- Follow the Chilean wine route in the Curicó Valley
- See Spanish colonial highlights of Santiago and the colorful treasures of Valparaíso
- Spend a few days hiking famous circuit treks in Torres del Paine
- Grab a paddle and hit the water in Patagonia's rugged fjords
- Stay in two of Patagonia's most spectacular, 5-star luxury lodges
|Arrive in Santiago, Afternoon City Tour
|Day Trip Along the Curicó Wine Route
|Fly to Torres del Paine, Optional Activities
|Torres del Paine
|Torres del Paine Private Excursion (Day 1)
|Torres del Paine
|Torres del Paine Private Excursion (Day 2)
|Torres del Paine
|Torres del Paine Private Excursion (Day 3)
|Torres del Paine
|Free Morning in Torres del Paine, Transfer to Puerto Natales
|Kayaking on the Última Esperanza Sound
|Fly to Santiago, Bodega Wine Tasting
|Day Trip to Valparaíso, Depart Santiago
Day 1: Arrive in Santiago, Afternoon City Tour
Welcome to Chile! This is the country to visit if you want to combine city and culture tours with excursions to some of the world's last remaining frontiers. You'll arrive in the capital of Santiago, a modern metropolis (with its fair share of Spanish colonial history) nestled beneath the Andean peaks of South America.
Your driver will be waiting at the terminal to transfer you to your hotel in the city. Get ready for the good life because you'll be 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 stunning city views.
Now that you're reinvigorated, it's time to discover Santiago's highlights. Meet your personal guide and head out on a three-hour tour around the city. It begins in the historic center and the Plaza de Armas, Santiago's main square. It's home to the Palacio de la Real Audiencia (Palace of the Royal Court) and the Catedral Metropolitana, an impressive neoclassical building dating to 1753. Also nearby is the Palacio de la Moneda, Chile's opulent presidential palace. To cap the day, hike (or ride a gondola) up Cerro San Cristóbal, a 984-foot (300 m) hill that offers exceptional panoramic views.
Day 2: Day Trip Along the Curicó Wine Route
Rise and shine! This morning, you're off on a quintessentially Chilean activity: a wine tour. This private, full-day adventure will take you a couple of hours south of Santiago into Chile's fertile Central Valley. Your destination is Curicó, a famous wine-producing region.
While here, you'll stop at two renowned vineyards that produce award-winning wines. These might include San Pedro and Miguel Torres. Regardless of which bodegas you visit, you'll be treated to some of the best wines in South America. In this region, the optimal weather and soil are the ideal environment to plant French vines, such as the cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and Chile's famous carménère, among others. After the tasting, you'll return to Santiago.
Day 3: Fly to Torres del Paine, Optional Activities
Leave the capital behind this morning as you transfer to the airport for the three-hour flight south into Patagonia and 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 breathtaking 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.
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.
Day 4: Torres del Paine Private Excursion (Day 1)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 5: Torres del Paine Private Excursion (Day 2)
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 6: Torres del Paine Private Excursion (Day 3)
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 7: Free Morning in Torres del Paine, Transfer to Puerto Natales
Wake up early for one last morning excursion in Torres del Paine. If you like, opt for the freedom of a half-day hike. There are easy routes beginning right at the hotel, which will take you through nothofagus forests and amid orchid blooms with sweeping views of Lago Pehoé and the mountains in the distance.
In the afternoon, you'll hop in a vehicle for the ride back to Puerto Natales. You'll be staying at the Singular Patagonia, a 5-star luxury hotel located just north of the city on the shores of Seno Última Esperanza. 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.
After settling in, head to the hotel spa for sumptuous, holistic-inspired treatments with a dazzling view over the sound, or get a primer on the area's regional Patagonian history at the on-site museum.
Day 8: Kayaking on the Última Esperanza Sound
Your Patagonian adventure isn't over yet. In the morning, you'll transfer north to Puerto Prat, a remote town on the shores of the Última Esperanza. Here, you'll hop in a kayak for a leisurely (and scenic) trip on the water. During this half-day tour, you'll paddle along the coast, passing historic towns from the region's colonial past, like Puerto Consuelo. One highlight here is Isla de los Muertos, a historic cemetery that dates back over 100 years. It's also a great opportunity to do some birding, as common species you'll spot include black-necked swans and flamingoes.
During the ride back to Puerto Prat, you'll stop for a short hike to a viewpoint overlooking the sound, the Eberhard Fjord, and the great Paine massif to the north. Back in Puerto Prat, leave the kayaks and cap the trip with a tour of an old house dating to the days of the first settlers. While there, descendants of those settlers will treat you to a hot drink and snack. Later, you'll return to Puerto Natales.
Day 9: Fly to Santiago, Bodega Wine TastingTransfer to the airport in the morning for the return flight to Santiago. A driver will pick you up at the airport for the transfer back to the Mandarin Oriental. After dropping off your bags, you'll meet a local guide for a very special private wine tour. This tasty half-day experience will take you to southeast Santiago and the Cousino Macul bodega, the only 19th-century winery still run by the founding family. Your visit here includes a tasting of the bodega's award-winning wines led by an expert sommelier. Afterward, you'll return to your hotel for a free evening to enjoy the hotel's many amenities at your leisure.
Day 10: Day Trip to Valparaíso, Depart Santiago
The adventure may be winding down, but the fun isn't over yet. Get an early start for the 1.5-hour transfer from Santiago to 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.
On a private tour of downtown, you'll visit famous landmarks, such as Plaza de la Victoria and the Naval Academy, and ride a funicular elevator up into the hills for panoramic views of the Pacific. There will be a break for lunch at a local restaurant (try the famous seafood). Later, your driver will take you back to Santiago and the airport. There, you'll catch your flight home. Adiós!