5 internal flights (2-4hrs); 4 road journeys (longest 4 hrs)
We've selected some of the finest hotels for this holiday. You'll stay at a stylish hotel with good facilities in Santiago's elegant Las Condes district, and two lodges belonging to the prestigious Awasi portfolio in Patagonia and San Pedro de Atacama, In the lake district you will stay at a beautiful lodge with personalised service from the proprietors. Each property captures the flavour of your surroundings perfectly. Whatever the style – traditional classic or lodge - they have top of the range service, facilities and bespoke guided excursions.
Full board with drinks included at Awasi Patagonia (4 nights), Awasi Atacama (3 nights) and Hacienda Vira Vira (3 nights). Breakfast daily in Santiago (2 nights).
We carefully select our local partners, some of whom we have worked with for over 30 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. The guides at your luxury properties are well qualified and English-speaking.
• Santiago: Guided walking tour.
•Torres del Paine: Guided private excursions from Awasi..
• Atacama desert: Guided private excursions from Awasi.
• Lake district: Guided private excursions from Vira Vira.
Summary of nights
13 days, 12 nights: Santiago 1, Torres del Paine 4; Santiago 1; San Pedro de Atacama 3; Lake district 3.
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.
Most meals, drinks and activities are already included in the cost of this holiday (the main exceptions being Santiago and the odd meal en route between destinations). Further expenses may include discretionary tips to your local drivers and guides, laundry, optional spa treatments. We suggest a budget of around US$500pp to cover reasonable additional expenditure.
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.
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 optional excursions on most days but may be considered very relaxing. You will be staying at an altitude of over 2,000m in the Atacama desert and some excursions may take you to over 4,000m. Local guides can advise you about precautions against any ill effects generated by the thin air at altitude; most people only feel a little breathless.
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. In February temperatures range between 28°C and 35°C and there’s a good deal of sunshine.
The Atacama desert is hot (18-30°C) though temperatures fall substantially at night when it is clear and mornings are chilly. In Jan-Mar the region can be susceptible to heavy rains coming from the Bolivian Andes.
In the lake district, it can be hot (late 20s°C) during the southern summer but not unpleasantly so, and there is little rain.
The weather in southern Patagonia is notoriously unpredictable throughout the year. In the ‘season’, from October to March, there may be everything from a blizzard to a heat wave. Strong winds and rain are possible at any time and it can get extremely cold.
Your stay in San Pedro de Atacama in the Andes is at high altitude (over 2,000m). A small minority of visitors may suffer temporarily from altitude sickness. Symptoms vary; most common are mild headaches, slight nausea and breathlessness. If you don’t recover in a day or two speak to our representatives; in very rare instances it is necessary to descend to lower altitudes. Most people are unaffected and if you drink plenty of water and allow your body to acclimatise (don’t exert yourself or drink alcohol) in the first couple of days after arrival, you will minimise your chances of suffering any symptoms.
Please refer to our Briefing Dossier for further information.
Clothing and special equipment
For day-to-day wear you should go prepared to encounter all seasons. 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 in Santiago 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.
Please get in touch with the office before departure if you have any doubts.
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
APIS and ESTA - important flight information:
ESTA - If flying to the US, or via the US you will need to fill in your application to ESTA online
This costs $14 per person. This must be applied for by you personally.
Passports must also be digital; e-passports with an embedded chip. Avoid locking suitcases if transiting the USA, as their customs authorities retain the right to break into them.
APIS - Many countries now oblige airlines to provide additional information about passengers prior to the flight departure. This Advance Passenger Information (APIS) must be supplied to us promptly in order to issue tickets and avoid fare increases. We will provide the airlines with the relevant details if we are booking your international flights. If the information is not provided you may be denied boarding.
We’ve partnered with Water To Go
to offer Journey Latin America clients a 50% discount on 7cl filtered, reusable water bottles with every booking. The bottle can be refilled at any water outlet and has a filter that eliminates 99.9% of bacteria and viruses, allowing the water to be safe to drink.
Contact your Travel Consultant for more information and to include the purchase in your booking.