Head to Chile in July 2019 to witness one of the most important events of the century—a total solar eclipse, observable for over four minutes. View the eclipse from a prime location in the beautiful Coquimbo region, with protective glasses and cozy blankets provided. Spend the rest of your visit touring cosmopolitan Santiago de Chile and colorful Valparaíso, sampling native varietals at Viña del Bosco winery, checking out the Enchanted Valley petroglyphs, and more.

Highlights

  • View a total solar eclipse from a prime viewing spot in Chile
  • Get to know the history and culture of metropolitan Santiago
  • Visit the Collowara Observatory in charming Coquimbo
  • Enjoy a wine tasting with native varietals at Viña del Bosco 
  • See ancient petroglyphs at the Enchanted Valley of Limarí

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome To Santiago de Chile Santiago
Day 2 From Santiago to Coquimbo Coquimbo
Day 3 Eclipse Day Coquimbo
Day 4 Limarí Tour Coquimbo
Day 5 From Coquimbo to Santiago Santiago
Day 6 City Tour Viña Del Mar & Valparaiso Santiago
Day 7 Departure from Santiago  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Santiago de Chile

Explore Santiago de Chile
Explore Santiago de Chile

Sprawling Santiago de Chile, or "Gran Santiago," is the capital of Chile and the country's main urban center. Depending on your arrival time, you may be able to enjoy a guided half-day city tour. 

Start with a panoramic view and exploration of Barrio Bellavista, a leafy, bohemian neighborhood filled with cafés and pubs. Then visit Estación Mapocho—an enormous converted train station, now an art center with four floors of exhibition and performance spaces—and the Museum of Fine Arts, a major institution of visual arts in Chile (and the first ever in South America).

From there, head to Cerro Santa Lucia, an urban park located in the heart of the city, and the Plaza de Armas where the Cathedral of Santiago, the Central Post Office, and the National History Museum are all located. Finally, enjoy a scenic drive through modern Santiago and end your day with souvenir shopping at Faba, a jeweler specializing in lapis lazuli—a stone primarily found in Chile, Argentina, and Afghanistan.

Day 2: Santiago to Coquimbo

View of the Third Millenium Cross in Coquimbo
View of the Third Millenium Cross in Coquimbo

Have an early breakfast and pack up for your hour-long morning flight to Coquimbo, the best region in Chile for viewing the eclipse—this is where you'll be spending the next three nights. Check into your hotel and take some time to explore the port town—you can stroll through Barrio Inglés, the 1800s-era neighborhood recently restored to its former glory, and grab some fresh seafood for lunch.

In the evening, head to the Collowara Observatory. Located on the summit of Cerro Churqui, the center has a 14-inch high-powered telescope in the central dome. Take an astronomer-led tour, followed by the chance to look through the observatory's telescopes with help identifying planets and constellations. Return to your lodging and get some sleep before the exciting day ahead. 

Day 3: Eclipse Day

View the total solar eclipse
View the total solar eclipse

Wake up early for a 7 am pick-up to the eclipse observation area in nearby Lambert. Take a tour of the historic copper mining town and partake in a festive grilled lunch before settling in to see the eclipse. Protective glasses, polar blankets, and hot soup will be provided, as the weather will likely be chilly. The total eclipse takes place at 2:55 pm—spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing and reflecting on your amazing experience.

Day 4: Limarí Tour

Vineyards of the Coquimbo region
Vineyards of the Coquimbo region

After breakfast, you'll be picked up for a day of culinary and cultural exploration. A two-hour drive brings you to Viña Dalbosco, where you'll enjoy a wine tasting, paired with locally-sourced bites like nuts, cheese, and seafood. Stroll through the vineyards at your leisure, and learn about the native varietals from in-house experts. From there, spend an afternoon touring the Valle del Encanto (Enchanted Valley) in Limarí, an archeological site filled with ancient Molle petroglyphs. Return to your lodging for the evening. 

Day 5: Coquimbo to Santiago

Beautiful day in Santiago de Chile
Beautiful day in Santiago de Chile

Take a morning flight back to Santiago, spending the rest of the day at your leisure. Architecture and literature buffs should visit La Chascona, the house and garden of Pablo Neruda. The Museum of Pre-Colombian Art is also worth a visit. Or, stretch your legs with a hike or bike ride up San Cristobal Hill for excellent views of the city and surrounds—if you're pressed for time, ride the funicular instead. It makes various stops along the way, including a Japanese garden and Chile's National Zoo. In the evening, check out the lively evening handicraft market on Calle Pío Nono (the main drag in Barrio Bellavista).

Day 6: Viña Del Mar and Valparaiso

Valparaiso, a UNESCO World Heritage Site 
Valparaiso, a UNESCO World Heritage Site 

Spend your last full day in Chile on a day tour of the Casablanca and Curacaví valleys, departing from your Santiago hotel around 9 am. Your first stop in Viña del Mar, known as the "Garden City" thanks to the many parks and gardens within its bounds. Check out the Quinta Vergara and Carrasco Palaces before visiting the city's famous flower clock for a photo op. 

Continue to the city of Valparaiso, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its brightly colored houses and historic significance. During a walking tour, stop in Sotomayor Square, an important civic plaza located along one of the main ports of Chile. End your day with an afternoon sail around the bay, during which you'll enjoy a particularly photogenic view of Valparaiso before heading back to Santiago.

Day 7: Departure 

Farewell, Santiago
Farewell, Santiago

Spend one last morning in Santiago de Chile before your flight home. Depending on the time of your flight, you may have time for a few last sightseeing and souvenir stops, or lunch in the Central Market, a nineteenth-century building with more than 200 traditional shops and food stalls. Make your way to the airport for your journey home—buen viaje!