Discover Chile

13 days
from
$4,979 USD
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Suitable for:
Age 16+
Activity level:
Leisurely / Moderate
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Trip code: 
AAE
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailor Made Adventures
Activity:
Culture
Group size:
5–16
Min age:
16

The best of Chile: Atacama Desert, Lake District and Patagonia

Chile’s narrow coastal strip stretches for 4300km and is dominated by the towering peaks of the Andes. Covering over half the length of South America, Chile has an unparalleled range of environments; from the world’s driest desert, the hostile Atacama, with its geysers and salt flats, to the fertile valleys and vineyards of central Chile. To the south lies the Lake District with dramatic, snow-capped volcanoes, deep blue lakes and gushing waterfalls. Further still, we reach Patagonia, a land of ice fields, mountains, glaciers and immense solitude; the 'uttermost part of the earth'.

Highlights

  • Visit the unique and colourful Pacific Coast city of Valparaiso
  • Excursions to Atacama salt flats, altiplano lagoons, El Tatio geysers
  • Sunset over the Valley of the Moon in the Atacama Desert
  • City tours in cosmopolitan Santiago, German influenced Puerto Varas, and the fish market of Puerto Montt
  • See the Petrohue Falls, enjoy a boat cruise on Lago Lago Todos los Santos, and walk at Osorno Volcano
  • Patagonia and the famous granite towers of Torres del Paine National Park
  • Internal flights included, reducing driving distances so that we can visit four distinct regions of Chile

Key information

  • 12 nights hotels, all en suite.
  • Travel by internal flights, bus/minibus and boat
  • Some long distances covered
  • Easter Island extension available
  • Countries visited: Chile

What's included

  • All breakfasts
  • Internal flights
  • All accommodation
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
+82-(0)02-6320-4111
Call for tailor made trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

Tourism can be a real help to local communities, providing income, positive cultural exchanges and a financial incentive to protect their natural environment. Ours is a 'total approach' to responsible tourism, covering everything from the way we plan and operate our trips to the practices of Exodus as a company. 

As much as possible, we try to stay in accommodations that are locally owned or at least employ local staff and uses local produce to ensure that our money spend remains in the local community. Although much of this trip is spent exploring rock formations, glaciers, lagoons and geysers, we still make time to explore cities and small towns.  By giving guided tours of these inhabited areas (Puerto Varas, Puerto Montt, Valparaiso etc.) we are introducing clients to aspects of Chilean culture and supporting the employment of local guides.

Our guides enforce a strict 'Leave no trace' policy in National Parks, which involves ensuring that no litter is left behind and that flora and fauna are left undisturbed by our tours. We visit Valle de la Luna, Vincente Perez Rosales and Torres del Paine National Parks. In each case we pay entrance fees which then go towards supporting indigenous communities in surrounding areas and for conservation initiatives. Water is usually drinkable in main cities hence, we strongly encourage clients to bring a reusable water bottle for this purpose. Otherwise, we will provide large containers of water for clients to refill their bottles to try our best to minimise the need to purchase single use plastic bottles.

In March 2019, Exodus Travels launched the Exodus Travels Foundation where we support initiatives all around the world. But it cannot exist without travellers who care. Get involved or learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus here

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Santiago; city tour.

    Clients on the group flight will usually arrive in the morning. A walking tour of the city tour is organised today (approx. 4 hours), visiting the squares and streets of the colonial centre and the Presidential Palace. We also visit San Cristobal Hill, on which a statue of the Virgin Mary stands. The summit of Cerro San Cristobal offers a birds-eye view of Santiago, the Andean Mountains and the Maipo-Valley. Without a doubt the best viewpoint in the city! If there is time we will also see the wealthy suburbs of the ‘Barrio Alto’, an area of elegant shops and first class restaurants. Please note that due to the arrival times of the group flights, the city tour will usually start around 2pm or 2:30pm.  Land Only clients wishing to join the city tour would be advised to be at the hotel around 2pm in order to be collected.
    Hotel Providencia or similar

  • Day 2

    Full Day excursion to the enigmatic port city of Valparaiso.

