Discover Chile

13 days
from
$5,695 NZD
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Traveller ratings
4.5 / 5 from 22 reviews >
Trip code: 
AAE
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Culture & Discovery Holidays
Min age:
16
Group size:
5–16

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
  • Atacama Desert in Northern Chile - see sunset fall over the Valley of the Moon
  • 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
  • Four internal flights included, reducing driving distances so that we can visit four distinct regions of Chile

Key information

  • 8 nights comfortable hotels, 3 nights basic hotels and 1 night standard hotels or locally owned bed and breakfasts, all en suite.
  • Travel by internal flights, minibus and boat
  • Some long distances covered

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 us on
0800 643 997
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

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click 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 hotel check in time of 2pm and the fact that the group flight tends to arrive fairly early in the morning, it is common for the city tour to be conducted prior to hotel check in. This is decided depending on the wishes of the group. Land Only clients wishing to join the city tour would be advised to be at the hotel around 10 - 11am in order to be collected.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • 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 that 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.
    Comfortable Hotel

    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 simple 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.
    Basic Hotel

    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 sheep), 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. Afterward the excursion we will return to San Pedro.
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Excursion to El Tatio geysers; optional nighttime astronomy tour.

    In order to experience the El Tatio Geysers we’ll have to get up very early in order to arrival 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 (depends upon availability - doesn't operate on full moon days).
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

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

    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 shall 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 arriving on a late flight this will not be possible and we also recommend buying some food at the airport, as you may not have any options on arrival at your hotel. Afterwards, we shall go to our hotel where we can relax for the evening.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

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

    In the morning we set out 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. Upon arriving at the landing at Petrohue we board a small typical wooden 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. We return to Petrohue and take an easy 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.
    Comfortable Hotel

    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. 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.
    Standard Hotel

    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.
    Comfortable Hotel

    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 Center to see an exposition of the origin and history of the park. Upon returning to the hotel, there will be some leisure time to enjoy the hotel facilities or do some optional excursions provided by the hotel.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11

    Optional zodiac excursion to Balmaceda Glacier; to Puerto Natales.

    For those that would like to, there is the possibility (optional) of returning to Puerto Natales by zodiac. This excursion involves boarding zodiacs to travel down Rio Serrano. The river ends at the Fjord Ultima Esperanza where we must change to a boat to approach the spectacular Balmaceda Glacier flowing out from the eastern side of Bernardo O'Higgins National Park. We aim to arrive at our accommodation in Puerto Natales around 5:30pm. For anyone not wanting to take the optional river route, the leader will accompany you on visits to other areas of Torres del Paine including a visit to Milodon Cave (entrance fee not included and payee locally approx. US$ 8 per person). Everyone will meet up in the evening at the accommodation in Puerto Natales.
    Standard Hotel

    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 have the remainder of the day free to enjoy our final evening in Chile.
    Comfortable Hotel

    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.

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 30ºC, while in Puerto Montt they are more likely to be around 20ºC. 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. We stay in 3* hotels or bed and breakfasts throughout the trip.

Call us on
0800 643 997
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 bed and breakfast . All hotels are en suite and average a 3 star rating. One of the hotels you will stay on is in on the edge of the Torres del Paine National Park, set on the banks of the Serrano River.

Single accommodation (available on request).

Call us on
0800 643 997
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 us on
0800 643 997
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 February 2017
    Paul Devall

    Discover Chile

    Excellent place to visit

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Torres Del Paine national park. We were fortunate enough to arrive with good weather and could see the range in all its glory. Easter Island whilst expensive is worth the trip, the island is beautiful and the Moais amazing. In all honesty the places visited as a whole were fantastic.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex was great, he was always there when we or any of the group needed him. In every place we visited he smoothed the way and ensured we all enjoyed it.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As other travellers have noted there are some long days. I am sure some of this could be changed with different flying times etc. but you do lose a lot of time on buses and in airports. Be prepared for some stunning scenery and don't get caught out with the different climates at each area that is visited.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Chile is a great place, the people are friendly and in some respects its like stepping back in time. Be aware that dollars are the currency of choice in the Rio Serrano Hotel (or credit card). We never had any problems changing money except in Easter Island. If you decide to do the extension be aware that there are ATM's but no money changing facilities and that some of the restaurants are shut on a Sunday.
  • Reviewed February 2017
    Joy Jackson

    Discover chile

    It was an excellent holiday and Alex was a very good guide and went out of his way to make us all comfortable.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were such contrasting landscapes it is difficult to decide on one, but perhaps on reflection I would have liked to have done more trecking in Patagonia. Also it was not apparent from the trip notes that the best sight of the glaciers is from a boat and not from a landbased viewpointso I am glad I took the zodiac.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    As said before Alex was excellent but ought to ask for insurance details - my first Exodus trip when this wasn't done

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes on the way from Punta Arenas to to Puerto Natales there is one cafe and loo stop where one gets charged for the toilet. Go to the shop on the right with the blue roof, which had an indoor loo and only charged 200 pesos, whereas the one on the left has an outside loo very dilapidated and charged 300!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There was one day when we could take a cable lift to go up and down. It is cheaper if you are over 65 but Alex didn't seem to know this. Also he didn't forewarn us of the likely charges, so if you are like me and only take out for the day the money you are going to spend you could get caught out. Also it was not apparent that the hotel in Torres Del Paine much preferred receiving US dollars, so I was annoyed that I had converted dollars to pesos when in the Lake District! This should have been explained more carefully.
  • Reviewed February 2017
    Mark Brumwell

    Discover Chile - An Excellent Introduction to a Stunning Country.

