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Valparaiso + Winelands (self drive) + Patagonia


CCC12S
12 NIGHTS
FROM £2,095
International flights + car hire quoted separately
If you would like to self-drive in Chile, this holiday is for you. Starting from Santiago, explore the historic port of Valparaiso on the Pacific Coast - a World Heritage Site - before heading inland to enjoy wine tasting in the Chilean winelands. Then fly to Torres del Paine in spectacular Patagonia to see the Balmaceda & Serrano Glaciers & mush more. Car hire in the north & transfers in Patagonia included.
Photo Self Drive Chile Winelands Valparaiso Patagonia Santiago
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Santiago
• 
Valparaiso
• 
Vina del Mar
• 
Winelands
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Puerto Natales
• 
Torres del Paine
• 
Balmaceda Glacier
• 
Serrano Glacier
• 
Ultima Esperanza Fjord
• 
Patagonia Icefields
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Santiago
• 
Valparaiso
• 
Vina del Mar
• 
Winelands
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Puerto Natales
• 
Torres del Paine
• 
Balmaceda Glacier
• 
Serrano Glacier
• 
Ultima Esperanza Fjord
• 
Patagonia Icefields
Day 1
You will be met at Santiago Airport and transferred into the capital of Santiago de Chile.
 
Check into your hotel in this sophisticated and cosmopolitan city, situated in a valley surrounded by the snow-capped Andes Mountains and the beautiful Chilean Coastal Range.
Day 2
This morning we recommend an optional tour of the modern city of Santiago.
 
We start with a short walking tour of this relatively compact city, including the Plaza de Armas in the heart of the old colonial city and bustling Ahumada Boulevard with its many shops, street performers and vendors. Here you will be able to see two beautiful neo-classical buildings - the 18th century Metropolitan Cathedral and the early 19th century Royal Court Palace, which now houses the National History Museum. Also enjoy outside views of the current Presidential Palace, La Moneda.
 
Continue by vehicle along the main avenues of old Santiago and across the bohemian neighborhood of Bellavista to San Cristobal Hill, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the city and Andes Mountains. Drive through the chic neighborhoods, shopping and financial centers of modern Santiago, before returning to your hotel. Afternoon is at leisure to explore more of this lively city independently.
 
Note: Most museums are closed on Mondays.
Day 3
This morning you hire car will be dropped off at your hotel, so that you can drive 2-hours to the historic seaport of  Valparaiso on the Pacific Coast -  a UNESCO World Heritage site and the second largest city in Chile.
 
Along the way we recommend driving through the Casablanca and Curacavi Valleys to the beautiful beaches of Las Salinas and Reñaca. Continuing to Viña del Mar, you can explore the avenues of this attractive town that is known as the "Garden City" because of its beautiful parks and floral displays. You can also visit the municipal casino.
 
Continue to Valparaiso. Prior to the opening of the Panama Canal, this was the most important Pacific seaport on the crucial trade route that linked the American west coast with Europe, via the Strait of Magellan. Its many stairways and old funicular elevators that lead up the 44 hills on which the city is built are a real feature. Check into your hotel in this lively and chaotic city, with its quirky and eclectic architecture.
Days 4 To 5
At leisure to relax and explore the port city of Valparaiso.
Day 6
Today drive 4-hours from Valparaiso to the beautiful Chilean Winelands.
 
Check into your hotel and relax among the vineyards of this famous wine-producing region, situated between the snow-capped Andes and the coast.
Days 7 To 8
At leisure to relax and independently explore the wine estates of the beautiful Chilean Winelands.
Day 9
Drive 2-hours to Santiago Airport for your onward flight.

You will be met at Punta Arenas Airport and escorted to the bus station for the 3-hour public bus ride to Puerto Natales - the gateway to Torres del Paine National Park.
 
You will be met on arrival at Puerto Natales bus station and transferred to your hotel in this former fishing town situated on the Ultima Esperanza Sound.
Day 10
Weather permitting, an early departure this morning for a full day excursion by boat to the spectacular Balmaceda & Serrano Glaciers.
 
We sail from Puerto Natales and enjoy an onboard breakfast as we navigate through the beautiful Ultima Esperanza Fjord. After 3-hours we arrive at the icy blue Balmaceda Glacier in Bernardo O´Higgins National Park. This astonishing glacier is over 1,000 years old and offers a magnificent display when "calving" - as huge chunks of ice detach and crash into the waters below. You can hope to see cormorants and sea lions here.
 
At the end of the fjord we disembark and walk approximately 3/4 mile (1 km) through an indigenous forest to the foot of the Serrano Glacier, another fantastic natural wonder that is part of the Southern Patagonia Icefields.
 
On the way back we stop at an estancia (ranch) for an included Magellanic coast lunch, before returning to Puerto Natales in the afternoon.
Day 11
Today enjoy a full day excursion travelling across the dry scrubland of the Pategonian Steppes to Torres del Paine National Park - a 242,000 hectare UNESCO World Heritage site famous for its soaring mountains, electric-blue lakes and many glaciers.
 
Our excursion begins with a visit to Milodon Cave on Benitez Hill, where in 1895 the remains of several extinct animals were found including the sabre toothed tiger, the American horse and a large mammal known as a milodon. It is necessary to walk for half an hour to get to the cave and observe its stalactites.
 
We continue driving past lakes such as Sofía, Porteño and Toro towards Torres del Paine National Park, where the landscape changes dramatically to spectacular glacier lakes frequented by marine birds,  lofty waterfalls and magnificent granite mountain peaks covered by ice. The enormous Campo de Hielo Sur icecap gives the park four main glaciers - Grey, Dickson, Zapata and Tyndall. Two other glaciers descend from the west side of the central massif.
 
We walk along the shores of Grey Lake, where blue icebergs can be seen against a backdrop of the distant Grey Glacier. After an included lunch, we walk 15-minutes to the powder blue Salto Grande Waterfall, which flows into Lake Pehoe. The road continues to the Lake Nordenskjold look out that borders Sarmiento Lake, before we arrive in Laguna Amarga where, weather permitting, we will have a panoramic view of the three granite Torres Del Paine ('Towers of Blue') from which the park takes its name.
 
As we leave the park a variety of rare wildlife can be seen in the surrounding pampas (lowlands), including large herds of elegant Patagonian guanaco - a type of humpless camel related to the llama - and the lesser rhea, which is related to the ostrich and emu. We drive through the little village of Cerro Castillo and past Figueroa Lake, before returning to Puerto Natales in the late afternoon.
Day 12
Transfer to the bus station for the 3-hour public bus ride to Punta Arenas Airport for your onward flight.

You will be met at Santiago Airport and transferred to your hotel situated close to the airport.
Day 13
Make your own way to Santiago Airport for your flight home.

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