Private Journeys

Active Chile: Andean Skiing and Atacama Desert Adventures

12 days from £5,811pp

Chile

Itinerary

map marker Map

Day 1

Transfer to your hotel in Santiago.

Upon arrival in Chile’s capital Santiago, you’ll be taken by private transfer to your comfortable hotel in Vitacura on the city’s outskirts. The afternoon is free to settle in and enjoy the hotel facilities. You may explore the city at your leisure or we can organise an optional walking tour upon request.

Buenos Aires

Day 2

Transfer to Portillo ski resort in the Andes.

A transfer of just over 2 hours (160km) takes you high up into the Andes along the scenic highway connecting Chile with Argentina. Arriving at Portillo, check in to your hotel (after 2pm) and familiarise yourself with the set up here. An orientation tour is usually offered in the evening. We strongly advise you take time to acclimatise: Portillo is at 2,855m above sea level, not too far from Aconcagua – the highest peak in the Andes at just under 7,000m. (Please speak to us if you would like to extend your stay at Portillo).

Portillo

Day 3-4

Three full days to ski at your leisure in Portillo.

Portillo is all yours for the next three days. You can ski in and out of the hotel and there’s about 500 hectares of ski-able terrain to suit all levels here. Experienced skiers will feel most at home. There are 14 lifts and 45 runs: the resort classifies 15% of its terrain as suitable for beginners, 30% intermediate, 30% advanced and 25% expert. Some guests also snowboard at the resort and heli-skiing is on offer between July and September at extra cost. Equipment can be rented and you can sign up for ski classes, also at additional cost.

Skiing

Day 6

Transfer to Santiago airport and fly to the Atacama Desert.

Check out and transfer back to Santiago airport for a 2-hour flight to Calama in the Atacama Desert. Arriving in this sun-parched landscape is a dazzling contrast to the slopes of Portillo. You’ll be transferred across the desert (1 hr) to the adobe oasis town of San Pedro de Atacama. Spend the next 5 nights at Tierra Atacama, one of Chile’s best lodges and a great base for outdoor excursions. Almost everything is included here – so if you arrive before dusk, grab yourself a complimentary drink and watch the sunset as it tinges Lincancabur volcano an unreal shade of crimson.

Tierra Atacama

Days 7-10

Explore the volcanoes, salt flats, canyons and geysers around San Pedro de Atacama.

San Pedro de Atacama, at 2,400m above sea level sits amidst superb scenery. Although this is the Atacama, the transitional terrain here on the border with Bolivia is a far cry from the flat, featureless desert one might expect. Instead, you’ll find salt-encrusted canyons, a chain of 6000m volcanoes, salt flats, geysers and altiplanic lagoons - and yes, there is the chance to run down a giant sand dune if the urge takes you. During these 4 days you’ll be able to choose from a selection of small-group included activities – from scenic overland drives to short walks and longer treks, biking and horse riding. Excursions can reach altitudes of 4,500m or more, and your team of guides will be able to advise you in which order it’s best to do them. Incidentally, the night sky is famous here, and you can also visit a local observatory. Be sure also to make time to enjoy the hotel’s excellent indoor and outdoor pools and spa.

Atacama Desert

Day 11

Fly to Santiago and overnight near the airport.

You’ll be transferred (around lunchtime) to the airport at Calama for your return flight to Santiago. Upon arrival it’s just a short stroll from the airport building to your hotel for a final positioning night. Ideal for a short stay, there’s a pool, a good restaurant and plenty of space to relax. If you’d prefer to spend this final night in the city instead, let us know and we’ll arrange it.

Day 12

Depart Santiago

Inspired by this trip

Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

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Your edit for Latin American inspiration

Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

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Real Latin America Experts

  • Kathryn Rhodes
    Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Consultant

    Kathryn backpacked across Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru before joining us. She has a degree in Philosophy and French and is a keen netball player.

  • Carrie Gallagher
    Carrie Gallagher - Travel Consultant

    A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Escorted Groups team.

  • Hannah Waterhouse
    Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Consultant

    Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.

  • Hannah Donaldson
    Hannah Donaldson - Travel Consultant

    Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is an invaluable part of our Group Tours team.

  • Sophie Barber
    Sophie Barber - Travel Consultant

    Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia.

  • Ben Line
    Ben Line - Travel Consultant

    Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Manager of the Tailor-made Department.

Meet the team