Chile by Explora
Atacama, Torres del Paine and Valparaiso
- 11 nights
- from $6900 per person
Chile has a wealth of dramatic landscapes to discover and this itinerary takes in some of the real highlights, including the spectacular Torres del Paine in Patagonia and the rugged Atacama desert to the north.
At a Glance
Journey the length of Chile, taking in the varied and spectacular scenery
An outdoors enthusiast's paradise, with excellent hiking and horse riding available throughout
Contrast the arid Atacama desert with the lakes and mountains of the Torres del Paine
Stay at some of the best hotels available, including the Explora lodges in Atacama and Patagonia
Mix in some time soaking up the culture and colonial architecture in Santiago and Valparaiso
From top to toe, Chile's natural beauty is dramatic and varied, with vast rugged deserts, stunning lakes and other-worldly mountains. Add in to the mix colorful towns, a vibrant Latin culture and award-winning home grown wines and you have all the elements of an incredible destination. This trip takes in some of the scenic highlights of Chile, uncovering the country's natural beauty in Patagonia and the Atacama, interspersed with time spent in the capital Santiago and the pretty seaside town of Valparaiso.
Start in the north of the country at the Atacama desert, the driest place on earth. Explore the Valley of the Moon, geyser fields at El Tatio, watch flamingos congregate in the Altiplano lakes and enjoy some spectacular hiking, mountain biking and horse back riding. Stargazing here is unforgettable, and time spent at the Explora lodge's observatory is really rewarding.
From here fly down to Santiago to enjoy the bright lights of this capital city, flanked by the Andean mountains. Visit colorful markets, photograph the colonial architecture and indulge in some wine tasting to sample some of the nearby vineyards' produce.
Your next stop is Patagonia to the south, visiting the spectacular Torres del Paine mountains, staying at the Explora Patagonia. Situated on the shores of Lake Pehoe, it has arguably one of the best views in Latin America, overlooking the lake, the Paine massif and horns. The area is an outdoors paradise, with more than 50 guided hikes to get up close to the Patagonian terrain, horseback rides and countless photographic opportunities.
Finally head back to Santiago and spend a couple of nights at the nearby coastal town of Valparaiso, known as the cultural capital of Chile. With its iconic multi-colored houses spread over rolling hills, a lively port, steep streets and old colonial mansions, it is a charming spot to end your adventures.
|Fly to Santiago|
San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
|Explora Atacama Hotel de Larache|
|The Singular Santiago|
Torres Del Paine NP, Chile
|Explora Patagonia Hotel Salto Chico|
|Fly home from Santiago|
Location & Directions
Atacama, Torres del Paine and Valparaiso
Begin your journey in Santiago and fly north to Calama, the gateway to the Atacama desert where your first stop is, staying at Explora Atacama. After your explorations here, fly back to Santiago to soak up the hustle and bustle of the city before flying south to the Torres del Paine National Park in central Patagonia. Finish at the colorful seaside town of Valparaiso, not far from Santiago and the ideal place to relax and take stock of your adventures before you fly home.
When to go
Due to its length and topography, Chile’s north, central and southern regions have different climates:
The north of Chile is a year round destination but its weather, particularly in the Atacama desert, is affected by the high altitude with temperatures fluctuating dramatically from day to night. In winter (June, July and August) the average temperature is 22ºC during the day and at night it drops to around 4ºC. In summer (December to February) the temperature varies between 30ºC during the day and 16ºC at night. There can be some rain between January-March.
Southern Patagonia is best visited from November to March when temperatures are milder but visitors should be prepared for strong winds and changeable weather at any time. It is worth considering traveling outside this time, especially rewarding in April (for autumn colors) or October (for spring flowers) because winds can drop significantly and there are fewer visitors in the National Parks.
The Central Valley enjoys a temperate Mediterranean climate from Mid-October to April with cooler temperatures and higher rainfall from May to September.