Day 1 / June 30, 2019: Arrive Santiago
Day 2 / July 1, 2019: Santiago city tour - Flight to La Serena [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, with transfers.
Private transfer from the hotel in Santiago to the airport in Santiago.
Private transfer from the airport in La Serena to the hotel in La Serena.
Dinner at the hotel.
Day 3 / 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 4 / July 3, 2019 : Excursion to Isla Damas [B,L,D]
This fascinating day-long excursion is ideal for nature lovers and the adventurous. The journey from La Serena heads north along the coast, through an arid, dramatic landscape, for about 120 km. At the fishing village of Caleta Los Choros, you’ll board a small boat to take you out toward the Humboldt Penguin Nature Reserve islands of Gaviota, Choros and Damas, just off the coast. Cruising by the first two of these islands (where tourists are not allowed to land), you’ll see countless sea lions and many types of sea birds on the shore, including cormorants and penguins. You’ll land at Isla Damas, for a picnic lunch (included in the tour) near the white sandy beach and a stroll around the beautiful island. If you climb the hill, make sure to be on the lookout for whales in the bay! Even if you aren’t rewarded with the sight of whales, you’re almost sure to get a close-up view of the nature reserve’s friendly dolphins during the boat trip to or from the island – one of the highlights of the tour. Toward evening, after a stimulating day on the water, you’ll make the return drive to La Serena.
*NOTE: Only 50 people can be in the island at the same time.
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 5 / 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 6/ July 5, 2019: Departure from Santiago [B]
Breakfast and check-out from the hotel. End of our services. See you on the next eclipse!