    The historic World Heritage city of Valparaíso, or Valpo for short, is Chile’s oldest port and home to the country’s National Congress since democracy was re-established in 1989. The Pacific coast is just a short 1.5 hour drive from Santiago and today’s excursion will give us an interesting insight into Chilean culture.

    The city’s many hills are covered in a glorious sprawl of multi-coloured houses covering every nook and cranny, creating a spectacular panorama which can be enjoyed from a number of vantage points. Strolling through the streets of Valparaíso is a fascinating experience which enables us to soak up the quirky and bohemian atmosphere, something different to anywhere else in Chile. We’ll visit the UNESCO recognised historic city centre, in addition to the parliamentary building, and the War of the Pacific memorial.

    Due to the steep terrain in some parts of the city, it is home to numerous funicular lifts which transport residents straight up and down the hillsides rather than them having to zigzag through the maze of buildings. Many of these lifts have fallen into disrepair and sit suspended in time and hidden amid the labyrinth. However, there is a drive to restore as many as possible and we’ll be able to use one of the most iconic functioning lifts on our way to a viewpoint. In the afternoon we will return to our hotel in Santiago.
    Hotel Providencia or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Fly to Calama; to San Pedro de Atacama.

    In the morning we fly to Calama near the Atacama Desert where we transfer to our hotel in the town of San Pedro de Atacama. Once we have checked in. the leader will offer a short orientation tour of the town for anyone who wants to join. At dusk we set out to the Valley of the Moon. This bizarre lunar landscape is set ablaze with colour at sunset, the strange rock formations framed by the Lincancabur Volcano. We'll stay until the sun goes down to enjoy the array of colours before returning to San Pedro.
    Hotel Diego de Almagro or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Visit Salar de Atacama & Altiplano lagoons.

    Departing our hotel in San Pedro, we will set off towards the Altiplano Lagoons (Lagunas Altiplanicas) and stop en route at the village of Socaire, set at 3218m/10,558ft. The village is noteworthy for its peculiar architecture using rough stonework and the inhabitants here still live by the age-old methods of planting terraced fields with corn, wheat and potatoes.

    Afterwards, we continue for about another 30km/19miles, climbing an additional 1000m/3,281ft in altitude to reach the highland lagoons of Miscanti and Miñiques. The two volcanoes of the same name are visible in the background (almost 6000m/19,686ft high). The twin lagoons are a deep blue, each framed by a white salt crust, which creates a memorable contrast to the yellow highland grass all around. It is completely silent here. Even the duck species that breed here, the foxes, and the grazing vicuñas (a type of camelid), respect the majestic silence.

    Continue to visit the Salar de Atacama. A salt lake of huge proportions (3000 sq km/1,158 sq miles), its surface is covered by a thick layer of snow-white salt crystals as far as the eye can see, 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. After the excursion we will return to San Pedro.
    Hotel Diego de Almagro or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Excursion to El Tatio geysers; optional night-time astronomy tour.

    To experience the El Tatio Geysers we’ll have to get up very early in order to arrive at the geyser field (located over 4300m/14,108ft above sea level) in time for sunrise! The fountains that shoot up to 10m/33ft high occur when the morning sun melts the nightly ice caps that form over the hot springs. The sun’s first rays reflect an array of colours as they mix with boiling jets coming from the geysers to create strong contrasts of steam and light.

    At around midday we’ll head back to San Pedro for some free time. There is an optional astronomy tour tonight that can be paid for locally but should be booked in advance of departure as availability is limited (Please note that this tour doesn't operate on full moon days and is not recommended 3 days before or after the full moon).
    Hotel Diego de Almagro or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Fly to Puerto Montt; to Puerto Varas on the shore of Lago Llanquihue.

    Today we transfer to Calama airport and fly to Santiago and then Puerto Montt, the capital of the Lake District. This is a long travelling day that will likely require an early start depending on the flight schedules. On arrival in the Lake District region we drive for 30 minutes to Puerto Varas on the shores of Lago Llanquihue. Depending on flight arrival time, we can enjoy a brief tour of the 'City of the Roses' as it has come to be called because of the tremendous variety of roses all over town. If we arrive on a later flight unfortunately this will not be possible.  If scheduled to arrive on a later flight, we also recommend buying some food at the airport as you may not have any options on arrival at your hotel. 
    Hotel Park Inn by Radisson or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Lago Todos Los Santos boat trip; walk near Osorno Volcano.

