Discover some of the sights of Chile with this itinerary that focuses on the two largest Chilean cities: the capital, Santiago, and colorful Valparaíso. This itinerary also fits in with a wine tour, as well as a trip to the amazing San Pedro de Atacama.
Day 1: Santiago
Wake up in the heart of this bustling metropolis in one of Santiago’s elegant hotels, enjoy a leisurely breakfast before embarking on a walking tour. Start with the Presidential Palace of La Moneda, before heading to the Plaza de Armas and the Central Market. See art at the Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, then grab a coffee at one of Lastarria’s best cafes.
Once you’ve had a caffeine fix, hike up Cerro Santa Lucía, which offers great views of the city, before strolling through Parque Forestal to Bellavista. Grab a bite to eat in Barrio Bellavista before discovering the quirks of Pablo Neruda’s home of Santiago, La Chascona. After that, you can visit the Santiago Zoo or ride the funicular to the top of Cerro San Cristóbal, where you can witness the incredible sunset over the city. Discuss the highlights of your day over the national drink, a pisco sour.
Day 2: Valparaiso Day Trip
Head to the bus station outside the Universidad de Santiago metro station and hop on the bus to Valparaíso for the day. Once you have arrived in this bustling port city, you can enjoy the street art murals and the smell of the sea air.
Head towards Cerro Alegre and Cerro Concepción, where there are several cafes and restaurants, and every corner you turn features colorful street art. Dine on one of the terraces overlooking the bay and enjoy a pisco sour. After lunch, visit beloved Chilean poet Pablo Neruda’s second home, La Sebastiana. If you visit on the weekend, Valparaíso is known for its lively nightlife.
Day 3: Tour of Santiago and vineyards
Fans of history and politics should visit the Human Rights Museum, although it is very sobering, it is also very informative. You can also visit Calle Londres and Villa Grimaldi if you want to know more about what happened under the Pinochet dictatorship.
For a more relaxed afternoon, take a wine tour in one of the many fabulous vineyards, whether you go to Cousiño Macul, the huge Concha Y Toro or the boutique Santa Rita, the afternoon will be spent learning about the wine making process. wine and of course wine tasting. Once you have returned to Santiago, choose one of the many fabulous restaurants for dinner.
Day 4: Santiago to Atacama
Escape busy Santiago by flying to Calama , from where you can easily get a transfer to the laid-back town of San Pedro de Atacama and take in the epic scenery as you travel through rugged desert valleys. Check in to your hotel and relax before the afternoon excursion to the Valley of the Moon. Here you will see some of the incredible sights the Atacama has to offer, looking very similar to what you would expect on Mars. Enjoy a relaxed evening and eat some typical Chilean cuisine; we recommend Pastel del Choclo before going to bed early to prepare for an early start.
Day 5: Atacama
Get up very early to visit the Tatio Geysers , although don’t forget to dress warmly and drink a coca tea, as it is very helpful with altitude. The geysers are 4,320 meters above sea level, making them the highest geyser fields in the world. During the tour, you will see a hot spring where you can relax, but be prepared for the cold when you leave. After an early morning, you deserve a bit of R&R, and Termas Puritama is the best place to do it: among the vegetation of the valley, the environment is really different.
Spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing before stargazing – the heavenly sky is truly magnificent in the Atacama Desert as it is a long way from big cities and their pollution, as well as experiencing darker skies and higher altitudes. Learn from the astronomer how to read the sky and try to spot Saturn’s rings.
Day 6: Atacama
Another day in paradise, the penultimate day runs through the incredible Piedras Rojas, Altiplánicas Lagoons and the Atacama Salt Flat. These places will awaken the photographer in you, it is virtually impossible to take a bad photo when the landscape is so impressive. Take a dip in the expansive blue lakes that magnify the towering snow-capped peaks of the Andes, followed by the red rocks that border a milky green lake, and finally the rugged salt flats where you’ll find the beautiful pink flamingos circling. Enjoy a special meal in one of the many attractive restaurants in the heart of San Pedro, maybe even wash it down with a bottle of fine Chilean wine.
Day 7: Atacama to Santiago
I return to Santiago you go! After a busy week, you deserve one last relaxing day, so head to the quaint, village-like Barrio Italia and enjoy some window shopping: peruse the interior design stores, independent fashion stores, and antique markets before enjoying your last Chilean feast. Your last destination should be the Costanera Center: this imposing glass pyramid is the tallest building in South America. Take an elevator up to Sky Costanera and watch the sun set over the city.