Throughout the long expanse of Chile are diverse landscapes ranging from glaciers and Patagonian peaks to arid deserts and vast salt flats. On this two-week luxury tour, you'll embark on adventures through such high-altitude deserts, plus fly south for a bit of fun in the Lake District, a region famous for its charming Germanic towns and snowcapped volcanoes. An added treat includes a few days in the capital of Santiago for gourmet dining, wine tasting, and sightseeing.


  • Go sightseeing in Santiago and dine at the world's top restaurants
  • Sample fine wines at some of the most prestigious vineyards in Chile
  • Explore the salt flats, geysers, and lunar valleys of the Atacama Desert
  • Embark on helicopter and seaplane tours over the Patagonian Lake District

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Santiago, Dinner at Boragó Santiago
Day 2 Colchagua Valley Wine Tour Santiago
Day 3 Santiago City Tour, Evening Culinary Experience Santiago
Day 4 Wine Tasting & Lunch at VIK Vineyard Santiago
Day 5 Day Trip to Cajón del Maipo & El Morado Lodge Santiago
Day 6 Fly to San Pedro de Atacama, Stargazing Tour San Pedro de Atacama
Day 7 Atacama Salt Flats, Lagoons & Traditional Villages Tour San Pedro de Atacama
Day 8 Hot-Air Balloon Ride & Valley of the Moon Tour San Pedro de Atacama
Day 9 Tatio Geysers, Machuca Village & Hot Springs Tour San Pedro de Atacama
Day 10 Fly to Puerto Varas, Optional Activities Puerto Varas
Day 11 Cochamó Helicopter Tour & Hike Puerto Varas
Day 12 Day Trip to Isla Chiloé & Penguin Colony Puerto Varas
Day 13 Scenic Seaplane Flight Over Patagonia Puerto Varas
Day 14 Morning Kayak Ride, Fly to Santiago, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Santiago, Dinner at Boragó

Celebrate the start of your Chilean adventure with a memorable dinner at Boragó

Welcome to Chile! For lovers of outdoor adventure, there are few better travel destinations. This nation's diverse topography ranges from northern deserts to the southern Patagonian wilds, and it even boasts a world-class capital city. See for yourself with your arrival in Santiago, a massive metropolis nestled in a fertile valley surrounded by snowcapped Andes peaks.

At the airport, a driver will pick you up for the ride to the 5-star Hotel Ritz-Carlton in the high-end El Golf neighborhood. Chic rooms feature classic wood and marble decor, South American art, and views of the city skyline and the snow-topped peaks of the Andes. Head to the glass-domed rooftop pool to relax, complete with a sumptuous spa and sun deck.

Tonight, you'll enjoy a gourmet dinner at Boragó, listed as one of the world's top 50 restaurants. Feast on a menu of regional dishes inspired by Indigenous hunter-gatherers, created by acclaimed chef and founder Rodolfo Guzmán. Highlights include pink Maule tomato steak, Patagonian lamb with figs, and sea strawberry cake. The interior's dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows mean you'll dine with showstopping views of Santiago's tallest mountain, Cerro Manquehue.

Day 2: Colchagua Valley Wine Tour

Savor the fruits of Chile's renowned terroir at Colchagua Valley vineyards

Chile is just as famous for its fine wines as it is for its spectacular scenery—and today is the mother of all wine tours. Leave in the morning on a two-hour transfer south to the Colchagua Valley, one of the most prestigious wine regions in the country. The area is most famous for producing syrah and carménère, the latter of which is a bold, fruit-forward wine originally from the Bordeaux region of France.

Your first stop is at the prestigious Viña Viu Manent winery. Here, you'll tour the grounds in style—in a horse-drawn antique carriage—and taste the various fine wines produced on the premises. Afterward, visit the nearby Apalta Valley and the Viña Montes winery, who will open up its diverse cellar for a tasting of more premium bottles. On both tours, you'll be accompanied by a bilingual private guide to ensure nothing gets lost in translation. Later, you'll return to your hotel in Santiago.

Day 3: Santiago City Tour, Evening Culinary Experience

Follow your private guide to Santiago landmarks like the Plaza de Armas

Start the day with a private city tour of Santiago. Accompanied by a local guide, you'll explore the Plaza de Armas in Santiago's historic center. Founded in 1541, it's home to the impressive Catedral Metropolitana, a neoclassical church whose twin bell towers dominate the plaza's north side.

