, transfer to the pier to begin a boat tour through Last Hope Fjord and the glaciers of Balmaceda and Serrano. During the trip, you will observe seal and cormorant colonies. Upon arrival at Serrano Glacier, the boat will dock at Toro Port and you'll walk with your guide through the native forest, learning about the region's flora and fauna. Enjoy a leisurely Patagonia-style lunch, served in the great outdoors, before cruising back to Puerto Natales. 

Day 8: Continue to the Lake District 

Osorno Volcano as seen from Puerto Varas

This morning, you will go back to Punta Arenas' airport and hop on a flight to Puerto Montt. On arrival, you will be taken to your hotel in Puerto Varas, a charming destination in Chile's Lake District. Walk around town, appreciating views of Osorno Volcano in the distance, and stop in a local café for refreshments. After dinner in a family-run restaurant, you'll head to the hotel for the night.

Day 9: Marvel at Volcanoes, Lakes & Waterfalls

The famos "Saltos de Petrohué" with Osorno Volcano in the distance

Some of the highlights of today's adventure are a visit to Ensenada, on the shores of Lake Llanquihue, and the Petrohué River Waterfalls. A relaxing boat tour around the pristine waters of All Saints' Lake will lead to the next destination, Peulla, where you'll have a privileged view of the Osorno Volcano. Enjoy another leisurely lunch, then head back to Puerto Varas for a free evening.

Day 10: Discover the Mythical Island of Chiloé

Traditional houses on stilts over the water 

After breakfast, you'll be picked up for an interesting tour of Chiloé Island, one of Chile's most picturesque destinations. Admire colorful houses built on stilts over the water and UNESCO-honored wooden churches. Enjoy a traditional meal on the island and a stroll around the town of Castro before you return to Puerto Varas.

Day 11: Trek in Alerce Andino National Park

Thick vegetation in Alerce Andino National Park

Get an early start today — you have a full day of trekking ahead of you. After breakfast, you'll depart from Puerto Varas for the 30-minute journey to Puerto Montt. Then it's another 30 minutes south to the coastal town of Lenca, the gateway to Alerce Andino National Park. Your trekking route runs along the edge of the Chaicas River. The scenery in this part of Chile's Lake District is nothing short of spectacular. You'll pass through great swaths of unique, temperate forests abounding with indigenous trees, including mañio, tepa, arrayán, and alerce. You'll also stop at Chaiquenes and Triangulo lakes, a pair of glassy mountain lagoons that are great spots for birdwatching. At the end of the trek, you'll return to Puerto Varas by van.

Day 12: Circle Back to Santiago

The seat of government - Palacio La Moneda
Palacio de La Moneda in Santiago

Enjoy your last breakfast in the south before heading to the Punta Arenas airport to make your way back to Santiago. Depending on at what time you arrive in the capital, you'll have the chance to explore more of the city on your own. Snap a few photos in front of the Palacio de la Moneda. Chile's opulent Presidential Palace (known simply as "La Moneda") is just a short stroll from the Plaza de Armas, and like the plaza, it's filled with history. It was here in 1973 that Chile's armed forces, backed by the U.S. government, overthrew President Salvador Allende, kicking off a brutal right-wing military dictatorship that would last for 17 years. Today the country is under democratic rule, and visitors are welcome to visit the palace. 

Day 13: Enjoy a Free Day in Santiago

Riding the gondola to Cerro San Cristobál

Today is yours to shop, hike, sightsee, and sample Chilean street food! One good option is to ride the gondola or hike to the top of Cerro San Cristobál, with a lookout point offering the most magnificent views over Santiago. Or stroll the cobblestone streets of Barrio Bellavista, where brightly painted old houses adorned with graffiti art sit alongside modern eateries and bars. It's a great place to come for dinner out, a pisco sour or a glass of Chilean red, and people-watching from a patio table on your last night in Chile.

Day 14: Depart Chile - End of Trip

Morning traffic in Santiago

Head to the airport after breakfast, as your trip comes to an end today. Safe travels! 

More Chile Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Chile? Check out these other Chile itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 

Or, describe your ideal trip and we will connect you with a local specialist to make it happen.