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CHILE – Perhaps the most spectacular country of all? 12 days

 

 

terra del fuego

 

 

chile tryptich

 

 

 

Day 1   Arrive Easter Island

  

Located some 2,000 miles west of the Chilean Coast, Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, is a tiny island that has become famous for its remarkable isolation in the vastness of the Pacific Ocean. It is relatively small, measuring roughly seventy square miles in size, and is today home to around 4000 people.

 

The island has become well known for the massive rock sculptures called Moai that dot its beaches. They were carved sometime around the year 1500 by the island’s earliest inhabitants and it has been said that the massive wood sleds needed to transport them from one place to another are a big part of what led to the almost total deforestation of Easter Island.

 

Scientists have argued that the island was once lush and tree-covered, but today it is relatively barren, a feature that only adds to the sense of sheer isolation that is said to overtake most first-time visitors.

 

When the first settlers migrated to the island, the journey took several weeks, but today there is a small airport (reportedly the most remote in all the world) that carries passengers to the island by way of Santiago, Chile and Papeete, Tahiti (French Polynesia).

 

Sightseeing activities can include trekking, cycling, boating along the coastline in traditional local boats, fishing or snorkeling Earth’s most transparent waters with visibility up to a depth of 50 metres.

 

Our range of explorations enable you to get to know in depth the culture and geography of Rapa Nui with its ancestral, megalithic constructions and the special idiosyncracies of its people.

 

More extensive explorations include open-air picnics.

 

The explorations are safe and made up of groups with a maximum of 8 people, accompanied by an expert bilingual guide. All our guides speak excellent Spanish and English and some also speak French and German.

 

Each afternoon, one of our guides will meet with you in the lodge bar to tell you about the explorations planned for the following day and help you with the challenging task of choosing between different options, all of them exciting.

 

Our guides hold substantial knowledge about the area and all have Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification, which ensures that they have the expertise and skills necessary to provide assistance to people in remote places.

 

 

Day 2

and       Exploring Easter Island

Day 3

 

 

Day 4   Depart Easter Island

            Arrive Santiago 

       

(Santiago is the transit point for both Atacama and Torres del Paine and depending on your flight schedule, a stopover may or may not be required in Santiago. During one of your transits, however, a stopover should be made in this exciting city.)

 

Santiago was founded by Spanish Conquistador Pedro de Valdivia on February 12, 1541 with the name Santiago del Nuevo Extremo, as a homage to Saint James and Extremadura, Valdivia's birth place in Spain.

 

In 1770, Governor Agustin de Jauregui hired the Italian architect Toesca Joaquin to design, among other important works, the facade of the Santiago Metropolitan Cathedral and La Moneda, the presidential palace.

 

Much fine architecture remains and Chile's steady economic growth has transformed Santiago into one of Latin America’s most modern metropolitan areas.

 

 

Day 5     Santiago  Sightseeing arranged. 

 

 

Day 6     Depart Santiago

               Arrive Calama 

 

The Atacama Desert is one of the few deserts on Earth that does not receive any rain.

 

It is a plateau in South America, covering a 600-mile (1,000 km) strip of land on the Pacific coast of South America, west of the Andes mountains.

 

The Atacama desert is, according to NASA, National Geographic and many other publications, the driest desert in the world, due to the rain shadow on the leeward side of the Chilean Coast Range, as well as a coastal inversion layer created by the cold offshore Humboldt Current. The Atacama occupies 40,600 square miles (105,000 km2) in northern Chile, composed mostly of salt basins (salares), sand, and felsic lava flows towards the Andes.

 

Sightseeing includes treks, horseback rides, cycling, mountain climbing and stargazing.

 

Our series of explorations will enable you to discover the ancient culture of Atacama, its singular wildlife, and get to know in-depth the natural landscapes of this vast terrain: from the brown of the Andean mountains and volcanos, to the white of the salt flats and the green of the oases.

 

San Pedro de Atacama is located at an altitude of 2,500 meters (8,200 feet) above sea level. Our explorations, planned to enable your body to gradually become accustomed to the altitude, can take you to heights of between 4,000 meters (13,123 feet) and 4,500 meters (14,763 feet) above sea level and if you wish, even further on our high-mountain climbs.

 

Explorations are safe and are made up of groups with a maximum of 8 people, accompanied by an expert bilingual guide.

 

More extensive explorations include open-air picnics.

 

Every evening, one of our guides will meet with you in the lodge bar to tell you about the explorations planned for the following day and help you with the difficult task of choosing between the 7 to 14 different options, all of them exciting.

 

 

Day 7

and        Exploring the “painted desert”

Day 8

 

 

Day 9     Depart Calama

              Arrive Santiago

              Depart Santiago

              Arrive Punta Arenas

              Met on arrival and transfer to Torres del Paine National Park

 

Patagonia is the southernmost region of the American continent and one of the least populated areas in the world.

 

Your hotel will be your base for exploring Patagonia and it is the only lodge at the centre of Torres del Paine National Park (51º07’S, 73º10’W), home to diverse and pristine ecosystems and a base for some great Patagonia travel.

 

Torres del Paine National Park (Parque Nacional Torres del Paine) is a national park encompassing mountains, a glacier, a lake, and river-rich areas in southern Chilean Patagonia.

 

The landscape of the park is dominated by the Paine massif, which is an eastern spur of the Andes located on the east side of the Grey Glacier, rising dramatically above the Patagonian steppe. Small valleys separate the spectacular granite spires and mountains of the massif.

 

It is certainly one of the most spectacular places on Earth as the photographs included in the album below will attest.

 

Sightseeing includes truly spectacular treks and horseback riding.

 

Our series of explorations will enable you to discover the landscapes and wildlife of this singular place, and get to know the diverse ecosystems and living creatures that have lived here for millions of years, as well as the unique way of life of its human inhabitants: the gauchos.

 

The explorations and Patagonia adventures are safe and are made up of groups with a maximum of 8 people, accompanied by an expert bilingual guide.

 

The longer explorations include open-air picnics.

 

Sometimes we use minibuses or motorboats for sections of the route.

 

We celebrate each change of season and weather. Rain, wind, an unexpected snowstorm or a day of bright sunshine are all part of the experience. The key is to be well-equipped so you can enjoy the journey to the full.

 

Each afternoon, one of our guides will meet with you in the lodge bar to tell you about the explorations planned for the following day and help you with the difficult task of choosing between the seven to 14 different options, all of them exciting.

 

 

Day 10

and           Exploring spectacular Torres del Paine National Park.

Day 11

 

 

Day 12     Transfer to Punta Arenas

                 Depart Punta Arenas

                 Arrive Santiago

 

This suggested itinerary can be combined with other destinations in Chile or elsewhere in South America. 

 

To see some personal photographs taken on a visit these destinations please click on the link below.

 

https://picasaweb.google.com/outconcorde/CHILE16Jun4Jul2009#