Chile adventure vacation

“Chile is over 4,300km long. This expedition travels from the Atacama in the north to the southern reaches of Patagonia, with flights breaking up journeys from Andes to coast.”

Highlights

Santiago | Valparaiso | San Pedro de Atacama | Salt Flats | El Tatio geysers | Lake District | Puerto Varas | Torres del Paine National Park | Optional: Magdalena Island penguin colony, zodiac tour to Balmaceda Glacier

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Date
Price
Basis
18 Dec 2016
US $ 3905
excluding flights
Full
 
15 Jan 2017
US $ 4415
excluding flights
4 spaces left
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05 Feb 2017
US $ 4415
excluding flights
Full
 
19 Feb 2017
US $ 4265
excluding flights
1 space left
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12 Mar 2017
US $ 4265
excluding flights
4 spaces left
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26 Mar 2017
US $ 4265
excluding flights
Available
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22 Oct 2017
US $ 4265
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
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05 Nov 2017
US $ 4265
excluding flights
8 spaces left
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19 Nov 2017
US $ 4265
excluding flights
Available
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17 Dec 2017
US $ 4265
excluding flights
Available
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14 Jan 2018
US $ 4645
excluding flights
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11 Feb 2018
US $ 4645
excluding flights
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25 Feb 2018
US $ 4415
excluding flights
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11 Mar 2018
US $ 4415
excluding flights
Available
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21 Oct 2018
US $ 4495
excluding flights
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04 Nov 2018
US $ 4495
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18 Nov 2018
US $ 4495
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16 Dec 2018
US $ 4495
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Our top tip:
If you really want to see the whole of Chile, this tour company offers an extension to Easter Island. Just be sure to book it well in advance - flights fill up fast!
Trip type:
Small group, min. age 16.
Activity level:
Leisurely/moderate.
Accomm:
6 nights comfortable hotels, 6 nights standard hotels/B&Bs. All en suite.
Solos:
Solo travelers welcome. Single rooms available with surcharge.
Included:
Accommodation, tour leader, transport, 4 local flights, intl. flights (if booked), listed activities.
Meals:
12 breakfasts.
Vouchers
Accepted
Vacation type

Small group vacation

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travelers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your vacation time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travelers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your vacation.

Solo travelers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those traveling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travelers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travelers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travelers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travelers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Chile adventure vacation

Accommodation and Meals:
We use several small, family owned hotels and hosterias during this trip which helps to keep money in the local community. We spend 12 nights in mixed hotels or locally owned bed and breakfasts. 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. At these places, locally food is served wherever possible and where meals are not provided, we encourage clients to spread their commerce to a variety of authentic restaurants. Chile is famed for BBQ and wine but they also have several micro-breweries and some wonderful, local seafood.

Activity:
Our guides enforce a strict 'Leave no trace' policy in National Parks, which involves ensuring that so 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. 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 a local guide.

Local Craft and Culture:
There are several local craft and food markets on this tour which sell traditional handicrafts and regional delicacies like in San Pedro de Atacama, Puerto Montt and Punta Arenas. These are great opportunities to support small vendors and get in insight into daily life for many locals. Handmade earthenware, painted pottery, brightly woven textiles and intricate jewellery are all common items. At the Central Market in Santiago and Angelmo Market in Puerto Montt it is possible to buy and eat an array of colourful, fresh local food- fruit, ice cream, empanadas, completes, shellfish and sopaipilla.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

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