This two-week Chilean adventure will take you to its most scenic regions: the northern deserts, coastal wine country, and the wilds of southern Patagonia. And though this itinerary is jam-packed with outdoor activities, you won't sacrifice anything in terms of comfort—it's first-class treatment the whole way. Stay in luxury hotels and dine at the finest restaurants in between astronomy tours, visits to salt flats, glacier hikes in Torres del Paine, wine tours in the Casablanca Valley, and more.


  • See the historic highlights of Santiago and coastal Valparaíso on city tours
  • Discover the evocative ghost towns outside Iquique
  • Visit the salt flats, lunar valleys, and coastal cities of the famous Atacama Desert
  • Soar over Chile's northern deserts in the basket of a hot-air balloon
  • Go horseback riding and hike up to glaciers in Chilean Patagonia

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Santiago, Dinner at Cuerovaca Santiago
Day 2 Chilean Market Tour & Cooking Class Santiago
Day 3 Santiago Museum Tour, Fly to Iquique & the Northern Coast Iquique
Day 4 Northern Oasis & Ghost Town Tours Iquique
Day 5 Transfer to San Pedro de Atacama, Stargazing Tour San Pedro de Atacama
Day 6 Atacama Salt Flats, Lagoons & Villages Tour San Pedro de Atacama
Day 7 Hot-Air Balloon Ride & Lagoons Tour San Pedro de Atacama
Day 8 Day Trip to Tatio Geysers & Local Villages San Pedro de Atacama
Day 9 Sandboarding, Fly to Puerto Natales, Transfer to Torres del Paine Torres del Paine
Day 10 Torres del Paine Activities: Hike to French Glacier Torres del Paine
Day 11 Torres del Paine Activities: Río Serrano Horseback Ride Torres del Paine
Day 12 Torres del Paine Activities: Hike to Grey Glacier Torres del Paine
Day 13 Fly to Santiago, Transfer to Valparaíso, City Tour Valparaíso
Day 14 Casablanca Valley Wine Tour, Depart Santiago  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Santiago, Dinner at Cuerovaca

Santiago is one of the largest capital cities in South America

Welcome to Chile! This long, thin country runs along the spine of the Andes mountains and the west coast of South America. Within this narrow stretch of land are some of the continent's most awe-inspiring and ecologically diverse landscapes. Also, regarding wine-producing countries, Chile holds its own against any you'll find in Europe. in short, this is the perfect place to enjoy a two-week holiday that deftly mixes luxury with adventure. You'll arrive in the capital of Santiago, a dynamic metropolis nestled amid snowcapped Andes peaks.

At the airport terminal, a driver will pick you up for the transfer to your hotel in the city. Get ready for the good life because you're staying at 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 panoramic city views. 

When dinnertime arrives, you'll head to the northeast of the city and grab a table at Cuerovaca. While vegetarians are welcome here, this restaurant is all about the beef. It's a steakhouse through and through, specializing in premium meats, including Wagyu and Angus varieties. It's also the only restaurant in the city that sources these prized breeds locally. So tuck into a succulent ojo de bife (rib-eye) or asado de tira (rib of beef) paired with a fine Chilean red, like the country's flagship varietal carménère. 

Day 2: Chilean Market Tour & Cooking Class

Learn time-tested methods to making the perfect Chilean empanada

With famous foodie destinations like Argentina, Brazil, and Peru also on the continent, Chile's dynamic cuisine is often overlooked—but it shouldn't be. Get to the heart of Santiago's culinary richness this morning on a combined private market tour and cooking class. The gastronomic adventure begins at your hotel, where you'll meet a local guide and set out to the Central Market. Delivering the freshest fish and produce to locals, this vast municipal market has played a significant role in Santiago's culinary and cultural scene since its opening in 1872.

After browsing for ingredients at the Central Market, you'll continue to Mercado La Vega. Also dating to the 19th century, this is the other leading market in the city. Dozens of produce vendors, fishmongers, and butchers sell locally sourced items in a mazelike atmosphere that is anything but dull. 

