10-day or 15-day Tour of Chile
October 19 - 28, 2019
Oct. 19 - Nov. 2, 2019
(Inquire for additional dates)
Imagine a place where you can explore both deserts and glaciers, savor fine wines, stroll cosmopolitan streets, hike unspoiled mountain trails, and discover a legend in the South Pacific – all on one trip.
That place is Chile, and you’ll experience all that and more on Mockingbird’s small-group escorted tour.
Chile offers a range of experiences unequaled anywhere else in the world. In the north, you’ll discover the wonders of the Atacama Desert, the world’s driest stretch of land. The dramatic mountains and wide expanses of salt flats make this region look truly otherworldly; it’s also one of the best spots on the planet for stargazing. In the south, you’ll channel your inner explorer in wild, unspoiled Patagonia. From thousand-year-old forests to dramatic fjords, snowfields, and glaciers, Patagonia is a natural paradise that never fails to amaze. In the far reaches of the South Pacific, you’ll find yourself face to face with the mysterious Moai of Easter Island, a once-in-a-lifetime experience that no traveler should miss. And at the heart of it all is sophisticated Santiago, a hotspot of cuisine, shopping, and culture.
If Chile isn’t on your bucket list yet, it should be now – just in time for you to check it off! We even offer a choose-your-own-adventure component to this tour, by making Easter Island an optional extension.
THE GREATER GOOD
A portion of the proceeds of this tour will be donated to the Shot@Life campaign, whose mission is to ensure that children around the globe have access to life-saving vaccines. You can read more about their work here.
Many of the places we’ll visit on this tour are environmentally sensitive. We encourage all our travelers to be thoughtful in their interactions with the environment, so that we leave it as pristine as we found it.
DAY 1: SANTIAGO
We’ll start our tour of Chile among the sophisticated pleasures of Santiago. This bustling metropolis offers an exciting contrast to all the natural wonders that await us in the farther reaches of the country. Here you can enjoy Chile’s world-class cuisine and shopping, as well as some of its fine cultural institutions, such as the Museum of Pre-Columbian Art, the National Museum of Fine Arts, and the former home of Nobel Laureate Pablo Neruda, Chile’s most celebrated writer. You might also want to stroll through the urban oases of Metropolitan Park, one of the largest urban parks in the world.
Most flights from the U.S. arrive in Santiago early in the morning. A private transfer will bring you to our hotel in the heart of the city. Get settled in, take a walk around the neighborhood, maybe grab a bite to eat. We’ll kick things off in the early afternoon with a walking tour of the city with a local guide. We’ll wrap up in the charming Bellavista neighborhood for a welcome dinner. (Hotel Magnolia or similar)
DAY 2: SANTIAGO
There’s no better entrée into a culture than through its food, and Santiago is a paradise for foodies. This morning we’ll have a tour of the local food markets and a hands-on cooking class with a local chef. (Think empanadas and pisco sours!) No cooking experience (or inclination required); just an appreciation for good food and creative mid-day cocktails. Following our bacchanal, we’ll ride the funicular to the top of Cerro San Cristobal for sweeping views of the city. The rest of the day is free for your own explorations.
DAY 3: SANTIAGO; VALPARAISO
The coastal town of Valparaiso, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its remarkable street art and its unique layout of steep hills and cable-car elevators, combines historic treasures with a touch of port city grittiness. On our day trip from Santiago, our private guide will show us the ins and outs of Valparaiso. On our way back to Santiago, we’ll stop at a vineyard in Casablanca (the “other” Casablanca) for a tour and a tasting of some exceptional Chilean wines!
DAY 4: TRAVEL TO PATAGONIA
Today we head south – waaay south – to Patagonia, a paradise for nature lovers with stunning views, fields of glaciers, and wildlife galore. We’ll fly into Punta Arenas, the capital of the Chilean Antarctic, followed by a scenic drive to our luxury, all-inclusive Patagonian lodge. (Hotel Singular Patagonia or similar)
DAY 5: PATAGONIA
Today we’ll visit one of Patagonia’s star attractions: Torres del Paine National Park. A UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and the Eighth Wonder of the World, the park is graced with lakes, glaciers, rivers, waterfalls and granite monoliths. We’ll take in breathtaking views of the Paine Massif and watch glaciers calve into Grey Lake, while keeping our eyes peeled for some of the park’s abundant fauna, including pumas and condors.
DAY 6: PATAGONIA
This morning we’ll set sail on the fjords to get up close to some ancient ice – the Balmaceda and Serrano glaciers – with colonies of cormorants and sea lions along the way. In the afternoon, you can choose from a long list of outdoor activities, including horseback riding, hiking, and kayaking, or simply enjoy the views from the grounds of our lodge (or its spa!).
DAY 7: TRAVEL TO ATACAMA
In a country as lengthy as Chile, it takes time to go from tip to top! This morning we’ll fly north to Patagonia’s polar opposite: the otherworldly Atacama desert. Our lodge just outside the charming town of San Pedro de Atacama will be the scenic hub for our stay. (Hotel Cumbres San Pedro or similar)
DAY 8: ATACAMA
Find out this morning why yesterday’s travels were worth it! Chile’s northern region is a land of extremes. In a landscape that’s actually been used by researchers to test a Mars rover, you’ll find soaring volcanoes, sprawling salt flats, hundreds of geysers, enormous sand dunes, natural hot springs, abundant flora and fauna, and surprisingly verdant valleys. Between September and November, the desert bursts into life with a magnificent flower bloom.