    We set out this morning for a full day inside the Lake District. We drive along the shore of Lago Llanquihue and enjoy breathtaking views of the Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes. Our first real stop will be at the Saltos de Petrohue where cooling lava from the Osorno Volcano formed a series of rapids and waterfalls. Together they form an impressive sculpture of extruded volcanic rock shaped by thousands of years of river flow. At Petrohue we board a boat for a short cruise of Lago Todos los Santos (All Saints Lake). The lake is surrounded by high mountains and the lower slopes are thickly forested. As we pull away from the landing and the source of the river Petrohue the view is quickly stolen away by the tremendous size and proximity of snow-capped Osorno Volcano behind us. After our boat tour, we return to Petrohue and take a hike in the lower lava fields of the volcano. We also visit the Green Lagoon (Laguna Verde) before we return towards Puerto Varas in the afternoon. Please note that the order of the itinerary today may change depending on the weather conditions.
    Hotel Park Inn by Radisson or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Fly to Punta Arenas; transfer to Puerto Natales.

    After breakfast we transfer to the capital of the Lake District, Puerto Montt, and take a sightseeing tour of the city. Puerto Montt was founded in 1853 by German colonists on the site of an indigenous Mapuche community. Downtown we take time to walk about the main squares and historical monuments. Afterwards we visit the port, where there is a large handicraft market full of artisan goods. Please note that depending on the flight times, this tour might be moved to the previous day instead. We then transfer to the airport to board a flight to Punta Arenas, Patagonia - the southernmost city in Chile. From here we transfer to Puerto Natales where we spend the night.
    Hostal Francis Drake or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Full day excursion to see some of the highlights of Torres del Paine N.P.

    This morning we drive into Torres del Paine National Park for a day of excursions within a spectacular environment. This is a busy day of travelling and walking including unforgettable views of the Towers and the Torres Massif from the 'Cuernos' viewpoint and 'Salto Grande' waterfall. In addition to being introduced to the flora and fauna of the region, today we will also visit 'Laguna Azul' for more breath-taking views.
    Hotel del Paine or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Walking at Lago Grey; free time in Torres del Paine N.P.

    Another day in Torres del Paine National Park, this time to explore the Western highlights including Lake Grey. This deep lake, fed by the glacier of the same name, is filled with icebergs which have splashed down from the massive ice flow. From the hotel, we'll drive to a spot to the south of the lake, then start a short hike by crossing a suspension bridge over the Pingo River. From here the path leads through a Legna forest typical to the area, and continues onward to the tip of the narrow peninsula at the lake’s southern end. This viewpoint offers a spectacular view of the lake with its icebergs, the tongue of Grey Glacier at the far northern end, and the snow-covered mountain peaks soaring above. On the way back a stop is made at the Park Visitors Centre to see an exposition of the origin and history of the park. This afternoon is free to relax at the hotel or enjoy some optional excursions in the area.
    Hotel del Paine or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11

    Optional Grey Glacier navigation; to Puerto Natales.

    This morning we have some free time or take part in an optional boat excursion which takes you to the Grey Glacier. For anyone not wanting to take the optional excursion, the leader will accompany you on visits to other areas of Torres del Paine. Afterwards we will regroup and visit the Milodon Cave (entrance fee not included and payee locally approx. US$ 8 per person). Today we will end in Puerto Natales and transfer together to the hotel, arriving around 5.30pm.

    Hostal Francis Drake or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    To Punta Arenas; fly to Santiago.

    Transfer through the barren Pampa of Patagonia, an impressive road trip as we journey to Punta Arenas airport. We fly back to Santiago (flight times can vary) and enjoy our final evening in Chile.
    Hotel Providencia or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 13

    End Santiago.

