Day 1 /June 24, 2019: Depart from Miami
Overnight flight from Miami to Santiago.
Day 2 /June 25, 2019: Arrive Santiago
Day 3 / June 26, 2019: Santiago city tour [B,L,D]
Private half day city tour of Santiago, with lunch
In Santiago de Chile, the best features of a vibrant, modern metropolis are paired with the old-world charm of a former colonial capital, and this private tour will introduce you to both sides of the city. You will begin with a visit to the presidential palace, named La Moneda because the splendid building once housed the national mint. Many other sights in the historic centre are clustered around the always-bustling Plaza de Armas: the impressive cathedral; the beautiful old post office; the Palacio de la Real Audiencia, now home to the National History Museum; and the Casa Colorada, once the Spanish governor’s residence.
Leaving the centre, you’ll travel west toward the soaring Andes, past the Cerro San Cristóbal, an outpost of the mountains which towers over the city with a great white statue of the Virgin Mary crowning its summit. Your tour will conclude with a visit to the fashionable business districts of Providencia and Las Condes, with their broad boulevards lined with modern high-rises, and shady side-streets flanked by fine restaurants and trendy boutiques. This half-day excursion forms the perfect initiation to the charms of one of South America’s most exciting cities.
Lunch at a local restaurant.
Dinner at a local restaurant (walking distance from the hotel).
Day 4 / June 27, 2019: Valparaiso and Catrala Boutique Vineyard [B,L,D]
Lunch at a local restaurant.
La Sebastiana museum
La Sebastiana is Pablo Neruda’s house in Valparaíso, now open to the public as a museum. High up on Cerro Florida, it offers a marvellous view of the sea and an interesting insight into the life and work of this eccentric poet and diplomat. Pablo Neruda bought this place in order “to live and write in peace” and furnished every corner according to his taste and preferences. He sometimes celebrated New Year’s Eve here. Pablo Neruda called La Sebastiana “a house that seems to be floating in the air, but stands firmly on the ground”.
Catrala Boutique Vineyard
The idyllic Catrala Boutique Vineyard was recently founded in 2003 and is among Chile’s youngest vineyards. It is a perfect location to close the day. You will learn about winegrowing with biodynamic and organic farming in a relaxed and familiar atmosphere. The “Peñuelas” nature reserve, which is full of endemic tree species, surrounds the vineyard and lends the area a spicy scent. In this wonderful environment it is easy to forget about daily life and to enjoy Catrala’s quality wines.
Dinner at the hotel.
Day 5 / June 28, 2019: San Pedro de Atacama [B,L,D]
Private transfer from the airport in Calama to the hotel in San Pedro de Atacama.
Lunch at the hotel in San Pedro de Atacama.
Half day excursion to Moon Valley (Valle de la Luna)
One of the best-known destinations between Calama and San Pedro is the Valle de la Luna. This tour into the rugged beauty of the Atacama Desert begins at dusk. With the Licancabur volcano providing the backdrop, strange salt and rock formations in the middle of the valley’s barren sandy landscape really do look like a moonscape. After a tour past the bizarre natural rock and salt shapes, you will ascend a lookout point on a giant sand dune where you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the valley and the Licancabur volcano. Then, you pass by the bizarre rock formation “Tres Marías” and end the excursion at “Coyote´s rock” (“Piedra del Coyote”). From the top of this rock, you overlook the Kari-Canyon and wide parts of the desert, you can even catch a glimpse at the Salar de Atacama. The setting sun bathes the landscape in a light that changes with every minute, providing a mesmerizing play of colours.The return drive to San Pedro is after sunset.
Dinner at a local restaurant with transfers.
Cumbres San Pedro de Atacama hotel in San Pedro de Atacama
Superior Room for 3 night(s) with breakfast
Day 6 / June 29, 2019: Alma Observatory and Atacama Salt Flat [B,L,D]
Lunch at a local restaurant (the ALMA tour drops you off at the town center, near where the restaurant is).
