Taste of Atacama Desert & Patagonia

8 nights / 9 days

From  USD 1,345.00 per person double occupancy

staying in 3* Hotels and regular  bus services

 

Day 01: Santiago (–)

Reception at the airport and transfer to the hotel

Afternoon at leisure. We recommend you to take an optional city tour of Santiago (quoted separately)

Overnight.

 

Day 02: Santiago – Calama – San Pedro de Atacama (B)

Breakfast at the hotel

At the agreed time, transfer to the airport on time to board your flight with destination Calama

Reception at the airport in Calama and transfer to San Pedro de Atacama

Afternoon: Moon & Death Valley tour

moonThis tour is an invitation to get to know one of the most exceptional sites near San Pedro de Atacama: Valle de la Luna (moon valle y). The excursion starts out venturing deep into this moon-like salt scenario that has been eroded by eons of flood and wind.  Going through the Cordillera de la Sal (salt mountain range) amazing rock sulptures can be admired on the way, such as Las Tres Marias (the three Marys) an interesting geological formation near an old salt mine.  The tour ends in Valle de la Muerte (death valley), an area that is unique for its peculiar rock formations and an absolute desert landscape: no plants or insects manage to survive in this arid environment, believed to be one of the most barren in the country.  From here, one of the best views of the Andes Mountain Range and its volcanoes can be enjoyed, especially at sunset when this natural amphitheater offers a breathtaking colored spectacle.

Return to the hotel and overnight

Day 03: San Pedro de Atacama (B/L)

Breakfast at the hotel

Full day  tour of Altiplanic lagoons (Meñique & Miscanti) + Atacama salt lake with lunch

miscantiThis tour starts out with a wide-ranging exploration of the Gran Salar de Atacama (Atacama salt flat); Chile’s largest salt deposit located in the Reserva Nacional Los Flamencos (Los Flamencos national reserve). It includes a visit to the Altiplano (high plateau) lagoons of Chaxa, Miscanti and Meñiques, trekking on some of the surrounding trails and admiring the diverse fauna in the area, that includes the horned coot, Chilean flamingo, small flamingo, Baird’s sandpiper, crested duck and Andean goose, among others. A lunch in Socaire follows before heading to the village of Toconao. This community is located at an altitude of 2,475 meters (8, 120 ft.) and most of its inhabitants are Atacama artisans who make their living by carving volcanic stones.

Return to the hotel and overnight

Day 04: San Pedro de Atacama (B)

Breakfast at the hotel

Day at leisure. We recommend you to take an optional tour (quoted separately):

Morning: The archaeological tour or The rainbow valley

Afternoon : Cejar lagoon

Overnight.

Day 05: San Pedro de Atacama – Calama – Santiago (B)

Breakfast at the hotel

Morning at leisure.  Early in the morning we recommend you to take an optional tour to El Tatio Geysers (quoted separately)

In the afternoon, transfer to the airport in Calama on time to board your return flight to Santiago

(the trip takes 1:15 hrs app.)

Arrival to the airport in Santiago and lodging at airport hotel (no guide included)

Day 06: Santiago – Punta Arenas – Puerto Natales (B)

Breakfast at the hotel

At the agreed time, board your next flight with destination Punta Arenas (no guide included)

Guide assistance upon your arrival to the airport in Punta Arenas to make the connection with a public bus with destination Puerto Natales

Reception at the bus station in Puerto Natales and transfer to your hotel

Overnight.

Day 07: Puerto Natales (B)

Breakfast at the hotel

Full day Exccursion. Torres del Paine national park (no lunch included)

torres del paineThe route begins in Puerto Natales driving out to Torres del Paine National Park. Spanning more than 242,242 ha (598,593 ac) this nature wonderland was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1978. A drive a ong the park will reveal the impressive Andean massif, with its horned peaks that impact all visitors alike. The area is surrounded by glaciers (Grey), waterfalls, lagoons and lakes (Pehoe) that together with the wide-ranging flora and fauna turn this park into one of the wonders of the world for its beauty and natural scenery. Taking the road back to Puerto Natales, a second important visit is made, this time to the Mylodon Cave, a Natural Monument where the remains of a prehistoric animal were discovered. Visit of the area and return to Puerto Natales.

