Travel to the furthest reaches of Chile for outdoor adventures in the arid northern deserts and southern Patagonia. This 10-day luxury itinerary begins with tours of the otherworldly landscapes in the Atacama Desert, followed by a trip south for trekking in Patagonia's Torres del Paine National Park. It's not all roughing it, however, as during the journey, you'll stay in 5-star hotels and dine at some of the world's best restaurants.


  • Tour the lunar valleys and arid plateaus of the Atacama Desert
  • Stay in luxury hotels and dine in one of Santiago's best restaurants
  • Trek amid the rugged granite peaks of Torres del Paine
  • Embark on nature activities, hikes, and horseback rides in Patagonia

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Santiago, Dinner at Boragó Santiago
Day 2 Fly to Calama, Transfer to San Pedro de Atacama, Desert Tour San Pedro de Atacama
Day 3 Explore the Valley of the Moon: Salt Flats & Sand Dunes San Pedro de Atacama
Day 4 Atacama Desert Activities: Hot-Air Balloons & Horseback Riding San Pedro de Atacama
Day 5 Fly to Puerto Natales, Optional Activities Puerto Natales
Day 6 Transfer to Torres del Paine, Optional Activities Torres del Paine
Day 7 Torres del Paine Private Excursion (Day 1) Torres del Paine
Day 8 Torres del Paine Private Excursion (Day 2) Torres del Paine
Day 9 Torres del Paine Private Excursion (Day 3) Torres del Paine
Day 10 Morning Park Activity, Fly to Santiago, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Santiago, Dinner at Boragó

Boragó sources local produce and forages for fresh, wild ingredients

Welcome to Chile! From its fertile Central Valley and long coastline to the high plateaus of its northern deserts and national parks of southern Patagonia, this country offers something for every type of traveler. This active adventure will take you to the highlights of both north and south—traveling in luxury and style the whole way.

You'll get a taste of the good life right away upon arrival in the capital of Santiago. Your personal driver will pick you up for the ride into the city to your hotel, the Mandarin Oriental, a 5-star glimmering high-rise renowned for opulent accommodations and top-notch amenities. After checking in, relax and unwind at the sun deck by the Polynesian-style lagoon pool, or book a service at The Spa at Mandarin Oriental. Here, you can enjoy aroma stone therapies and "diamond cocoon" facials amid stunning city views.

When the sun goes down, change into formalwear because you're off to Boragó. One of the most famous restaurants in South America (and ranked one of the globe's best eateries), it takes an innovative and holistic approach to traditional cuisine. Chef Rodolfo Guzmán forages for rare and native ingredients while also sourcing fresh local produce. The result is a tasting menu that takes guests on a culinary journey through Chile's diverse ecosystems, from the coast to the mountains to the forests. 

Day 2: Fly to Calama, Transfer to San Pedro de Atacama, Desert Tour

Welcome to San Pedro de Atacama, the last frontier in Chile's far north

Rise and shine! Leave early on a transfer to the airport, where you'll catch a two-hour flight to Calama, located in Chile's far north. Upon arrival, another driver will meet you for the 1.5-hour drive to the desert outpost of San Pedro de Atacama, the base for adventures into the famous Atacama Desert. This arid, high-altitude region abounds with seemingly endless salt flats, painted hills that change color with the light, towering Andean peaks, and the volcanic Cordillera Domeyko, where flaming red mountains create the base of El Valle de la Luna (Valley of the Moon).

Upon arrival, you'll check into the Explora Atacama. This luxurious 5-star hotel is one of the swankiest lodging options in town. Its chic, modern design blends seamlessly into the surrounding desert plateau—an experience heightened by the hotel's shimmering infinity pool. Once here, you can unwind with a spa session or soak in the outdoor Jacuzzi. And no need to worry about your carbon footprint—the Explora was designed for energy efficiency and environmental conservation.

There's no time to rest because right after dropping off your bags, you'll meet your driver/guide for a half-day tour of Atacama's altiplano (high plateau). Arranged by the hotel, this maiden desert voyage will take you to a few highlights, which might include the vast Cuenca de Salar salt flats. Upon returning to the hotel, you can head to Explora's private observatory and marvel at the cosmos through its advanced optics telescope. 

Day 3: Explore the Valley of the Moon: Salt Flats & Sand Dunes

Explore the almost lunar landscapes of Moon Valley in the Atacama Desert

Eat a hearty breakfast because you're off on an exciting adventure around the Atacama Desert. Leave the itinerary to the hotel—all you need to do is meet your guide and let him/her lead the way. This private half-day excursion will take you a few miles outside town to one of Atacama's most famous regions: the Valley of the Moon.

Moon Valley is so-named due to its otherworldly landscapes comprised of salt flats, red cliffs, and rolling sand dunes. You'll visit all of the valley's geological wonders, including the mesmerizing salt caves of the Cordillera del Sal, the unique rock formations shaped by millennia of wind and water erosion, and take a stroll atop the famous dunes, which offer great photo opportunities. After the tour, you'll return to San Pedro and can spend the rest of the day enjoying the town or relaxing poolside at the hotel.

Day 4: Atacama Desert Activities: Hot-Air Balloons & Horseback Riding

Choose to visit Atacama highlights like the Laguna Salar de Talar

This morning, you get to curate your own Atacama adventure by choosing from the various activities offered by the hotel. You can choose to explore this region's high-altitude ecosystems by vehicle, on a bicycle, on a trek, or a combination of the three. The trip will take you around Atacama's famous landscapes, from its volcanic cones and alkali lakes to its salt flats and painted mountain range.