Once you've procured key ingredients, head to the lively Italia neighborhood, where art, cuisine, and culture converge. In a local kitchen, you'll meet your chef-instructor for the day, grab an apron, and get to cooking. Over a few hours, you'll prepare Chilean staples like empanadas and pastel de chocolo (meat and corn pie), stews, and fish dishes. When the cooking is done, sit down and dine on the fruits of your labor—paired with a glass of wine, of course.

Day 3: Santiago Museum Tour, Fly to Iquique & the Northern Coast

Iquique is a metropolitan oasis in the remote northern Chilean deserts

Chile's history runs deeper than even its Spanish colonial landmarks. This morning, take a deep dive into Chile's pre-Hispanic roots, plus its more recent political turmoil, on a private tour of two of Santiago's finest museums. First up is the Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino (Museum of pre-Columbian Art), located in the historic center near the Plaza de Armas. This renowned institution preserves and showcases the diverse cultures of Indigenous Americans prior to European contact. Highlights include textiles and weavings, pottery and ceramics, ceremonial objects, sculptures, and mummies.

The next stop is the Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos (Museum of Memory and Human Rights). This space was created to preserve the history and memories of human rights violations committed by Chile's military dictatorship, led by Augusto Pinochet, between 1973 and 1990. Through exhibits, testimony, and historical records, it gives voice to the thousands of victims and their families and promotes tolerance and human rights to ensure that this dark chapter of history never repeats itself.

After the tour, you'll transfer to the airport for the 2.5-hour flight to northern Chile and Iquique. Located in the Tarapacá region along the Pacific coast, the city is a gateway to the famous Atacama Desert. Upon arrival, you'll transfer to Diego de Almagro Iquique. This swank 4-star hotel overlooking the Costanera (waterfront) offers spacious rooms outfitted with king beds, plus a restaurant, sauna, and gym. A real treat is the rooftop swimming pool, where you can relax in a lounger amid expansive views of the Pacific Ocean. 

Day 4: Northern Oasis & Ghost Town Tours

Explore the deserts and ghost towns of the Atacama region

Rise and shine! This morning, you'll embark on a full-day private tour around the northern deserts. This region has a long legacy of mining—indeed, Chile's minerals are a primary driver of its economy. Today's adventure will take you to historic mines and ghost towns.

The first stops are at Santa Laura and Humberstone, both boom towns during the height of the saltpeter (nitrate) industry in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Alas, they've long since been abandoned, lost to history, but with their facades still standing. In fact, these ghost towns have earned Cultural Heritage of Humanity status by UNESCO. You'll see why as you stroll the dusty main streets and explore the ruins of theaters, grocery stores, hotels, markets, and hospitals. You'll also visit the remains of a once-prominent nitrate factory.

The journey continues to the enchanting Tamarugal Forest (a desert nature reserve) and the provincial capital of Pozo Almonte. Next is the village of La Tirana, host to Chile's most significant religious folklore festivals. Afterward, visit the town of Pica (and its nearby lush oasis) for a delicious lunch at a local restaurant. Then, discover the 16th-century Church of San Andrés and the "Jurassic Park" theme area to see dinosaur replicas. The next stop is the Matilla Oasis, a historic outpost where you'll tour an 18th-century Spanish wine press and a colonial church. In the evening, return to Iquique. 

Day 5: Transfer to San Pedro de Atacama, Stargazing Tour

 Relax at your luxury desert retreat before this evening's stargazing excursion (photo courtesy of NOI Casa Atacama)

It's another early start as you leave in the morning for the 5-6-hour trip deep into the northern deserts to San Pedro de Atacama. This historic Spanish colonial outpost is full of charm, but it's most popular as a base for day trips and multiday excursions around the altiplano (high-altitude deserts).

Upon arrival, you'll transfer to NOI Casa Atacama. Located just outside the town center, this hotel offers tranquility and quick access to the region's famous landmarks, like the salt flats and Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley). Besides its strategic location, this is one of the most luxurious accommodations in San Pedro—a 4-star retreat decked out with stylish suites with Indigenous artwork on the walls and private terraces, a relaxing day spa, and an inviting pool and Jacuzzi. If you're hungry, indulge in some delicious Chilean and international gastronomy at the hotel's Casa Paniri Restaurant.

