Chile is the country of buena onda, or “good vibes,” a mentality that will charm you wherever you go on this tour through the heart of Chile and Argentina. Start your journey in the country’s cosmopolitan capital, Santiago, where the colonial architecture is a backdrop for trendsetting art and cuisine. Summit the salt flats of the Atacama desert, home of gushing geysers and lunar landscapes. End your journey on the mystical shores of Easter Island, where ancient monoliths stand sentry.
1. Santiago de Chile
Begin your Ultimate Chile Vacation in Santiago de Chile, one of the most unique capitals in Latin America. Start your day at the famous presidential seat in the city, La Moneda. Move on to the main square, Plaza de Armas, to see the Santiago Metropolitan Cathedral and the historic post office/museum, CorreosChile.There’s no better way to cap it off than with a plate of mariscos (seafood) and a glass of wine at the Central Market before heading back for the evening.
2. Atacama Desert
Today, make your way to the Atacama Desert, a scenic oasis surrounded by the volcanic peaks of the Chilean altiplano. Get ready for a half-day excursion to “Valle de la Luna,” a part of the Los Flamencos National Reserve, whose red stone dunes are reminiscent of lunar craters. Watch the spectacular orange and purple sunset over the Cordillera de la Sal, arguably the most beautiful salt mountains in the world.
Your next destination is one of the gems of the Chilean coast: Valparaíso. Cruise the city by bus and trolley to visit Plaza Sotomayor and the main port. Ride in the iconic funiculars (cable cars) up the steep slopes of this colorful neighborhood. On the Alegre and Concepción hills, pause to learn about the traditions of this beautiful seaside town that earns it the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site.
4. Puerto Natales
Continue through the Patagonian region of Chile to Puerto Natales, a trendy town full of wine tastings, boutique stores, and delicious eateries. Take the multiple days you have here to enjoy the Patagonian wild: hike through the Torres del Paine National Park, or ferry through the Chilean fjords. Don’t forget to visit the prehistoric caves at the Cueva del Milodón Natural Monument, where the remains of the giant ground sloth were found in 1895.
5. Santiago de Chile
Return to Santiago today, and pick up where you left off in this magical city. If you missed it the first time around, make your way up to San Cristóbal Hill to get a bird’s eye view of the city and the Andes beyond. Continue on to a circuit of Vitacura, Las Condes and Providencia shopping districts before finishing off the day with a delicious dinner at one of the fantastic eateries in the city. Tomorrow, a highlight awaits.
6. Easter Island Tour
When you arrive in Easter Island, you’ll immediately feel the beauty around you. Start your adventure at the striking ceremonial platform that is Ahu Tahai before heading to the Ahu Tautira, which overlooks the Caleta Hanga Roa fishing port. After indulging in some of these archeological wonders, hit the Playa Pea, where you can feel the sun on your back as you ride great waves and go for a snorkel.
7. Santiago de Chile
Return from your adventures on Easter Island to Santiago one last time. End your trip with a stroll to Cerro Santa Lucia, situated between La Alameda and Santa Lucia Street in the west. As you stroll up Santa Lucia, make sure to stop and see Fuente Neptuno and Castillo Hidalgo—and take in the beautiful views of this city one last time.
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