    There is a transfer back to the airport for those on group flights. Those on land only arrangements will leave us in Santiago this morning.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Post-trip Extensions

Easter Island (5 days / 4 nights)

Code: XAE

In the middle of the Pacific Ocean, 4,000km from the coast of Chile, is an island that still holds a very special magic and mystery. The Europeans discovered 'Rapa Nui', as the locals call it, on Easter Sunday and to this day it is simply referred to as Easter Island. But this island holds an intrigue far greater than one might imagine. So far from everything and everyone, isolated by the largest ocean in the world, it demonstrates a rich history, art, language and interestingly once even suffered a civil war ‐ all upon an island not 25 km across.

This 5 day extension will enable you to explore this triangular shaped island, with extinct volcanic cones in each of its three corners. Amidst an atmosphere of friendly Polynesian hospitality, the entire island is today an open‐air museum with approximately 900 Moai (statues), the tallest of which is 21m high. There is also the Orongo Village and many traditional cave dwellings open to view.

Please call for details (flight prices will be quoted separately to the price of the extension). Click here for the full webpage and access to the trip notes for this extension.

Essential Info

Visas

Chile

British, most European and most other nationalities, including Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders, do not require visas. All other nationalities should contact the nearest Chilean Embassy if in doubt. Citizens of Australia pay a fee on first entry into Chile by air (cash US Dollars only, no credit cards or cheques) $95 - valid for only 90 days). There is no fee for other nationalities at the time of writing. The one-time charge is valid for the life of your passport so keep the stub stapled in.

Vaccinations

Chile

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts are included.

All areas offer good quality local and international meals. Beef is very popular in Chile, especially steak, and the majority of dishes tend to be quite meaty. In Patagonia, lamb takes over as the most popular meat. There is also delicious, freshly-caught fish and seafood in the areas closer to the coast. Service can be slow in restaurants so do not expect European standards.

Vegetarian food is available in many of the restaurants but options may be limited, especially in Patagonia. Please inform us before departure of any special dietary requests.  

Weather

Since Chile is in the southern hemisphere, the seasons are the reverse of those in Europe; trips are therefore organized between October and March, to take advantage of the longer, warmer days in the rather brief summer period. During these months the summer temperatures in Santiago reach a maximum of 35degC, while in Puerto Montt they are more likely to be around 20degC. Although this is the dry period of the year, rain cannot be ruled out.

Punta Arenas

Is this trip for you?

This is a busy itinerary that visits the main highlights of Chile. We travel by private minibus and take five internal flights to allow you to experience as much as possible of this beautiful and diverse county in a short space of time. You should be aware that there are some long travelling days on this trip.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as not suitable for full wheelchair users, but it may be suitable for other persons of reduced mobility. Please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
+82-(0)02-6320-4111
Call for tailor made trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels and B&Bs

You will spend 12 nights in hotels or locally owned B&B’s. All rooms are en suite and average a 3 star rating. Please note that due to the limited amount of accommodation within Torres del Paine National Park, it may be necessary to sleep outside the park on some or all of the nights that we are there.

Single accommodation (available on request).

Call for general departures:
+82-(0)02-6320-4111
Call for tailor made trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
+82-(0)02-6320-4111
Call for tailor made trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed March 2019
    Liz Fraser