    This was an excellent trip. Having seen many stunning photographs of Chile, I went on the holiday with high expectations. I was not disappointed and indeed my expectations were exceeded. It is a truly stunning country with a huge variety of dramatic scenery, friendly people and interesting wildlife. This trip is a very good introduction to the country, covering a lot of territory in two weeks, allowing you to identify the bits to come back to with more time at a later date.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The highlight for me was Patagonia. It reminded me of the better parts of New Zealand, Alaska and the remote northern parts of Canada. We were lucky to have good weather in Torres del Paine National Park so I got some good photographs. The optional boat trip back to Puerto Natales was exciting and, although quite expensive, was well worth the additional cost.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex was knowledgeable and attentive without being intrusive. He was a pleasure to talk to and gave sufficient information to enhance the travel experience without overloading us with lots of facts that we probably wouldn't have retained. Occasional problems were sorted out quickly and efficiently.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Although not physically demanding, this is an intensive trip with a lot of travelling, so best suits those with sufficient energy to really enjoy the experience.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The quality of hotels on the trip is good except for the Don Raul in San Pedro de Atacama. The rooms were unbearably hot, very small, dark and claustrophobic. Service in the hotel was rather hit and miss (we had to ask five times for our room to be cleaned), the food in the restaurant is very expensive with small portions (in contrast the restaurants elsewhere in the town which are fine) and maintenance of the hotel is poor. A better quality hotel here would be most welcome.
  • Reviewed February 2017
    Richard Semega

    Discover Chile with Alex

    Hi had a great time, Alex was one of my best group leaders ever. Chile was beautiful. I give the trip 5 star. Thank you, Rich Semega.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The scenery was beautiful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    My group leader Alex was one of the best ever.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring many different kinds of clothing.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Great trip over all.
  • Reviewed November 2016
    Stephen Gilbert

    Wonderful Experience.

    Our holiday was outstanding! It was a photography heaven, between pair of us we have 3000 photos. Thoroughly enjoyed EVERY DAY. Expensive, but including Extension to E.I this was definetely worth it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Probably the most inspirational moment was a sunset picnic in front of an Ahu on Easter Island extension. Yes there was a reflection and realisation of the cultures that had passed before. But also a chance to relax and reflect on the wonderful tour and the high number of great experiences over the whole tour. There was a highlight virtually every day. It was like being on holiday 4 times as each environment/landscape is very different and it feels like you've entered another country/continent. We'd like to do this trip all over again, and again?

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Miguel Angel was informative, efficient, humourous and very experienced with the running of this tour. We enjoyed his company, thoroughly nice chap.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for cold weather at Desert (-8 degrees at Taita Geysers sunrise) and also Patagonia. Although the extreme cold at Patagonia is from the wind chill so have windproof clothes with coverage over all exposed areas, hats, scarfs gloves etc. This isn't a strenuous trip. Easy walking, no big slopes. Paths are well maintained. Perhaps the cost of restaurants and bars is quite high (London prices) but you have a variety of options including take aways from supermarkets (yep its like mcdonalds/kfc/greggs/waitrose all in one?). And the off sale wine / pisco sour is cheap too!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you eat and drink at hotels I reccomend put it on the room bill and pay in US Dollars. That way I discovered the hotel waives the 19% local tax which is a good saving. Not something they advertised but made it clear when I paid so it isn't anything dishonest, its normal.
  • Reviewed November 2016
    Brenda Smithwhite

    Discover Chile review

    Wow, this was an amazing, awesome, fantastic holiday. Chile is a great place to visit, especially for the physical geography. Holiday went like clockwork, with a great guide. I don't really want to say too much because then everyone will go!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The desert, the Lake District and Patagonia were each a highlight, but there was something special about Patagonia - the setting, the landscape, the wildlife, the colours, the weather, the wind, the air.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex was excellent, timings spot on, kept us on track, plenty of info. One of the best guides I have had.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is not a trip for culture vultures, more for scenery observationists, physical geographers, those seeking a special place to chill out, and photographers. Hotels - all decent clean hotels in good locations. Flight timings good for the internal flights. Be a bit clever with packing. I went two days ahead of the trip, and got over the long flight out and saw some of Santiago. If you see something to buy then buy buy buy, especially before travelling to Patagonia. There is a lot of travelling about but this trip actually felt like a holiday. Plenty of time for naps on the buses.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would love to go back and do a longer trip.
  • Reviewed March 2016
    Michael Britton

    Discover Chile AAE 08/02/2016

    A great 'over-view ' of this facinating and varied country. Lots of travelling. Almost a continent in one country. The tour was better than the Trip Notes implied - most of the 'optional' trips were actually included! The pre-travel information (itinerary) was not up to the usual Exodus high standard as far as we were concerned - although some other people on the trip did receive more detailed information (even though we asked for it!)