PM Private half day excursion to the Atacama Salt Flat (Salar de Atacama) and Toconao Village
Pick up from the restaurant. You depart with your tour guide to the Salar de Atacama: A salt lake of huge proportions (3000 sq km/1,158 sq mi!), its surface is covered by a thick layer of light-coloured salt crystals, caused by the evaporation of the lake’s water. The world’s largest lithium deposits are found here, but the salt pan is also home to several flamingo species, including the Andean, Chilean and James flamingo, who feed on the micro organisms found in the saline lagoons. These beautiful birds and other species can be observed in their natural habitat at the Salar de Atacama’s Chaxa Lagoon, which is part of the Reserva Nacional de los Flamencos.
On the way to the salt flat, you will stop at the village of Tocoano to see its green square with large cacti, and also its white church with free-standing spire, and interesting constructions using cactus wood. Afterwards, return drive to San Pedro
Dinner at the hotel.
Day 7 / June 30, 2019: Geysers of El Tatio [B,L,D]
The tour begins in the very early hours of the morning in San Pedro, to ensure a timely arrival at the geyser field at sunrise. The return drive to San Pedro takes place around midday.
Lunch at the hotel. Dinner at a local restaurant with transfers.
You may enjoy stargazing tonight as there are a few places in the world where the sky is as clear as in northern Chile. Therefore many of the world’s most important international observatories are located here. Astronomers from all over the world are regularly drawn here for their research. The observation centre Space Obs in San Pedro de Atacama (San Pedro de Atacama Celestial Observatory) is situated close to the Tropic of Capricorn, and is open to the public. During your visit, an expert explains the basics of astronomy and, with the help of an extra strong laser pointer, highlights special features of the southern hemisphere. You will also get an unforgettable glimpse of the distant stars and galaxies by looking through a telescope.
Note: the tour takes places outside and warm clothing is recommended.
Day 8 / July 1, 2019: Flight to La Serena [B,D]
Day 9 / July 2, 2019: ****ECLIPSE DAY**** [B,L,D]
Transfer to site around Vicuña in the Elqui Valley, where you can see the beautiful eclipse of the sun. We will have a tent with chairs for passengers to observe comfortably and taste some local products, accompanied by our guide. Start of partial eclipse (C1): UTC 19:23:51
|Start of partial eclipse (C1) :||19:23:51.9|
|Start of total eclipse (C2) :||20:38:48.9|
|Maximum eclipse :||20:40:06.1|
|End of total eclipse (C3) :||20:41:22.9|
|End of partial eclipse (C4) :||21:46:54.6|
The return drive to La Serena is in the late evening. Dinner and overnight at our hotel in La Serena.
Day 10 / July 3, 2019 : Excursion to Isla Damas [B,L,D]
Optional: It might be possible to replace the above excursion with a visit to Cerro Tololo, La Silla or Las Campanas observatories (at the moment they only open to public on Saturdays and during daytime but hopefully they open during the eclipse days).
• LAS CAMPANAS OBSERVATORY
This observatory belongs to the Carnegie Institute of Washington U.S.A. It has four telescopes and is situated 160 kilometers north of La Serena at an altitude of 2500 meters above sea level.
• CERRO TOLOLO OBSERVATORY
The observatory is situated 87 kilometers east of La Serena at a height of 2200 meters above sea level. It is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under contract with the Science Foundation of the United States. The observatory was opened in 1976 and has eight telescopes including a 4 meter lens. The current "Gemini" project which when completed will be used in conjunction with a similar telescope based in Hawaii, each operating with twin mirrors of 6 meters in diameter
• LA SILLA OBSERVATORY
The observatory is 156 kilometers north of La Serena at an altitude of 2440 meters above sea level, it belongs to the Southern European Observatory which is financed by 8 European countries. It has 15 telescopes and a radio telescope.
Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 11 / July 4, 2019: Flight back to Santiago [B,D]
After breakfast, transfer from the hotel in La Serena to the airport in La Serena. Flight to Santiago. Upon arrival, transfer from the airport to the hotel in Santiago. Tonight enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight at our hotel in Santiago.
Day 12 / July 5, 2019: Flight back to USA [B]
Private transfer from the hotel in Santiago to the airport in Santiago. (There is the option to include a Late Check Out or an additional excursion before going to the airport.)