Continue to the Civic District, home to ministerial buildings and the presidential palace of La Moneda, an 18th-century work of art in itself. Next, ride the cable car to Cerro San Cristóbal for 360-degree city views. Take in the urban sprawl and spot landmarks like the Gran Torre Costanera, the tallest building in Latin America.

Freshen up at your hotel before tonight's private food tour. Start with a Chilean wine-tasting session at one of the country's top producers, then head to an upscale bar to sample sophisticated cocktails and tapas prepared by a nationally renowned chef. Finish your evening in one of the capital's top restaurants, savoring a delicious dinner with local wines. 

Day 4: Wine Tasting & Lunch at VIK Vineyard

VIK Vineyard (Millahue Valley), Full Day Excursion with Wine Tasting & Lunch
VIK Vineyard is as famous for its ultramodern design as its carménère wines

Venture two hours south of Santiago today to VIK Vineyard in the Millahue Valley. This peaceful hilltop retreat lies on 10,687 acres (4,325 ha), furrowed with vineyards and featuring a lake, box canyons, and distant views of the Andes. Besides the premium wines produced here, the main building is also a highlight. Its futuristic, winglike design is defined by smooth lines and angles, featuring architectural elements like a water mirror and river rock sculptures.

Upon arrival, you'll tour the estate with a private guide to learn about the winemaking process, from grape to bottle. During the outing, you'll taste three varieties of wine from the barrel: cabernet sauvignon, carménère, and syrah. Afterward, head to the elegant Pavilion Restaurant for a three-course meal paired with fine wines. The menu is farm-to-fork, highlighting signature Chilean meats and produce. As you dine, enjoy views of the surrounding vineyards and mountains. Afterward, you'll return to Santiago for a final night in the capital. 

Day 5: Day Trip to Cajón del Maipo & El Morado Lodge

Explore the valleys, mountains, and lagoons of Cajón del Maipo and El Morado

See Chile like a local as you transfer east of the city to Cajón del Maipo, a popular weekend getaway. Your first stop is San José, a town located deep in the Andes at about 3,281 feet (1,000 m). Stretch your legs on a walk down the quaint streets, stopping at its colorful town square. Back on the road, you'll make another stop to indulge your sweet tooth at the Chocolate House. Within this fairy-tale building is a tempting selection of ice creams and handmade chocolates to sustain you on your travels.

From here, head deeper into the mountains to the edge of El Morado National Park, where you'll be treated to panoramic views of the surrounding peaks. Your guide will also teach you how this mountain range, one of the world's largest, originated and all about its rich mineral content. Your alpine tour finishes up at El Morado Lodge and Spa, located at the highest point of Cajón del Maipo (6,200 ft/ 1,900 m). Enjoy a delicious meal at its restaurant, and luxuriate in one of the swimming pools before heading back to the city.

Day 6: Fly to San Pedro de Atacama, Stargazing Tour

Remote luxury awaits in the arid Atacama Desert (photo courtesy of Nayara Alto Atacama)
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Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Transfer to the airport early and board a two-hour flight north to Calama in the country's far north. Upon arrival, your driver will be waiting to take you to the secluded outpost of San Pedro de Atacama, the launching point for adventures into the Atacama Desert. This high-altitude desert features endless salt flats, towering Andean peaks, and the volcanic Cordillera Domeyko, where red-hued mountains form the base of El Valle de la Luna (Valley of the Moon).

Check into your remote lodge, Nayara Alto Atacama, built from adobe to blend into the surrounding desert and Salt Mountain range. Highlights include Inca artwork, a telescope for stargazing, and the Atacamenian quincho, a pavilion where you can feast on barbecue accompanied by live music and Chilean wines. The desert gardens are home to a saltwater pool with carved rock beds and firepits, a llama enclosure, and Spa Puri's healing mineral baths.

Tonight, you'll enjoy an astronomical tour in the Atacama, one of the best places in the world for stargazing. Using a laser pointer, your guide will teach you how to identify constellations with the naked eye. You'll also get to use high-powered telescopes and binoculars to spot an array of celestial objects, including planets, binary stars, and spherical clusters. End the session with hot tea or chocolate beneath the stars before returning to your wilderness lodge.