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the Moai (statues) on Easter Island made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck - and I have done a fair bit of travelling. Contrast the Moai with the sight of the Queen Mary II sailing just off shore was a bonus. On the mainland, seeing the smoking volcanoes in the Atacama Desert and the Valley of the Moon from Coyote Rock was amazing. In Patagonia stopping to watch two sets of real gauchos herding sheep and cows (separately) was just what you think of in South America (but don't actually expect to see!) And the golden sunrise through the cloud on the 'horns' in the Torres del Paine National Park from our room in the lovely Hotel Rio Serrano was certainly a highlight.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Helen Kinzl was an excellent leader. She gave us all the information we needed and had a real passion for Chile and its people. She was always there when needed and did her best to sort things out and make the trip run smoothly to give us the best experience possible.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The tap water is drinkable - but we used bottled water in the desert and on Easter Island (not sure if this was really necessary. There are some long travel days here because of the geography and infrastructure. Hopefully Exodus will choose better internal flights this season than with our trip where there were some unnecessarily early starts and a silly 8 hour stopover in Santiago en route from Calama to Puerto Montt. (Allbeit they did give us a free Wine Lands tour!) Take clothes you can add or subtract in layers. It can go from cold to hot in a few hours. Spend as much time as possible walking about seeing things and don't stay in the hotels too long!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There are some excellent resaurants in Chile - so you don't have to eat in the hotels all the time - but the service times can vary quite a lot. The local shops and people are helpful and friendly. It can be VERY windy in Patagonia - we couldn't do the penguin collony trip for this reason. San Pedro is dusty and hot - it is in the desert! It feels (and looks) like a 'frontier town'. The hotels in the town itself don't seem to have aircon (the Don Raul certainly doesn't and they don't supply fans either so the rooms are like ovens! Nor do they bother to open the bar or the restaurant some of the time) . But it is worth being uncomfortable for a few days just to do the trips - geysers, volcanos, salt flats, sand dunes. Some lunch stops were too long; the time could be better spent by having a quicker (snack?) meal, then seeing the country, rather than the inside of a restaurant
  • Reviewed January 2016
    Stephen Palmer

    Chile January 2016

    We chose this holiday as it gave the opportunity to visit both the Atacama in the north and Patagonia in the south, and we certainly were'nt disappointed.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Attending a Rodeo, and looking across to snow capped volcano we'd just visited.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent... Well informed and most caring

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Necessarily there is quite a lot of travelling.
  • Reviewed January 2016
    Penny Houghton

    Discover Chile

    Thoroughly enjoyed holiday! but would have preferred 3 weeks instead of 2, in order to visit Chiloe and spend more time in Torres del Paine park.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Torres del Paine.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very competent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be flexible. Early morning starts, lots of flights.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would have booked the trip to Easter Island with Exodus, but when I asked for prices, I was quoted almost £1,600 for 4 days. £800 for the flight and a similar amount for the land portion. I therefore organized a 5-day trip to Easter Island on my own for around £900 pounds. I was greatly surprised to learn that 4 of my companions on the Discover Chile trip took the Easter Island add on for a total of around £700! Staff should check up before giving out costs.
  • Reviewed December 2015
    Anne Martin

    Discover Chile

    Visiting Chile and Easter Island is like going to four different countries The lunar like landscape, Geysers, beautiful blue lagoons and spectacular night sky of the Atacama desert. The lush green of the lake district with fast flowing rivers and volcanoes. Wild and windy Patagonia, with glaciers and icebergs. Easter Island where there are numerous giant statues.(moai).

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many. Eating breakfast in the freezing cold surrounded by Geysers. A picnic at sunset in the Atacama Desert. A very hairy boat ride to see the penguins on Magdalena Island. Nowhere else in the world can you sit and view giant statues on a beautiful beach.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    It was very obvious that Miguel is a very experienced guide. He whisked us through the various airports with ease. When for any reason we could not follow the itinerary he quickly found an alternative. He recommended various places to eat in each area from the cheap to expensive and let us decide for ourselves where we wanted to eat. .He is a very calm guy with a good sense of humour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take warm gloves and scarf. Fleece and windbreaker t-shirts and a few jumpers. You have to be fairly laid back to do this trip.There a four internal flights and long bus journeys on some bumpy roads. If you are interested in Astronomy it is well worth doing the tour in San Pedro.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I had two flight delays one on the way out from Manchester due to fog. The flight from Easter Island back to the mainland was delayed by 24 hrs.This was not a problem for me but worrying for some of the group who had connecting flights to other areas. The Exodus staff in Santiago were excellent. I was met at the airport taken to a hotel overnight and my flight was re-booked for the next day this was all done with no extra cost to me. The delays were completely out of the control of Exodus, so I was very surprised when I returned home to find a cheque for £ 165 plus a £50 voucher off my next trip.This was a very goodwill gesture from Exodus and I will defiantly be travelling with them again.

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