Day 1: Santiago, Chile
Welcome to South America! A driver meets you at the airport and takes you to your boutique hotel in a bohemian neighborhood in the heart of Santiago. Freshen up, then set out with a private guide for a bicycle ride through neighborhoods, parks, and greenspaces that help you begin to build a sense of Santiago’s art, architecture, and cultural energy. The 3.5-hour ride is very safe and mostly downhill.
Days 2-4: Parque Patagonia
A driver takes you to the airport for the 2.5-hour flight to Balmaceda, where another driver picks you up for the stunning 6.5-hour drive to Parque Patagonia through the remote and off the beaten path Aysen region. Your base is a ten-room lodge built of local stone and recycled wood, focused equally on energy efficiency, conservation, and comfort. With two full naturalist-guided days in the park, you’ll have a chance to dig into what makes this place so incredible, and see why it’s such a critical environment to protect. Your guide will tailor the days to your interests and preferences, and your choices include easy-to-advanced hikes, spectacular drives, and fantastic bird- and wildlife-watching. Rewards might include a flamingo-filled lake, clay-red peaks covered in glacial ice, alpine lakes, wandering guanacos, and soaring Andean condors. Whatever you do, and wherever you go, you are guaranteed to encounter spectacular scenery, so don't forget the camera!
Days 5-10: Coyhaique River Lodge, Chile
This is heaven—five full, uninterrupted days of guided fly fishing on a variety of delectable waters, from the world-famous Rio Simpson, to small meandering streams, to a high-country lagoon with monster browns. If this is only heaven for you, no worries. Your traveling companions can follow their own blisses with horseback riding, rafting, kayaking, condor-watching, biking, hiking, or cooking or weaving classes. The bright, casually elegant eight-room lodge is set on the banks of the Coyhaique River, so after a day of fishing or adventuring you can sit on the deck and watch the river flow peacefully by, with rolling mountains as the backdrop.
Days 11-15: Santiago, wine country, and Valparaiso
Return to Santiago, and from your familiar and comfortable base, venture out on privately guided day trips to experience Chile’s famous wine country. First up, an excursion in the Maipo Valley, famous for its Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Carménère. Considered the birthplace of Chile’s wine production, which began in 1840, the valley is still pristine and beautiful, with small villages clinging to the mountainsides above the Maipo River. The next day you’re off to explore the beautiful Casablanca Valley and iconic port city of Valparaiso. Enjoy a visit to Kingston winery with a deliciously paired lunch, and a fascinating tour of the UNESCO World Heritage city Valparaiso, with its historical architecture, central plazas, historic sites, and art galleries.
Day 16: Departure home in the evening
Your flight departs in the evening, so you have the day to relax and regroup before you need to be at the airport. There will be plenty to reflect on and appreciate after such a rich journey!
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