Day 7: Atacama Salt Flats, Lagoons & Traditional Villages Tour

Visit highlights of Atacama, from salt flats to traditional villages to alkaline lakes

Spend a full day traversing Chile's famous Salar de Atacama (Atacama Salt Flats) with a private guide. First, you'll visit the traditional villages of Toconao and Socaire, which are known for their mud-and-volcanic-rock buildings and the 18th-century church in Toconao. Meet the locals and peruse craft markets, where you can pick up alpaca-wool clothing and handicrafts.

Next, visit high-plateau lagoons in Los Flamencos National Reserve. Set at 7,500 feet (2,300 m) above sea level, Laguna Chaxa is one of the best places in the world to see flamingoes. The algae-rich water is a magnet for three of the world's five flamingo species: James's, Chilean, and Andean. The birds flock here to breed and feed on plankton, shadowed by volcanoes and moon-like salt crusts. Continue to the Miscanti and Miñiques lagoons for more bird-watching, then end with sweeping salt-flat views from Salar de Talar and Piedras Rojas.

Day 8: Hot-Air Balloon Ride & Valley of the Moon Tour

The best vantage point to appreciate the full majesty of Atacama is from the sky

Rise early for a private sunrise hot-air balloon ride over the Atacama Desert. Your driver will drop you at the launch site just before dawn, where you'll have a safety briefing accompanied by tea and coffee while the balloon is inflated. Step aboard and rise into the sky as the sun breaks on the horizon, casting a golden glow over the rolling desert landscape, scattered with lagoons and chalk-white salt flats. The hour-long flight concludes with a Champagne breakfast back on land. 

After resting at your hotel, spend the afternoon exploring the desert by car on a private Valley of the Moon tour, where you'll marvel at impressive stone and sand formations in Los Flamencos National Reserve. With no life or humidity in the valley, it's considered one of the most inhospitable places on the planet. Watch the sunset over its hills and gorges before returning to your lodge for a restful evening. 

Day 9: Tatio Geysers, Machuca Village & Hot Springs Tour

Tatio Geysers, Machuca Village & Puritama Hot Springs (PENDING)
Dawn is the best time to see the towering pillars of steam at Tatio Geysers

It's another early start as you'll depart the hotel at 4:30 am for the 1.5-hour trip to the Tatio Geysers. Getting a jump on the day will pay dividends, as seeing the sun rise over the Atacama Desert is a singular experience. Also, sunrise is the best time to visit Tatio. The contrast between the cold outside temperatures and the boiling water of the geothermal field beneath the earth's surface causes the pillars of steam here to rise as high as 30 feet (10 m). 

At 14,173 feet (4,320 m), the Tatio Geysers are the highest in the world. So take your time and admire these otherworldly landscapes, snap plenty of photos, and breakfast will be served at the appropriate time. You can also relax in a natural geothermal pool—Mother Nature's Jacuzzi.

On the return drive to San Pedro, you'll stop at Machuca, a small, humble village on the Altiplano whose residents have bred llamas and harvested yareta (moss-like evergreen plants that can survive for thousands of years) for generations. It's a small but welcoming town comprising only about 20 homes and a simple chapel. That said, some locals sell crafts, and you can admire the llamas in the area, plus see the flamingoes residing in nearby marshlands. Afterward, you'll return to your hotel in San Pedro.

Day 10: Fly to Puerto Varas, Optional Activities

Look out over the snowcapped Osorno from your lakeside lodge (photo courtesy of Hotel AWA)

Leave the wonders of the Atacama Desert today and board a flight back to Santiago. From here, you'll take a two-hour flight south to the port city of Puerto Montt. This city is located in Chile's fertile Lake District, where snowcapped volcanoes meet forested islands dotted with shimmering lakes.

From Puerto Montt, meet your driver for the 30-minute ride north to Puerto Varas, which sits on the vast shores of Lago Llanquihue. Named "the City of Roses" after the flowers that line its streets, Puerto Varas offers a mix of German colonial architecture and Indigenous Mapuche culture.