Overnight.

Day 08: Puerto Natales (B)

Breakfast at the hotel

Free day. We recommend you to take an optional tour to Balmaceda-Serrano glaciers (quoted separately)

Overnight.

Day 09: Puerto Natales – Punta Arenas – Santiago (B)

Breakfast at the hotel

Transfer to the bus station to take a public bus to Punta Arenas, directly to the airport (the trip takes 3:15 hrs) – no guide included at airport in Punta Arenas

Arrival to Santiago on time to make the connection flight to USA (no guide included)

End of Services                                                          

Please note: 

This tour can be done also on a private basis with English speaking guides

 with a minimum of 2 passengers. 

Also 4 and 5 star hotels available. 

We can customize this trip according to your expectations and budget. 

 Please consult prices

Included:

SIB:     In Santiago and in Puerto Natales, transfers are in private service and excursions by

coach (Seat In Bus) with English speaking guide assistance

            In San Pedro de Atacama transfers and excursions are by coach (SIB). English speaking guide assistance on excursions (transfers, no guide included)

  • English speaking guide assistance at airport in Punta Arenas on day 6
  • Public bus ticket Punta >Arenas / Puerto Nastales / Punta Arenas – no guide included
  • All entrance fees on tours, duly mentioned in the program
  • Tips to porters at airports and hotels
  • Lodging at the hotels on standard rooms or as mentioned in the quotation, breakfast included
  • Meals duly specified in the program:

B = Breakfast            L = Lunch or Box Lunch     D = Dinner

Not included.

  • Extra transfers, excursions or meals, not mentioned into the program
  • Early check-in or late check-out at hotels
  • Air tickets and airport taxes (on your own)
  • Tips to guides and drivers 

Notes:

  • During high season (long weekend, holy week, New Year’s eve, etc) rates are subject to change
  • The SIB excursions do no operates in the afternoon of Jan 01 & Dec 25

Public bus schedules:

Punta Arenas / Puerto Natales:

Daily from Apt:          07:30 (*), 10:30, 13:00, 15:30, 17:45 & 19:30 hrs

(*) Departure at 07:30 hrs available only in high season (from Sep)

Puerto Natales / Punta Arenas:

Daily from bus station at: 07:00, 10:00, 12:30, 15:00, 19:00 & 21:00 (*) hrs

(*) Departure at 21:00 hrs available only in high season (from Sep)

Friday & Sunday:   also at 17:15 hrs                      

Note: The trip takes 3:15 hrs

Optional Tours:

PLEASE CONSULT PRICES. 

H/day City Tour of Santiago (museum not included)

museumThis entertaining half day tour consists in visiting the main attractions of Santiago, the country’s most important cultural, cosmopolitan and artistic hub. We start out with a visit to the highpoints of the city’s civic center, such as Cerro Santa Lucia (a centrally located historic urban park), the La Moneda Palace (presidential offices) and the traditional Plaza de Armas square, a meeting place for Santiago’s diverse and multic ultural expressions. Buildings of historical value can be found in the neighborhood, such as the Metropolitan Cathedral, National Museum of History and Central Post Office. We later walk through the Parque Forestal, a park running parallel to the Mapocho river with a variety of tree species offering a refreshing break from the urban agitation of the city’s center. We’ll visit the nearby Museo de Bellas Artes (National Museum of Fine Arts) and continue on to Barrio Bellavista, Santiago’s bohemian neighborhood, with some of the best bars and restaurants in the city. Return to hotel.