    Spectacular sights and scenary

    Chile is a stunning country that has something for everyone. This trip provided a wonderful insight and delivered a variety of sights and scenery: from desert and volcanoes, to lakes (and more volcanoes) then mountains and glaciers, followed for me with the legendary moai of Rapa Nui (Easter Island). As the itinerary makes clear, a significant amount of time is spent travelling (I feel I am now very familiar with Santiago airport!) but that is due to the large distances covered. There is very little 'down time' and several early starts so it is definitely not for someone who wants a relaxing holiday. However, if you enjoy spectacular views and new experiences then it ticks all the boxes. Our group of 16 got on well and, alongside our tour leader and drivers, helped to make it a fantastic holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It is impossible to choose a single highlight as there were so many. The colourful houses and street art of Valparaiso; the Atacama desert with its rock formations, lagoons, wildlife and the most amazing night sky; the boat trip on Lago Todos los Santos, gazing up at the snow-topped Orsorno volcano; the breathtakingly beautiful Torres del Paine and Last Hope Sound; watching the mesmerising waves of the Pacific Ocean break on the rocky shores around Rapa Nui and visits to places such as Rano Kau and Ahu Tongariki.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nacho was calm, caring and a real gentleman. He enjoyed telling us tales of his life as a flight attendant and introducing us, with a mix of enthusiasm and humour, to his wonderful country. He always had a variety of restaurant suggestions for dinner to cater for people's different preferences. I was the only one in the group who had chosen the Easter Island extension. Nacho took me to the airport for the flight, met me upon my return a few days later and took me back again the next day for the journey home to the UK. He waited while I checked in and then, deciding that the queue to go through customs was too long, took me to another part of the airport where the queue was much shorter.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I took advice from a previous review and took Chilean pesos with me (which meant I could gauge exchange rates and determine when to purchase them). As a result I managed with cash throughout the trip but others in the group used their credit or debit cards without difficulty in most places. Chile is notably expensive. Just one main course and some water for dinner could cost £12-£15 and, in Easter Island, it was even pricier (for example, a fish and rice dish with a natural fruit juice in a café away from the harbour cost over £25). This was a more sedate trip than I had anticipated so don't choose it if you prefer or expect some proper walks or long hikes. It is a busy schedule with some long days. There isn't much time to do handwashing and get clothes dry before heading off to the next location so you may wish to factor that into your packing. The hotel in San Pedro also has notices in the rooms asking people not to wash clothes. I ended up wishing I'd packed more long-sleeved shirts as I found myself wearing them for sun protection in the desert as well as protection against both the sun and dengue fever-carrying mosquitoes in Easter Island. If you like a bath, bring a universal bath plug as many of the hotels don't provide one.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I investigated several companies who offered pretty much identical trips. I particularly liked the fact that Exodus included most of the activities (eg the visit to Valparaiso) in the upfront price, avoiding the need to budget for additional expenditure/take extra cash. Many in the group would have preferred to have saved time by having lunch in Valparaiso rather than Vina del Mar and therefore been able to include a trip to a winery on the journey back to Santiago. While I enjoyed the stay in Puerto Varas, I'd happily dispense with the walk in the Orsorno lava fields and the few hours in Puerto Montt seemed to be just a filler while we waited for the flight to Punta Arenas. I'd also have loved more time and a chance to do some walks (e.g. for 1-2 hours) while in Torres del Paine. I had visited the area previously on a similar tour several years before and know that there are some walks that could have been worked into the itinerary without turning it into a different type of trip. I appreciate that the main 'Discover Chile' itinerary has been designed to be accomplished in 2 weeks. However, for somewhere like Chile with the sheer distances involved, it would have been lovely if it could have been extended by a further few days, giving more time in Torres and perhaps including a boat trip amongst the fjords.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Marianne Hong

    Chile

    This trip covered a lot of ground in a short time frame. I (and the rest of my group) agreed that the one area of improvement would be to include a visit to the wineries and have lunch in Valparaiso.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the stars in the Atacama Desert and the landscapes of Patagonia

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ignacio was wonderful. He was organized, attentive and had a good sense of humor.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring layers! It was unexpectedly cold when we visited the geysers.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Wendy Duckett

    Awe inspiring.

    A land of so many sights, warm people and the impressive Andes mountains almost throughout.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Atacama Desert. Its forever changing scenery. The Lagoons, The Wetlands and Flamingo's, Geysers over 80 in one area. Sand dunes and forever rock formations. The long long roads and starry nights. Unlike any other desert I have visited.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nacho was brilliant. His charm, smile and funny stories, seeing us all through some very long days. He was Informative throughout the trip. His observations and empathy were outstanding. Great fun and ensuring everyone's needs were met. A calm and unstressful gentleman. Would be great to have Nacho on every Exodus trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Chile felt to be a very safe and friendly country from the moment if arrival. This did not change or alter throughout. Happy walking around alone. Don't expect your International adapter plugs to work. I borrowed one and some bought some locally. The 2 circular pins were much smaller. I believe it was the European pinned one that works.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A boat trip to through the Fjords would be a great addition to this trip. As would a few hours at one of the vineyards when driving right through them.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Sheila Silvester