You'll be staying on the lakeshore outside of town at Hotel AWA, a lavish retreat devised by architect-owner Mauricio Fuentes. The contemporary hotel combines concrete and volcanic rock walls with cozy lounges lit by flickering fireplaces and features rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows that frame views of the lake and the snowy white cone of Osorno volcano. Spend the rest of the day relaxing by AWA's huge heated pool and dining in the on-site gourmet restaurant.

Day 11: Cochamó Helicopter Tour & Hike

Leave early on a scenic helicopter flight around Puerto Varas

Immerse yourself in the natural beauty surrounding Puerto Varas with a private helicopter tour and hike. In the morning, transfer to the launchpad and take to the skies on a private tour flying east, soaring over the Osorno volcano and hidden Andean valleys home to turquoise lakes and ancient forests. Eventually, you'll reach the rustic village of Cochamó, which resembles the USA's Yosemite with its U-shaped valley and centuries-old trees. 

The pilot will land at a panoramic viewpoint within Cochamó's granite mountains, which are beloved by rock climbers. While your guides prepare a tasty picnic lunch, you'll take a short hike to admire the jagged peaks and forest-covered valley views. Afterward, hop back in the helicopter to your hotel, passing over Calbuco, a mammoth stratovolcano that last erupted in 2015. Take the rest of the day to chill out at your luxury hotel.

Day 12: Day Trip to Isla Chiloé & Penguin Colony

Private Tour of Chepu - Penguins of Puñihuil & Ancud
Walk with Magellanic penguins on Isla Chiloé

This morning, join your private guide for a transfer from Puerto Varas to Puerto Montt and continue up the Panamericana 5 highway to the port of Pargua. Once you reach the ferry terminal, you'll embark on a 30-minute boat ride across the Chacao Channel to Isla Chiloé. Here, you'll transfer to the coastal outpost of Puñihuil and visit a nearby penguin colony home to both Magellanic and Humboldt penguins. This is notable, as it's the only place in the world where the two species coexist.

After walking with these flightless birds, you'll transfer to the town of Ancud on the northern end of Chiloé. Enjoy lunch here, followed by a walk around. The town features a viewpoint atop Huaihuen Hill with great views of Ancud's landmarks, including the Fuerte San Antonio, an early 19th-century Spanish colonial fort that played a significant role in the wars for independence. Also worth visiting is a regional museum, municipal market, and the Caulín Bird Sanctuary, a shelter for migratory birds like black-necked swans, flamingoes, and herons. Later, you'll transfer back to Puerto Varas.

Day 13: Scenic Seaplane Flight Over Patagonia

Private Scenic Seaplane - Off the Beaten Track
See the snowcapped cone of Osorno on a seaplane ride

Besides hiking and trekking, one of the best ways to experience Patagonia is by air. Get a bird's-eye-view of it as you board a Cessna 206 seaplane for a flight to some remote corners of this natural wonderland. Take off from the topaz waters of Lago Llanquihue, soaking up more views of the hulking Osorno, Puntiagudo, and Calbuco volcanoes. Pass over the national parks, fjords, and forests; your experienced pilot will point out key landmarks below.

Spend the rest of the day as you please. Relax by the hotel pool or detox with a sauna and steam room session at the spa, followed by a massage. If you're feeling adventurous, explore Puerto Varas independently. For dinner, perhaps dine out at one of the fine restaurants in town, which range from steakhouses to pizzerias and craft beer bars.

Day 14: Morning Kayak Ride, Fly to Santiago, Depart

Enjoy one last adventure on the Reloncaví Estuary before heading home

Don't rush off to the airport just yet, as there's one more outdoor adventure in store. Wake up early and transfer east to the small town of Ralún, which sits on the RÍo Petrohué. This beautiful area is part of Alerce Andino National Park, whose forests and wetlands are home to biodiverse plant and animal life, including towering alerce trees and the elusive pudú (south American deer). 

At the mouth of the river, you'll hop in a kayak and paddle around the Reloncaví Estuary. As you go, enjoy spectacular views of the fluvial landscapes and surrounding volcano peaks. Also, watch for birds like torrent ducks and black-necked swans. Over the course of a few hours, you'll travel about 9 miles (15 km) around these wetlands. Savor the experience because when you return to land, you'll transfer to the airport in time to catch your flight home via Santiago. Safe travels!

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Map of Luxury Chile Desert & Lake Adventure - 14 Days
Map of Luxury Chile Desert & Lake Adventure - 14 Days