Tonight, you'll enjoy a private 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 6: Atacama Salt Flats, Lagoons & Villages Tour

Chaxa Lagoon
Flamingoes have their own dedicated nature reserve in Atacama

Leave after breakfast on a full-day tour of Chile's famous Salar de Atacama (Atacama Salt Flats). Meet your private guide in a 4WD vehicle and leave San Pedro on a trip to Toconao and Socaire. These villages are known for their mud-and-volcanic-rock buildings, as well as the 18th-century church in Toconao. Meet the locals and browse 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.

Around midday, your expert guides will prepare a fabulous lunch. The best part about this dining experience is the ambience, as you'll enjoy a three-course meal and glass of wine amid dazzling views of the surrounding red mountains. At the end of the afternoon, you'll return to San Pedro. Feel free to dine out at one of the fun restaurants in town.
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Day 7: Hot-Air Balloon Ride & Lagoons Tour

One of the best vantage points to appreciate the full majesty of the Atacama is from the sky

Rise early for a 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 hourlong flight concludes with a Champagne breakfast back on land. 

Spend the rest of the morning and early afternoon relaxing at your hotel. Later, grab your swimsuit and join your private guide for a half-day excursion to some of the region's most remarkable saline lakes in the region. First, stroll around Laguna Cejar, whose waters have a similar salinity to the Dead Sea, then go for a dip in Laguna Piedra, where you can float effortlessly in the buoyant saltwater. At Laguna Tebenquiche, you'll learn about the ancient microbes in its water that date back over 3,800 years and admire the views of Andean volcanoes reflected in its glassy waters. 

Day 8: Day Trip to Tatio Geysers & Local Villages

Wake up at dawn to see the Tatio Geysers at their most active

Leave the hotel around 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 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 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 9: Sandboarding, Fly to Puerto Natales, Transfer to Torres del Paine

Look out over Lago Pehoé from your luxury wilderness lodge (photo courtesy of Explora Torres del Paine)

Eat a hearty breakfast, because this morning you're off on a half-day surf adventure that trades the ocean for sand. Meet your private guide at the hotel and leave San Pedro on a drive to nearby dunes. Expert instructors will then give you your board and equipment, followed by a safety demo. When comfortable, head up to the main dune and start carving sand. No need to worry if you're a novice, as the guides will be right alongside you, offering tips and techniques. Expect an adrenaline-pumping good time, as you'll be rushing down slopes ranging from 35-50° at their most extreme.

It's a thrilling end to your time in San Pedro because, afterward, you'll transfer to the airport and board a connecting flight south to the Patagonian hub of Puerto Natales. This small port city on the Seno Última Esperanza (Last Hope Sound) is famous as a base for nature excursions. At the airport, another driver will take you 1.5 hours north 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 in the park, you'll check into the Explora Torres del Paine, a 5-star luxury wilderness lodge set amid incomparable Patagonian scenery, including Lago Pehoé and the iconic Paine massif. This chic hotel (it opened in 2007) features a modern 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.

Day 10: Torres del Paine Activities: Hike to French Glacier

Torres del Paine
Today's hike will take you along the Río Francés to reach the French Glacier

Everything during your stay at Explora Torres del Paine, from your meals to transfers, is covered by the hotel. That includes all excursions during your time here. Each day, you'll be free to choose your own adventures, with one special activity prearranged by the hotel. For example, this morning, you're off on a glacier hike. 

Leave from the hotel and board a boat across Lago Pehoé to a refuge on the opposite shore. From there, set off from a trailhead on a 6-7 hour walk amid wild Patagonian landscapes, which include rivers, lakes, and forests. As you go, you'll be treated to grand vistas of surrounding mountain massifs and granite rock formations, like the Cuernos del Paine (Horns of Paine) and Paine massif.

Around midday, after crossing a hanging bridge over the Río Francés (French River), you'll arrive at your destination: a viewpoint looking out to the majestic French Glacier. Enjoy a leisurely picnic lunch amid this grand scenery before hiking back down to the trailhead and returning to the hotel. 

Day 11: Torres del Paine Activities: Río Serrano Horseback Ride

Hop in the saddle for a ride across windswept Patagonian terrain (photo courtesy of Explora Torres del Paine)

The three best ways to experience Torres del Paine are on foot, by vehicle, and on horseback. That third option comprises one of today's park adventures. This is a relaxed half-day experience, with two hours in the saddle. It begins with your 15-minute transfer by van from the hotel to the stables. There, you'll meet your guide, receive some essential horsemanship tips, and then hit the trail.