If you like, you can start the day with a sunrise hot-air balloon ride over the desert. Then hop in the saddle for a full-day horseback ride around the salt flats and nature reserves just outside San Pedro de Atacama. This area abounds with archaeological sites and ancient ruins, including those left by pre-Columbian cultures such as the Atacameño people.

Day 5: Fly to Puerto Natales, Optional Activities

Settle in at your 5-star lodge on the shores of the Seno Última Esperanza (photo courtesy of Singular Patagonia)

It's time to say goodbye to the Atacama Desert as you meet your driver in the morning for the transfer back to Calama. At the airport, you'll catch a flight connecting from Santiago to Puerto Natales. This small port city on the Seno Última Esperanza (Last Hope Sound) is famous as a base for nature excursions to Torres del Paine, the crown jewel of Chile's national parks. This legendary protected area covers 700 square miles (1,810 sq km) and is renowned for its circuit treks. 

Upon arrival, a driver will pick you up for the ride to the Singular Patagonia, a 5-star luxury hotel just north of the city on the shores of the sound. Set in a historic building from the industrial era, the Singular has been converted into a model of luxury, with each of its elegant rooms and suites offering views of the sound and mountains. If you like, soothe your muscles after the previous day's excursions with a session at the hotel spa. Or learn a bit of regional Patagonian history at the on-site museum.

After settling in, you can head out for an activity. One fun option is a horseback ride across rugged Patagonian landscapes to a historic estancia (ranch). Or, enjoy a leisurely stroll along the promenade fronting the silver waters of the Seno Última Esperanza. In the distance, you'll see the peaks of Cerro Benitez and Cerro Toro, and the sunset views are phenomenal.

Day 6: Transfer to Torres del Paine, Optional Activities

A room with a view like no other in your Torres del Paine hotel (photo courtesy of Explora Torres del Paine)

Leave in the morning on a 1.5-hour transfer to Torres del Paine National Park. Once there, you'll check into the Explora Torres del Paine. This 5-star luxury wilderness lodge is set amid breathtaking scenery, including Lago Pehoé and the iconic Paine massif.

This modern hotel (it opened in 2007) features a chic design that blends with the natural scenery, which complements Explora's commitment to sustainable tourism. Each class of room features wide windows offering park views, and the on-site gourmet restaurant serves locally sourced cuisine paired with fine Chilean wines. Upon checking in, you can relax in the sauna, soak in the open-air Jacuzzi, or opt for an activity like a horseback ride. Otherwise, try to rest up—your multiday adventure in Torres del Paine begins bright and early tomorrow morning.

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Day 7: Torres del Paine Private Excursion (Day 1)

Opt for a full-day hike in Torres del Paine National Park
Your grand adventure in Torres del Paine begins today! Wake up early for a full-day itinerary of activities in the park. The hotel will arrange whichever tours and adventures suit your interests, and together you'll craft a custom itinerary of private tours for your time at the Explora. A great way to start your first day is with a guided trek—there are plenty of options for full-day treks through Torres del Paine that vary in difficulty from beginner to advanced, though during each, you can hike at your own pace. Lunch is included in the activity, and upon your return, you can unwind at the on-site spa.

Day 8: Torres del Paine Private Excursion (Day 2)

One of the best ways to explore the park is on horseback
Get ready for day two of your Torres del Paine adventure. Besides day hikes, your hotel can arrange various private activities. If you'd like to take it easy, book a scenic van ride through the park. Or experience the highlights of Torres del Paine on horseback. These excursions will take you from the hotel stables across steppe grasslands and rivers, past rolling hills and through forests to the shores of Torres' stunning lakes and lagoons. The journeys are filled with memorable views of the Paine massif and other park landmarks—so don't forget your camera.

Day 9: Torres del Paine Private Excursion (Day 3)

There's nothing quite like the scenery at the top of Mirador Base Torres

It's another choose-your-own-adventure day in Torres del Paine. If you haven't already done so, you can embark on the 11.2-mile (18 km) trek up to Mirador Base Torres, the most popular day hike in the park. You'll start by following a trail up Mount Almirante Nieto, which features stunning views of Lago Nordenskjöld and the Asencio Valley below. After two hours of hiking, you'll reach Refugio & Camping Chileno, where you'll break for lunch.

Then it's another hour of hiking past ancient lenga forests until you arrive at a moraine. The next part is a 45-minute hard scramble to the top and Base Torres. In this spot, three granite pillars jut out of the ground over a silver lagoon and make for the best view in the park. You'll also see the towering peaks of nearby Torre Sur, Torre Central, Torre Norte, Condor's Nest, and Glacier Torre. The trek ends when you hike back down the mountain.

Day 10: Morning Park Activity, Fly to Santiago, Depart

If there's time, visit Grey Glacier in Torres del Paine
It's your last day in Chile, but the adventures continue. Spend the morning on one last memorable excursion in Torres del Paine. If you like, opt for a scenic van ride around the park or hit the trails around the hotel on a brisk self-guided hike. If your schedule allows, you can also embark on a combined boat ride/trek to the famous Grey Glacier. Afterward, you'll transfer by vehicle back to Puerto Natales to catch your connecting flight home. Until next time!

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Map of Luxury Atacama Desert & Chilean Patagonia - 10 Days
Map of Luxury Atacama Desert & Chilean Patagonia - 10 Days
Written by J K, updated Jan 2, 2024