    Chile

    Discover Chile is a great trip and a fantastic way to see all the best areas of this long thin country. It is full of travelling though and not just flying. However, as a brilliant and thorough voyage around the Atacama, Lakeland and Patagonia you can't beat it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Too many to mention high Lakes in the Atacama, hummingbirds in the temperate rain forest and all of Patagonia!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our le.ader was knowledgeable, helpful, enthusiastic and fun. He made the trip much more enjoyable

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't expect to stop for long meals or have much down time but you do see a lot instead.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you can avoid spending a morning in Puerto Montt do so. Stay and have a better look round Puerto Varas instead, it is much prettier and interesting.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Margaret Hogg

    Good Title as we moved around alot to give us insite of what the country offered.

    The group of people on the trip all 'gelled' together and with the help of our excellent guide made a trip to be remembered. My only criticism, not your fault, was that I hadn't realized how warm / hot it would be and, as a result I didn't take enough light weight summer clothes.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the Volcanoes cone shaped and the tops covered in snow. The salt covered rocks of the canyons in the desert. Flamingos feeding in the lagoons. Watching the Condors circling overhead. The visit to Valparaiso, the UNESCO World Heritage Site. to view all the excellent wall art.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was Ignacio Hewstone and he was excellent. Meeting and greeting at the airport went well as did all the other travel travel arrangements he made. His extensive knowledge of Chile was shown to us and it was interspersed with anecdotes (mostly funny) from his youth. This helped to further bring the group together. He was always around should any of us require help , or to advise us on where to eat - many suggestions were given.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Check the temperatures of the various areas to be visited. Take cash or card for money as at some places money can't be exchanged. Comfortable shoes or boots for walking in the desert. Enjoy the Pisco Sour !! and don't forget to bring a bottle home.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No
  • Reviewed February 2019
    Eamon Keating

    Fascinating country

    We really enjoyed the chance to see so much of this great country in 2 weeks. The itinerary was excellent with visits to three very different regions. A good mix of walking and lots of wildlife and scenery to enjoy. The hotels we stayed in were all of a high standard and our guide gave good recommendations on places to eat in all locations.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Patagonia is like nowhere else in the world and we were so fortunate to have great weather and see the Torres de Paine at their best. The flamingos in Atacama were equally memorable.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Robert was a terrific leader – hugely knowledgeable and very eager to ensure we had the best possible visit. He judged the group very well and tweaked our schedule to cater to our preferences. He is guaranteed to keep you entertained with stories and facts on all the bus journeys - like where the brand name Fanta come from.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you enjoy a cup of tea at days end pack a small travel kettle. Don’t fret about packing everything – all of the large towns in Chile had well stocked shops and pharmacies that will supply anything you might unexpectedly need.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Exodus should reduce the time spent in Valparaiso and include a visit to a winery on the journey back to Santiago. They should also remove the morning spent in Puerto Montt where there is little to see and at the fish market you will be pestered by restaurant touts. Instead allow guests a free morning in the far nicer town of Puerto Varas. With these changes I would award the extra star.
  • Reviewed January 2019
    Ilya Reyngold

    January 7, 2019

    Excellent trip

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Traveling through the different landscapes and climate zones

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex Aguilera is a very good group leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It's the excellent opportunity to see different parts of Chile in a single trip but any future traveler should be ready to spend a lot of time commuting from one place to another. It’s absolutely worth it but should be noted.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    To start the tour one day earlier (one more day) and spend an extra day in the Lake region
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Lester Wheaton