The ride begins crossing a golden prairie, after which you'll trot along the turquoise waters of the Río Serrano. As you ride, you'll be treated to prime views of Mount Balmaceda's snowy peaks. It's the perfect opportunity to appreciate Torres del Paine's unspoiled nature the way people have been doing for centuries. Return on the same route through the prairie, which is backed by the towering Horns of Paine. 

Day 12: Torres del Paine Activities: Hike to Grey Glacier

You won't find a more dazzling ice floe in all of Torres del Paine than Grey Glacier

Lace up your hiking boots again because this morning, you're off on another full-day trek. The route covers 7.5 miles (12 km) and takes about 4-6 hours to complete. Like the previous excursion, today's hike begins at the refuge near Lago Pehoé, and there will be postcard-perfect views of landmarks like the Horns of Paine along the way.

Today's destination is Lago Grey and its famous glacier. This massive ice floe sits in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, which feeds the lake. When you arrive at the shore, you'll hop on a boat and cruise across the lake until you get close to the glacier, where you'll have fantastic views of its massive ice walls (a prime photo opportunity!).

Following the boat tour, you'll take a short guided hike along a windswept beach and through the forest. Then, return to the hotel, where you'll have the afternoon free to relax or go on another hike in the area. Enjoy a relaxing dinner and rest up for tomorrow's journey back north.

Day 13: Fly to Santiago, Transfer to Valparaíso, City Tour

PRIVATE: Full Day Valparaiso and Viña del Mar
Follow your guide through the colorful neighborhoods and cerros (hills) of Valparaíso

Time to say goodbye to Patagonia. Leave early from the hotel and transfer back to the airport in Puerto Natales. There, you'll board a three-hour flight north to Santiago. At the airport, a driver will pick you up for the 1.5-hour transfer to the Pacific coast and the historic port city of Valparaíso. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is famous for its colorful hillside neighborhoods, Art Nouveau buildings, winding stairways, and abundance of street art.

Once at the coast, you'll stop in Valparaíso's upscale suburb of Viña del Mar. In this trendy coastal enclave is your accommodation: the Sheraton Miramar Hotel. This 5-star property is a mere one-minute walk from the beach, and its spacious guest rooms and suites offer bay views from their expansive terraces. Facilities include a fitness center and spa, two beachfront restaurants, plus an outdoor swimming pool and terrace so close to the Pacific that you can feel the refreshing ocean spray.

After settling in, you'll return to Valparaíso with a guide and embark on a city tour. During a jaunt through downtown, you'll visit famous landmarks, such as Plaza de la Victoria and the Naval Academy, then ride a funicular elevator up into the colorful hills for panoramic views of the Pacific. A real treat is visiting La Sebastiana, a museum and cultural center that was the former home of legendary Chilean poet Pablo Neruda.

Day 14: Day Trip to Casablanca Valley, Depart Santiago

The Casablanca Valley produces some of the finest wines in Chile

You didn't think you'd leave Chile without touring its world-class vineyards, did you? The last adventure of this itinerary involves a morning transfer one hour west of Santiago to the Casablanca Valley. This famous viticulture region produces a wide array of varietals, including chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, and Chile's prized carménère—a bold, fruit-forward red. During your time here, you'll visit two of the finest wineries in the valley.

The first stop is Bodegas Re, one of the most exclusive vineyards in the area—interestingly, it was conceived as an experimental vineyard designing high-end wines. Here, you'll enjoy a comprehensive tour, which includes strolling the vineyards, visiting the balsamería, artisan liquor room, and the barrels room, ending with a tasting of their finest labels.

Afterward, continue to Casas del Bosque, one of the most prestigious vineyards in the Casablanca Valley. Like at Bodegas Re, you'll tour the vineyards as an expert guide reveals insight into the terroir and the secrets to growing the ideal grapes. Of course, capping the experience is another tasting. Your driver will transfer you back to Santiago and the airport, where you'll catch your flight home. Adiós!

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