You can take your pick this morning from a wealth of optional activities: maybe a sunrise visit to the Tatio Geysers (the best time of day to watch them spew their dramatic plumes of steam), a dip in some hot springs, hiking, horseback riding, biking, or special tours for archeology or gastronomy. You might also want to explore the shops and restaurants of San Pedro de Atacama. If you’re interested in archeology, make time to visit the Padre Gustavo Le Paige Archeological Museum, which houses pre-Hispanic artifacts, including ancient mummies.
Later this afternoon, we’ll visit the charming colonial town of Toconao, featuring an impressive 18th-century church made from volcanic rock (it’s also a great stop for local handicrafts). Then we’ll delve into the heart of the Atacama Salt Flat, which stretches some 1,200 square miles against a picturesque backdrop of mountains and volcanoes, and the beautiful Chaxa Lagoon, filled with hundreds of flamingos.
With its dry air and clear skies, Atacama has some of the best astronomical observation conditions in the southern hemisphere, enjoyed by both professional and casual stargazers. To maximize our star sightings, we’ve timed our visit to Atacama to avoid the full moon, so (weather permitting) we’ll spend some time this evening taking in the magnificent heavenly view.
DAY 9: ATACAMA
The first part of the day is free for your own explorations. In the late afternoon, we’ll venture to the Valley of the Moon, which offers stunning scenery, with bizarre rock formations and giant dunes. We’ll enjoy a cocktail while we watch the sunset over the valley, then enjoy a special dinner together to bid farewell to our travelers not continuing on to Easter Island.
DAY 10: DEPART FOR HOME -or- TRAVEL TO EASTER ISLAND
If you’ve only joined us for the mainland portion of our tour, today we part ways. We’ll fly back to Santiago together, and from there you can connect to your return flight home.
The rest of us will leave the mainland behind and head straight out into the Pacific for the pinnacle of our journey: Easter Island! (Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa or similar)
DAY 11: EASTER ISLAND
Chile’s oceanic islands serve up their own inimitable version of South Pacific paradise, with unique histories, cultures, and cuisines. Easter Island is the most famous…and mysterious. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995, Easter Island is one of the most remote inhabited places on earth, sitting more than 2,300 miles from Santiago. It provides a fascinating glimpse into ancient Polynesian culture, which lives on in dance, music, traditions, food, and of course, its imposing stone statues called Moai. In addition to these man-made landmarks, the island offers inactive volcanoes, extensive lava caves, and panoramic Pacific vistas.
We’ll spend today exploring the island and its Moai with a knowledgeable guide.
DAY 12: EASTER ISLAND
Today is free for you to spend as you please. You could visit the Moai again, this time by sunrise. You can roam the island by foot, horse, or bike; take to the beaches or the ocean; or explore the town of Hangaroa.
DAY 13: EASTER ISLAND
One last day for explorations of your choosing! After our action-packed trip, you might just want to take advantage of the Pacific serenity to relax and unwind.
Even though we still have one more day together, we’ll enjoy a farewell dinner tonight in this perfect setting.
DAY 14: TRAVEL TO SANTIAGO
Today, alas, we must leave this magical place. Due to our late arrival in Santiago, we’ve arranged for one last night in the city. (Hotel Singular Santiago or similar)
DAY 15: DEPART FOR HOME
The tour ends with breakfast this morning. You can depart at any time, with a private transfer to take you to the airport. ¡Buen viaje!
Mainland-Only Tour (Days 1-10):
$ 8,295 per person, based on double occupancy.
Single supplement: $ 1,995 per person.
Easter Island Extension (Days 11-15):
$ 3,495 per person, based on double occupancy.
Single supplement: $ 295 per person.
Mainland-only price includes:
10 days escorted by a certified tour director
9 nights in four-star and five-star hotels
9 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 5 dinners, and a wine tasting
All airport transfers and ground transportation in Chile
All internal Chile flights, including 1 checked bag
Group activities listed in itinerary
Easter Island extension price includes:
5 additional days escorted by your certified tour director
5 additional nights in four-star and five-star hotels (a total of 14 nights for the entire tour)
5 breakfasts, 1 dinner, plus 2 additional meals (lunch or dinner, at your choosing)
All airport transfers and ground transportation in Chile
Round-trip flight to Easter Island, including 1 checked bag
Group activities listed in itinerary
Prices do not include international air between your home and Santiago, excess baggage fees on internal Chile flights, optional excursions and activities, travel insurance, gratuities, meals other than those listed above, and all other personal expenses.
This tour involves light-to-moderate physical activity, including walking and standing for extended periods and uneven terrain.
Routine vaccinations are always recommended for all international travelers. Chile does not require any special vaccinations or prophylactics. Additional information about health, safety and other travel logistics will be provided after booking.
Minimum 6, maximum 12 travelers
Still have questions? We have answers! Contact us to discuss.