Day 1: Santiago
Morning arrival and meeting and transfer to hotel in Santiago for three night stay. Afternoon visit to the main points of interest in Santiago including the Pre-Columbian Museum, a drive up Cerro San Cristobal for a bird's-eye panoramic view of the city and wine tasting at the Wine House.
Day 2: Santiago
Full day excursion to the Pacific seaside to visit Isla Negra, the eclectic home-museum of the Nobel winning poet Pablo Neruda, and then drive up the coast to Vina del Mar and its twin city, Valparaiso, Chile's main seaport, to visit the main points of interest. A stop for lunch is made (cost of lunch is not included). Late afternoon return to Santiago.
Day 3: Wine Valleys
Today sample some of Chile's fine wines at two of the vineyards nearby. Make a stop at Concha y Toro for wine tasting and then continue on to Santa Rita vineyards for lunch at the well known Dona Paula's and afternoon visit to the vineyards installations. Afternoon return back to Santiago.
Day 4: Punta Arenas & Torres del Paine
Morning private transfer to airport, depart Santiago, flying south along the Andes to Punta Arenas where you will be met by the staff of Explora for five hour transfer to Torres del Paine National Park for four night stay at the Hotel explora. During your stay you will enjoy all meals, an open bar and a daily menu of excursions. Each night the resident guides will discuss the options for activities the next day - they range from half day, easy excursions to full day, difficult excursions and include walks, hikes, treks, horseback riding and motorlaunch excursions. The excursions are designed to give you ample time to explore the beauties of the park. Explora also has its own stables and offers a variety of horseback excursions in the park.
Days 5-7: Torres del Paine National Park
The purpose of Explora is to provide its guests with the unforgettable experience of exploring the natural and cultural environment of remote regions at the Southern tip of America. It is a vital experience. A feast for the senses, and repose for reason. It is not irrational, but poetical. It is done just for the sake of it. Out of passion for beauty. Almost every discovery is anticipated by a certain knowledge. Action begins the moment one thinks about it. The rest is only the consequence of the idea, or the dream.
Explora has designed a complete program of explorations aiming at providing in-depth contact with the marvels of Torres del Paine National Park in Torres del Paine. Guests will be able to choose from a menu of 5 to 6 programs each day. There are a total of 16 hikes or excursions and 6 explorations by horseback. Each exploration is classified according to duration and fitness requirements. These explorations are designed for persons of normal physical conditions that carry city-like lifestyles. Each evening before dinner the guides get together with the guests in the bar of the hotel to explain in detail the next day's explorations. There are generally five explorations from which to choose.
Hiking exploration includes a maximum of 10 guests. All travel is accessed via Ford Club Wagon vans for 12 persons. Appropriate clothing for explorations include a parka or waterproof windbreaker, good quality walking or hiking shoes preferably leather or waterproof fabric, gloves, hat, sunglasses and protection from the sun.
- Hike to the Peninsula Lago Grey (easy; half day)
• Hike to Glaciar de Grey (difficult; full day; picnic)
• Hike to Laguna Azul (medium, half day, snack)
• Hike to Las Alturas del Toro (Medium; full day; picnic) excursion to the north of the park with stop at Laguna Azul and barbecue luncheon at the Quincho (easy; full day; lunch)
• Hike to Mirador de Nordenskjold (easy; half day; snack)
• Hike to Mirador del Toro (easy; half day; snack)
• Hike through Las Cornisas (Medium, half day, snack) Hike to the base of Torres del Paine (difficult, full day, picnic)
• Hike to Glaciar del Valle del Frances (medium,full day, picnic)
• Archaeological hike between Guarderia Sarmiento and Guarderia Laguna Amarga (easy; half day)
Hike to Lago Sarmiento (easy, half day, snack)
• Laguna La Cal & Sarmiento Walk (Medium, full day, picnic)
• Rio Pingo Walk (easy, half day with snack or full day with picnic)
• Mirador Condor Walk (medium, half day, snack)
• Horseback riding Mirador Donoso (medium, full day, picnic)
- Horseback riding Rio Serrano (easy, half day, snack)
• Horseback riding Laguna Linda (easy, half day, snack)
• Horseback riding to Refugio Pehoe (medium, full day, lunch)
- Horseback riding at the Quincho (easy, half day, before or after Quincho lunch)
- Horseback riding at 2 de enero estancia (Easy, half day; trail snacks)
Day 8: Torres del Paine & Santiago
Morning departure by Hotel Explora van or five hour drive south along the rolling steppes of Patagonia to Punta Arenas airport where youcatch your flight north along the Andes to Santiago, private transfer to Hotel, overnight in Santiago.
Day 9: San Pedro de Atacama
Private Transfer to Airport. Take morning flight to Calama / Atacama, explora will have a guide awaiting at the gate, one hour transfer via van ride, to explora en Atacama. Activities and overnight at Explora Atacama.
Days 10-13: San Pedro de Atacama
Each day Explora guests can join a variety of explorations which have been carefully created. Every day you can choose from 5 to 10 different options specifically selected according to the weather, the guest desires, the duration and the level of difficulty. Walking, horseback riding, in a van or by bicycle and accompanied by guides, you can explore with emotion the nature or the history of Atacama.
Built on the Ayllú (neighborhood) de Larache in San Pedro de Atacama, the hotel develops along a main building and three patios. Rooms are lined up with corridors opening to a patio. Corridors meet in the main building, crossed by two ample passages: the Pasaje de la Luz and the Pasaje del Agua. The architecture evokes, from the materials used in its construction together with its form, the suggestions made by the nature and cultures of the area. The hotel assures hospitable refuge inviting to enjoy in freedom and security. More than a home, the hotel is an experience, an open balcony toward the surrounding beauty. They have 50 luxury rooms, (335.2 square feet), jacuzzi and sitting area. Each room has marvelous wood and tile accents, fabulous linens, custom-designedfurnishings and spectacular views. Our programs have a minimum 3 nights available year round at Explora en Atacama.
• Transfer between Calama Airport and explora en atacama.
• Transfer schedules subject to change without prior notice.
• Full board. 3 meals per day. Bar.
• Daily explorations through Atacama’s natural
environment and to the sites of pre-Columbian, colonial and contemporary cultures offered according to occasion.
• Groups no larger than 10, with bilingual guides, equipment, horses, vehicles and food.
Horseback riding explorations that are described here have been devised for people with riding experience and who feel comfortable riding for several hours in the desert. Guests must know how to trot and/or gallop. explora has the finest Chilean and English saddles, leather gaiters, and helmets. Those who do not know how to ride a horse and would like to learn to do so, or those who have some experience but would like to improve their riding skills, can take 1-hour lessons in the morning (for no more than six people) before the walking or biking explorations they choose for each day. After at least two lessons, the instructor will determine whether the person is qualified to go horseback riding on these explorations. Half-day horseback riding explorations will be combined with trekking and bicycle explorations.
Explora offers the opportunity to travel along desert trails and ridges on a mountain bike. Using the equipment we provide to assure comfort and safety, biking allows our guests to fully enjoy the geography of Atacama. The use of helmets, gloves, sunglasses and adequate footwear are an important element for each of these outings. Half-day bicycle explorations will be combined with trekking and horseback riding explorations.
Day 14: Departure from Santiago
Transfer out to Calama Airport, flight to Santiago and International connection home.