Immerse yourself in the colorful tiny town of San Pedro de Atacama and discover geysers, volcanoes, valleys, and salt flats amidst the arid Chilean desert. Lose yourself in the cosmopolitan city of Santiago, walk through its many squares, and marvel at the diverse architecture that makes this city a unique metropolis in Latin America all while being wowed by the grandeur of the Andes.

Highlights

  • Take in the history and architecture of the unique capital of Santiago
  • Explore the vibrant coastal cities of Valparaiso and Viña del Mar
  • Marvel at the stunning Atacama Salt Flats and Altiplanic Lagoons
  • View the night sky from one of the clearest vantage points in the world.

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive Santiago, Chile Santiago
Day 2 Santiago - City Tour Santiago
Day 3 Santiago - Full Day Valparaiso & Viña del Mar Santiago
Day 4 Santiago - San Pedro de Atacama San Pedro de Atacama
Day 5 San Pedro de Atacama - Salt Flat & Altiplanic Lagoons San Pedro de Atacama
Day 6 San Pedro de Atacama -Tatio Geysers & Machuca & Moon Valley San Pedro de Atacama
Day 7 San Pedro de Atacama San Pedro de Atacama
Day 8 San Pedro de Atacama - Santiago  Santiago
Day 9 Depart Santiago   

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Santiago, Chile

Santiago City Center

Welcome to Chile! Upon arrival at Santiago International Airport, you are met and transferred to your awaiting hotel.  Enjoy the afternoon at leisure to discover the city at your own peace or relax at the hotel after a long flight.

Day 2: Santiago - City Tour

Plaza de Armas

After breakfast, you are met by your guide with whom you will begin your half day tour at the hill of Santa Lucia. From the Caupolicán Terrace admire the Hidalgo Castle (formerly a Spanish fortress) and enjoy stunning views of the city. Continue on to Constitution Square and the “La Moneda” Palace, the current seat of government. Next up is Plaza de Armas, the main square, which is surrounded by the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Palace of the Royal High Court, and the Main Post Office, among other historic buildings.

A short drive takes you to San Cristobal Hill en route to which you can glimpse the Central Market, Mapocho Station, Forestal Park, and the Museum of Fine Arts. Take a stroll and try the mote con huesillo, a typical Chilean drink, before returning by cable car to your accommodations.

Day 3: Santiago - Full Day Valparaiso & Viña del Mar

Colorful Valparaiso

Today you set out to discover the coastal cities of Valparaiso and Viña del Mar. Famous for its stacked hills and winding stairs with incredible street art, the UNESCO World Heritage city of Valparaiso takes you back in time yet has a modern, forward-looking feel. As you climb the winding stone stairs or head up in one of the famous funiculars, you'll enjoy incredible views of the bay and the surrounding German-style homes. Your tour will take you to significant landmarks such as Plaza de la Victoria, the famous Turri Clock, and the Naval Academy.

A highlight of today is visiting the home of Chile's Nobel Prize-winning poet, Pablo Neruda. Lunch is at leisure in this colorful port city where quaint restaurants line the cobblestone streets.  After lunch, take the funicular down and head just up the coast to Viña del Mar, known for its lovely gardens and sandy beaches.

Day 4: Santiago - San Pedro de Atacama

Atacama Desert

Bid farewell to Santiago this morning as you are transferred to the airport for your flight to Calama. Upon arrival, you are met and transferred approximately one hour to your accommodations in the small town of San Pedro de Atacama. The rest of the day is yours to explore this charming desert oasis or relax in the warm sun.

Day 5: San Pedro - Salt Flat & Altiplanic Lagoons

Altiplanic Lagoons of the Atacama

Following breakfast this morning, you will be picked up and head out on a full day tour of the Atacama Salt Flats (Salar de Atacama) and the Altiplanic Lagoons. Enjoy the stunning surroundings of the Chaxa Lagoon and marvel at the flamingos that migrate to the salt flat every year. Follow the road to the highlands through a landscape of many contrasts to visit the Miscanti and Miñiques Lagoons, which, at 13,800 feet, sit at the base of the volcanic Andes. Enjoy lunch at the local village of Socaire, famed for its traditional cuisine, before visiting the town of Toconoa's renowned bell tower and Church of San Lucas.  Afterwards, return to the hotel for dinner and a relaxing evening.

Day 6: San Pedro - Tatio Geysers & Machuca & Moon Valley Tour

Geyser field at sunrise

After a very early morning pick up, begin your trip to one of the most incredible geothermal fields in the world. Walk amongst the Tatio Geysers as they spurt steam and water, and enjoy an outdoor breakfast against the natural backdrop of the Andes before you continue on to the "Pozon Rustico" where you are able to relax in the warm thermal springs. Afterwards,  take the road back to San Pedro as you appreciate the beautiful landscapes, native flora, and fauna before finally stopping at the village of Machuca, the ancient home of the llama shepherds. Today, this town of adobe, straw and cactus houses specializes in local products such as Andean handicrafts, llama meat, and empanadas.

This afternoon you will head out on your half day tour to the Valley of the Moon, nestled deep in the middle of the mountains. This landscape of salt and clay has been formed by water and wind over millions of years, allowing you to enjoy the extravagant and inspiring mountain range. After spending the day at the foot of the Andes and its volcanoes, wrap up your experience by taking in the incredible mountain sunset before being transferred back to the hotel. This evening you will enjoy a private tour with a specialized astronomic guide who will take you to the Astronomic Sanctuary from where you can take in amazing and unobstructed views of constellations.

Day 7: San Pedro de Atacama

Flowers in bloom in the Atacama

Today is at leisure. Enjoy the variety of activities the Atacama Desert has to offer or simply take in the mesmerizing scenery.

Day 8: San Pedro de Atacama - Santiago 

Untouched natural beauty of the Atacama

Catch one last glimpse of the stunning Atacama scenery as you make the one hour drive back to the Calama airport for your flight back to Santiago. Once there, enjoy your afternoon at leisure either in the city center or for those with an early flight tomorrow, at the airport hotel. 

Day 9: Depart Santiago 

Cable car above Santiago

After breakfast, your time in Chile comes to an end as you are transferred to the airport for your flight back home.