Chile solar eclipse tour in 2019

“This sort of opportunity doesn't come around very often. Join a small group in the company of astronomer Dr John Mason on an 11 day tour of Chile, culminating in the 2019 solar eclipse.”

Highlights

Santiago | San Pedro de Atacama | Sunset in Valle de la Luna | Tour of Atacama Salt Flats | Free time in Antofagasta | Guided tour of Paranal Observatory | Tour the Limari Valley wine region | Astronomy session at the El Pangue Observatory | Pre-eclipse lecture with Dr John Mason | Experience the eclipse from the top of the Elqui Valley |

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Vacation type

Small group adventure

What is a small group adventure?
It's a great way to travel! Whether you are traveling on your own, with a partner or with friends, a small group trip is a fantastic way to see the world. You'll travel on a fixed itinerary that has been designed to help you discover the best of region. From the known highlights, the hidden gems that you won't find in the guidebooks.

Itineraries run on set departure dates, accompanied every step of the way by an English speaking local group leader. You chose the itinerary and the date that suits you best and you book on.

Why travel on a small group adventure?
Small groups allow us to explore where larger tour groups can't. Our maximum group size of 16 travelers allows us to use local transport to get from A to B, to visit rural villages, spend time with the locals and even stay at a local home overnight, and it allows us to give our travelers genuine, real life experiences of the countries we are visiting; what you'll be doing and how you'll travel depends entirely on your chosen itinerary.

Is an adventure right for me?
The word adventure means something different to everyone, and our range of trips reflects that. Whether you want to explore local markets, visit out of the way temples and meet local people or go on an early morning safari drive searching for the 'big five', we'll have a trip for you. If you are looking for a physical challenge such trekking the Kokoda Track or summiting Kilimanjaro, we can help with that too.

So what can I expect on this trip?
This is a classic style of small group adventure. You'll find your trip combines a good mix of included activities and free time, with some meals included as per your itinerary. We don't want you to feel chaperoned, it's your vacation not ours. Your group leader will be on hand to assist with organising anything you might wish to do in your free time, but how you spend it is up to you. Anything listed as included in your itinerary will be included in trip price; whereas anything listed as optional will be at an additional cost should you wish to take part.

These trips are great value, including things that you would struggle to organise independently, such as a night at a homestay in a remote village, or local guides around a remote place of interest. Transport will be a combination of private vehicle and public transport, whichever is the most appropriate for the route we are traveling; this might include train, plane, camel, tuk tuk, bicycle, boat…

On a majority of these trips you'll stay in 2-3 star accommodation, locally owned and reflective of the region you are traveling through. All solo travelers will be automatically roomed on a twin share basis with another group member of the same sex, unless you opt to pay for your own room at time of booking. There are no compulsory single supplements for solo travelers willing to share. Single rooms aren't available on camping trips, and you will be expected to help out with camp tasks such as setting up and breaking down your camp.

Can I book my flights with you?
Yes! We are a fully ATOL bonded tour operator meaning that we can book flights from the UK as part of your vacation package. Just ask us for a quote including flights when you make your inquiry.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Chile solar eclipse tour in 2019

Environment

All our tour leaders are extremely passionate about responsible travel, meaning our messaging is always consistent when it comes to explaining how to tackle environmental issues on our trips.

Minimising waste is very important. Sadly, it’s nigh on impossible to reduce our waste production to zero, but we encourage our passengers to think carefully about the products they use. We always suggest bringing a reusable water bottle as this really helps cut down on plastic waste. The site we are using to view the eclipse will be for our own private use, we will ensure that we leave no waste and that the area we observe the eclipse from is left in the same state as it was before we arrived.

As a company we aim to contribute to the environmental preservation of the destinations we visit and to reduce any negative impacts our operations may have. This translates to actions such as using local transport where safe to do so in order to reduce emissions, observing all national and marine park visitor rules and operating a ‘take in, take back out’ waste management system, to name but a few examples. Through our inhouse foundation we also invest money into environmental initiatives that benefit the planet, including restoring kelp forests to help reverse the effects of global warming and protecting endangered species such as sea turtles and elephants.

Community

This tour actively encourages guests to engage with local people, by visiting local cafes and bars, purchasing local produce, gifts and crafts and discovering what life is really like in this part of Chile. For example, on day one, we visit a local bar and restaurant in Santiago to enjoy typical Chilean food and drink in the company of locals. This will give you the chance to fully experience the social culture of this vibrant capital city. We do pay a lot of attention to traveling in such a way that it doesn’t cause disruption to local life too. We also encourage travelers to avoid giving gifts or succumbing to begging, as this can result in dependency.

We employ local leaders as much as is operationally possible. Guides are always local (e.g. the included guide in Bender Fortress is a local who studies tourism at Tiraspol) and they set their own rates. Leaders are always South American, and wages are standard salaries as found elsewhere in the tourism industry.

This trip uses private transport, the operators of which are always sourced locally.

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