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Private Journeys

Luxury Chile: Exclusive lodges and untamed landscapes

13 days from £9,460pp



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Day 1

Arrive Santiago, transfer to luxury hotel in the prestigious Las Condes district.

Santiago is set in a broad valley between parallel ranges of the Andes, with lofty snow-draped peaks, and a smaller coastal range with a Mediterranean feel. Santiago is a huge metropolis, a mix of the old and the contemporary, with neighbourhoods featuring tree-lined avenues and affluent tranquillity and others full of historic references and commercial bustle.

Transfer from the airport to your top-drawer first class hotel, the Ritz Carlton. It’s in the calm, upmarket residential and commercial district known as Las Condes. Once you’ve settled in nicely you’ll be collected for your guided walking tour of selected districts of the city. In the shadow of glassy sky-scrapers you’ll discover fine historic buildings dating back to Spanish colonial times, sitting alongside eye-catching arty, contemporary structures. You’ll be seeking out some of the more interesting landmarks and arty neighbourhoods at a leisurely pace, allowing you to soak up the atmosphere of the capital.

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Day 2

Fly to Punta Arenas in Patagonia, transfer to luxury lodge in Torres del Paine National Park.

After the balmy climes and big city vibe of Santiago, arriving in Punta Arenas by air and continuing by road to Torres del Paine National Park can be a surprise, even if you have glimpsed the remote ice-throttled peaks and glaciers from the air. Milky blue and gem-sharp emerald lakes, sinuous rivers, glaciers and wind-scoured steppes have forged a unique environment. Torres del Paine is the natural habitat of over 150 species of birds (flamingos, condors, eagles and ostriches) and 25 species of mammal (including guanacos, armadillos, silver foxes and pumas). Come prepared for elemental drama: the dictates of the weather prevail but this national park is well worth the journey south, whether slashed by rain or bathed in sunshine.

The single road carves a lonely path across flat, ferociously wind-buffeted grasslands where you might spot a little hardy wildlife, but gradually the monotony of the landscape is overcome as the huge granite massif of Torres del Paine, with its icy spires, looms up on the horizon. You enter an area of blue green lagoons, waterfalls and tufty hillocks, where guanacos graze and water-birds shelter.

Your stunning, state-of-the-art Relais & Chateaux-listed lodge is set on a private reserve featuring some of Patagonia’s most primeval landscapes: iceberg-dotted lakes, snow-jacketed mountains, scrawny forests and vast expanses of open steppe.

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Days 3-5

Excursions and activities from the lodge.

At the lodge there is a strong emphasis on the joy of choosing your own activities; the on-site team will design your experiences to suit your tastes and preferences. Choose from a wide range of private guided excursions and outdoor experiences from short walks through picturesque valleys to challenging high altitude hikes. You’ll have you own 4WD vehicle and professional, bilingual driver-guide so that the timing, duration and route of each excursion is defined in line with your specific interests. Whatever the activity or level of endurance, you are guaranteed to view exquisite and diverse natural scenery.

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Day 6

Return to Santiago by air from Punta Arenas.

Fly back to Santiago for one night, further to enjoy the facilities of the Ritz Carlton hotel, explore the smart neighbourhood in which it is situated or even venture further afield in the capital in search of top restaurants or night-time entertainment.    

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Day 7

Fly north to Calama in the Atacama desert.

The high-altitude Atacama, while most definitely a desert is not the Empty Quarter of Latin America. The harsh and rugged volcanic landscape of shimmering white salt flats and crystal lagoons is home to flocks of pink flamingoes and geysers hissing into life. Cacti stride off to the distant horizon while oases splash the tawny ground with vigorous vegetation. There are also the vestiges of a thriving pre-Columbian civilisation.

Your luxury Awasi lodge, sister property of the one in Torres del Paine, sits just outside the little town of San Pedro de Atacama. Its design is based on ancient Atacama villages with discreet but gorgeous thatched cottages built from local adobe, wood and stone. It also features in the Relais & Chateaux portfolio.

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Days 8-9

Choice of personalised activities from your lodge.

Once again there’s a wide choice of tailor-made guided experiences with your personal driver-guide, from short treks through picturesque valleys to challenging high altitude walks, mountain bike rides and treks on horseback. The one constant whatever the activity or level of endurance is the diversity and richness of the landscapes, from the bubbling geysers and natural hot springs to the vast salt pans with their luminous lakes framed by snow-mantled volcanoes. 

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Day 10

Return to Calama airport and fly to Temuco in the lake district.

The lake district, which crowns the northern tip of Chilean Patagonia, extends from the Pacific coast to the Andes and across the border into Argentina. It’s a region of breath-taking natural beauty carpeted with forests of monkey puzzle trees festooned with emerald mosses.. The most accessible and popular spots are chocolate-box pretty with flower-decked pastures and conical volcanoes sporting caps of pristine snow, while more remote areas resemble a wilder version of Switzerland.

Your luxury hotel, Hacienda Vira Vira (now also known as &Beyond Vira Vira), in the shadow of the lake district’s iconic towering Villarrica volcano, is the ultimate countryside retreat. As well as fellow guests you may encounter ponies, ibis and black-necked swans as you explore the lush foliage of its grounds. This is one of Chile’s finest places to stay, with high standards of service, accommodation and cuisine.

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Days 11-12

Activities and excursions from the hacienda.

This is wonderful walking country and perfect for lovers of the outdoor life. An imaginative selection of half and full day walks has been prepared by your hosts including easy trails along the lower flanks of Villarrica and Lanin volcanoes to a full-day hike in nearby Huerquehue National Park. There’s also a carefully-crafted programme of excursions and activities such as gentle floating by raft along the Licura river, fly-fishing, white-water rafting on the Trancura river and shopping and cultural tours around the nearby resort Pucón. Feel free to relax by the river, walk in the grounds and visit the cheese factory.

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Day 13

Return to Temuco airport and fly to Santiago to connect with your international flight.

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.


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.

View Extraordinary Inspiration

Real Latin America Experts

  • Mary Anne Nelson
    Mary Anne Nelson - Travel Expert

    Born in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Mary’s insider knowledge and dry sense of humour make her a highly valued member of the Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tour sales team.

  • Carrie Gallagher
    Carrie Gallagher - Travel Expert

    A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours department.

  • Sophie Barber
    Sophie Barber - Travel Expert

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

  • Ben Line
    Ben Line - Travel Expert

    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 Head of Sales.

  • Kathryn Rhodes
    Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Expert

    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.

  • Hannah Donaldson
    Hannah Donaldson - Travel Expert

    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 a much valued Travel Expert in our Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tours sales team.

Meet the team