hts (2-4hrs); 5 road journeys (longest 5hrs, between Punta Arenas and Torres del Paine).
In towns we use mostly mid-range hotels, choosing accommodation we think is comfortable and well located for exploration of the area. Whatever their style – contemporary, classic or lodge - they have well-equipped rooms, private bathrooms and heating. The hotel in Torres del Paine is both a resort for travellers and a working estancia.
Breakfast daily; lunch days 8,10; full board days 3,4.
We carefully select our local partners, some of whom we have worked with for over 25 years. Their English-speaking guides understand the expectations of our clients very well, and are consistently singled out for praise by the latter on their return.
• Walking tour of Santiago.
• Torres del Paine: Guided excursions from Hotel Torres.
• Guided excursion to Osorno volcano and Petrohue Falls
• Full day excursion to Alerce Andino National Park.
• Guided walking tour of Valdivia.
• Excursion to view the solar eclipse, Patagonia.
• Guided excursion to Parque Oncol and Kunstmann Brewery.
Some excursions on this holiday are shared with other travellers.
Summary of nights
12 days, 11 nights: Santiago 1, Torres del Paine 3; Punta Arenas 1; Puerto Varas 3, Valdivia 2; Santiago 1.
Included in the journey price
• Services of our team of experts in our London office.
• Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides.
• All land and air transport within Latin America.
• Accommodation as specified.
• Meals as specified.
• Excursions as specified, including entrance fees.
Not included in the journey price
• International flights to Latin America
• Meals other than specified.
• Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket.
• Optional excursions.
• Tips and gratuities.
The unit of currency in Chile is the peso.
It is very difficult to give a guideline for essential expenses but a budget of around US$40 per day should cover the cost of meals not included in the holiday itinerary, drinks and the odd souvenir. Eat at the best restaurants and you will pay considerably more.
How to take it
Cash machines are available in all major cities and towns, and so taking a debit or credit card with a PIN number is the most convenient way of withdrawing money while on your trip, and in most shops and restaurants you can also pay by card. However, since cards can get lost, damaged, withheld or blocked, you should not rely exclusively on a card to access funds.
We recommend that additionally you take a reasonable quantity of US dollars cash (no more than is covered by your insurance), which you can exchange into local currency. Dollar bills should be in good condition, soiled or torn bills may be refused. You can take sterling, but the exchange rate is not always competitive or even available, restricting the number of places where you can change money.
Tips are welcomed and local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income.
Most service industry workers will expect a tip of some kind and so it is useful to have spare change for hotel porters, taxi drivers and the like. It is common to leave 10 - 12% in restaurants.
Tipping guidelines can be found in our Briefing Dossier
Travel insurance is essential.
Details of our recommended policy can be found on our Travel Insurance
If you have purchased your flights through Journey Latin America, the international departure tax is usually included in the ticket.
This is a fully comprehensive holiday with travel or excursions on most days but none are especially arduous. There are some early mornings and you will travel to altitudes of over 4,00m above sea level.
This holiday is suitable for all able-bodied, reasonably fit visitors. In other cases, e.g. if you have a disability or other special requirements, please call us.
In the Santiago area expect a Mediterranean type climate. December is hot and dry, around 25-30°C or higher.
December is Springtime in Patagonia, although weather conditions are famously unpredictable in this part of the world and there is a considerable likelihood of cloudy conditions on the day of the eclipse. The Lake District is milder than the far south, with abundant rainfall and daytime temperatures in the region of 12-16°C at this time of the year. In the far south of Chile (Torres del Paine), be prepared for all seasons and much cooler temperatures. Strong winds are common, meaning snow flurries and rain can be punctuated by blue skies and exhilarating sunshine.
There is no high-altitude (over 2,500m) land travel on this holiday.
Please refer to our Briefing Dossier for further information about altitude.
Clothing and special equipment
For day-to-day wear you should go prepared to encounter all seasons. Dressing in layers is key. Both warm clothing and a sun hat are essential, and a light fleece jacket and a Gore-Tex (or similar) outer shell makes a good combination. Trousers, skirt or shorts made from light, quick-drying synthetic materials work well. If you plan to eat in smart restaurants, although clothing is not formal (no need for jacket and tie), something quite smart would be appropriate. Strong, comfortable footwear is essential and you should bring umbrella, insect repellent, sun block and sun glasses. You might take swimwear for the odd dip in a natural pool.<br />
To view the eclipse you should bring your own special eclipse glasses (with a CE Kitemark). These are believed to block out more than 99.9% of the sun's light.<br />
Please get in touch with the office before departure if you have any doubts. <br />
Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following: typhoid; polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. You should consult your GP for specific requirements.
You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health
Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins. Anyone with a different nationality should enquire with us or check with the relevant consulate.
If flying to the US, or via the US you will need to fill in your online ESTA application.