Notes: The private service includes a visit to Cerro San Cristobal hill and the regular service offers a visit to Cerro Santa Lucia hill 

Am: Archaeological Tour (Quitor & Tulor)

SIB: operates morning only

quitorHalf day tour to visit the origins of the communities that inhabited San Pedro and gave it its present character. The drive starts out with a visit to the Aldea de Tulor (Tulor village) settled around 3,000 years ago , that consists in circular adobe structures. This is one of the most ancient archaeological sites in northern Chile and part of a suite of sedentary communities that originally inhabited the region. The next stop is at  the Pukara de Quitor (Quitor fortress) built by Atacama settlers some 700 years ago to defend themselves from other communities that inhabited South America. It was declared a National Monument in 1982.

Am: Rainbow Valley & Petroglyphs

SIB: operates morning only

rainbow valleyDeparture from hotel heading west to Cordillera Domeyco (Domeyco mountain range). First stop at Ye rbas Buenas to view the rock formations of carved figures portraying llamas, shamans and other symbols that still need deciphering. The area also has guanacos and cactuses. The tour continues to Valle del Arco Iris (rainbow valley), a rocky formation rich in flora and fauna, with assorted colored minerals that tint the landscape with rainbow shades.

 

Pm: Cejar Lagoon

SIB: operates afternoon only

cegar lagoonDeparture from hotel heading to Salar de Atacama (Atacama salt flat). After a 60 kilometer drive (37 miles approx.), one gets to Laguna Cejar (Cejar sinkhole or lagoon) with its beautiful scenario of calypso colored waters surrounded by salt crystals of different shapes. The high salt content in the lagoon allows floating in the water without effort, turning it into a relaxing and enjoyable experience. The next stop is Ojos del Salar, two round freshwater ponds located in the middle of the desert, followed by Laguna Tebinquinche, a giant lake where tourists revel in a happy hour event. While the sun starts setting in the horizon, the Andes Mountains are reflected in the water and white salt. The tour ends here and visitors are driven back to their hotel.

 

AM departures: Tatio Geysers & Machuca village

tatio4:30 Am departure to El Tatio Geysers geothermal field, located at an altitude of 4,000 meters (13,000 ft.) that offers an amazing spectacle: steaming fumaroles that can reach up to 6 meters of altitude (19 ft.). Next is a visit to “Pozon Rustico” (rustic pool) to bathe in the relaxing thermal waters, a generous gift of  the Andes Mountain Range. On the way back to San Pedro de Atacama, beautiful landscapes and native flora and fauna can be admired before arriving to to Machuca, a picturesque shepherd’s hamlet located at an altitude of 4,000 meters (13,000 ft.). Today, its inhabitants are actively participating in tourism activities, offering local products such as Andean crafts, llama meat, sopaipillas (fried pumpkin dough biscuits) and empanadas. A visit to the Iglesia de San Santiago church, the village’s patron, will give a better idea of the village’s historic legacy and heritage.

Return to San Pedro de Atacama on lunch time

Full day Navigation to Balmaceda & Serrano glaciers (SIB), with lunch and transfers

balmacedaDeparture time is at 07:30 a.m. heading to the pier of Puerto Bories and boating through Ultima Esperanza fiord, a breathtaking trip with views of Mount Balmaceda, beautiful mountains, waterfalls, cattle ranches and Patagonian avifauna. A bit before midday, the boat nears the Serrano Glacier, an impressiv e snowdrift that can be walked on amid ice caves, admiring the sparkling rays of the sun glinting off the transparent blue ice.

Around 01:00 pm, arrival to the Estancia Perales tourist complex, one of the most beautiful cattle ranches in Patagonia, to enjoy a lamb barbeque, carbonada (stew), chicken, potatoes, salads, dessert, wine or soft drink. After lunch, return to Puerto Natales.

Operates:        Agunsa Catamaran: From Sep 16 / Mar 31: Daily

21 Mayo:          From Oct 01 / Mar 31: Daily and

From May / Sep: on Sundays, and 2, 3 days a week, depending on

demand, minimum10 pax paid

4/27/2016