    Exhilarating

    ‘Discover Chile’ was a fantastic holiday and certainly in my top three tours over the last 20+years. The main reason it was fantastic was that we had brilliant weather throughout and considering this holiday was to principally look at the natural landscapes within the country this was essential. Although it was a certainty that we would have clear weather in the desert which was confirmed, the bonus of views of the snow capped Mt Osorno and others in the Lake District, and also the fantastic Torres del Paine against cloudless backdrops was the icing on the cake.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many highlights on the tour but these are my top three: 3. Mt Osorno in the Lake District 2. Antiplano Lakes and Mountain Scenery in the Atacama 1. Torres del Paine Mountain Scenery in Patagonia I could never get sick of the view of Torres del Paine from outside my room in Patagonia.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ignacio was both competent and very pleasant.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared to spend a considerable time on planes (5 off internal flights) and the associated waiting time in airports, also early get ups (2 before 5am) and a late finish (11pm). Flight schedules can change at short notice but none of ours were seriously affected.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Overall the hotels were average with the one in San Pedro (Don Raul) being very disappointing (my room (42) looked nothing like the images on Tripadvisor) but the hotel in Patagonia was exceptional in the views that it had. Chile is a long distance from the UK and the tour could have benefited from an extra two days, one more possibly in the Lake District and one to explore the Magellan Strait near Punta Arenas. Although our tour was not in the absolute high season nowhere we visited was ever considered to be crowded, I suppose the busiest area (excepting Santiago) was San Pedro. It was disappointing to be in the Atacama during the full moon, therefore our stargazing tour (provided via Exodus) was not available.
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Pauline Davies

    Amazing!

    I overused the word amazing on this trip which far exceeded my expectations because of the spectacular nature of the country. It really is an excellent way to see so many totally different parts of the country in a short space of time. The variation in climate from the Atacama Desert down through the Lake District and to Patagonia was huge and, hence, the spectacular scenery and wildlife. Go for it!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So hard to pick but I think it has to be Patagonia. I highly recommend exiting via the optional zodiac trip! In reality, the inspiration to visit Chile on this trip comes from the diversity that you experience. I have a myriad of colourful images and experiences in my head that will last with me for a very long time.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ignacio was friendly with everyone and imparted a wealth of knowledge about his beloved Chile. He knew people all around the country which helped and he helped individuals in the group with any issues such as money, health, eating etc.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack with layers. You need sun protection everywhere....I used long sleeved shirts and light trousers, sunhat and trainers in the desert. But, also, it was minus 10 at the start of the geyser day so you start with fleece hat, warm jacket, etc. Patagonia was actually warmer than I expected and you don't need full on English winter walking gear but still go with the layers. I managed it all in about 16kg but it's worth planning what you take. Waterproof trousers add an extra layer of warmth and wind proofing but can be removed later in the day. We took anti mossie spray but didn't need it much...so, have some but it's not a great problem at this time of year. Take paracetamol.....helps to ward off altitude sickness in the desert....but, mainly, follow the advice of the guide to breathe deeply and go slow! Only 1 of our party was affected and it didn't last long.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    GO! If in doubt....and you are looking for a trip that shows you Chile in a short space of time, this is the one! Also, I was so pleased with the variety and numbers of local wildlife and flora that we saw which I hadn't picked up from the trip notes. Brilliant!
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Ryan Clark

    Indescribable!

    I say indescribable because I struggle to find words to capture just how amazing and stunning Chile is. The beauty of this trip is that you are given the opportunity to visit a diversity of landscapes, flora and fauna. The range of climate between regions varies spectacularly from being hot in the north to wrapping up in the south. I can't recommend this trip highly enough.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hard to pick just one, so from each region I would pick Valparaiso, to the geysers in the Atcama Desert, the waterfalls of Lake District, the 'towers' and seeing icebergs in Torres del Paine to visiting the statues on Easter Island.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ignacio (nacho) was a very good tour leader. Always thinking of the group's best interests and how to get the best out of each day by adapting the itinerary to the weather conditions etc. He was very engaging, witty and definitely felt like he was part of our group. It was interesting to hear his stories from personal experience of living and working in Chile.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    For this trip, pack for all seasons and all weather. I didn't need to pack all the footwear I did as I mainly wore my walking shoes and occasionally on Easter island my sliders. For those that suffer from altitude sickness, be prepared when visiting Atacama Dessert and Osorne Volcano. I personally didn't suffer but a fellow traveller did and was quite poorly.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would recommend adding the Easter Island extension. Whilst it's relatively expensive, it's well worth it and rounds the holiday off nicely.

Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

 

Private Adventures 

Not found the date you’re looking for? We can organise this itinerary as a Private Adventure – just click on the tab above the list of dates and prices, let us know your preferred dates of travel and how many people are travelling, and we’ll do the rest!

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