Road through Moon Valley, San Pedro de Atacama
The Solar Eclipse 2020
Time an adventurous holiday to Chile to coincide with an incredible solar eclipse. In December 2020, the moon will pass between the earth and sun, causing a total solar eclipse in Chile that will plunge the region into darkness. This trip-of-a-lifetime takes you to see Chile’s highlights, then positions you perfectly on Monday 14th December 2020 to witness the eclipse in Pucón.
The adventure begins in Santiago. See the city highlights and sip pisco sours before heading out to the Atacama to see the natural sculptures and moonscapes. Visit one of the world’s largest salt flats, take a dip in a pool at the geothermal fields and go stargazing with an expert. From here it’s on to Pucon where you’ll visit the Huerquehue National Park and witness the 2020 Total Solar Eclipse. Tour the city of Punta Arenas then take to the glacial waters and hike along the Balmaceda and Serrano Glacier. Visit the incredible Torres del Paine National Park and finish with a spot of wine tasting in the Rosario Valley.
Tour the city of Santiago and sip on pisco sours
Admire the moonscapes and sculptures in the Salt Mountain Range
Visit one of the world’s largest salt flats, the mesmerising Atacama Salt Flat
Go stargazing with an astronomer
Experience a solar eclipse and be plunged into total darkness
Sail through glacial waters and hike across glaciers
Explore the incredible Torres del Paine National Park
Sample Chile’s exceptional wine in the Rosario Valley
This exciting trip to Chile includes international flights, a private car and driver, excursions, accommodation, breakfasts and some lunches and dinners.
From the first conversation until you arrive home from your holiday, you’ll be looked after by one of our Travel Designers who has travelled extensively in the region and will give advice from their personal experience on how to make the most out of your trip. All of our trips are entirely bespoke and we will continually refine your itinerary until it’s perfect.
Once you land in Santiago, you’ll be met and taken to your hotel, The Magnolia, where there is time to settle in. You’ll be itching to get out to explore the city, and the next day there’s an afternoon tour to help you get your bearings. Check out Santa Lucia Hill, the spot the city was founded on in 1541, before continuing to the Plaza de Armas, where you can see the Cathedral of Santiago, the Municipality, the Post Office Building and National History Museum.
Next, it’s on to Cerro San Cristobal for a panoramic view of the city, before taking a tour of the Providencia neighbourhood. When you get to the Vitacura neighbourhood, you’ll visit a handicraft jewellery shop specialising in lapis lazuli jewellery. This semi-precious stone is only found in Chile and Afghanistan, so a piece makes a perfect souvenir. Sip a pisco sour while you peruse the collection.
Things to do
Activity and Adventure
ou’ll leave Santiago behind on day three, in pursuit of Atacama where you'll stay at the Casa Atacama. There’s an optional tour of the Moon Valley and Death Valley in the afternoon. This moonscape landscape is known for its natural mineral sculptures, such as the Three Mary’s, which have been formed out of wind erosion. You can sandboard through the weird and wonderful geography of Death Valley and see more salt sculptures. The tour ends with a magical sunset at the Kari Viewpoint, one of the highest points of the Salt Mountain Range.
The next day it’s on to the Atacama Salt Flat, one of the world’s largest. There's an optional tour to visit the area’s lagoons and spot three different species of native pink flamingo. Next, it’s on to the Piedras Rojas viewpoint followed by the Miñique and Miscanti lagoons, which lie at the foot of volcanoes. Enjoy lunch in a nearby village, then visit Toconao to see a bell tower made in 1750 out of cactus wood, mud and straw, and the Church of San Lucas – both considered national monuments.
On your fifth day, we have included a visit to one of the most notable geothermal fields in the world. The temperature at the Tatio Geysers is extreme, resulting in different geothermal manifestations. On the way back stop by the wetlands of Putana and look for wildlife with the Colorado Volcano as a backdrop. Finally, visit the village of Machuca, a town where original Altiplanic architecture can still be seen at St. James Church.
Enchanted by the night sky? Tonight, you may choose to head out on an optional stargazing excursion. Learn about constellations, how to read a sky map and how to recognize the main stars. Your guide will use a powerful laser pointer to highlight the main constellations and when the moon is visible, you can take images of it through the telescopes.
Things to do
You’ll return to Santiago and the Hotel Magnolia after your Atacama Desert experience and will have the opportunity to spend your time here as you please. Enjoy a drink in the buzzing Plaza de Armas or take the opportunity to explore any galleries or museums you missed on the first visit.
Activity and Adventure
A week into your trip you’ll fly to Pucón, the adventure capital of Chile on the shores of Lake Villarrica. On arrival, you’ll be met and taken to Glamp Camp where you can relax and unwind after the journey in the Huife Hot springs. The next day you’ll visit the Huerquehue National Park, considered one of the most beautiful of its kind in the Andean foothills. Throughout the day, you’ll visit the crystal-clear waters of Tinquilco Lake, hike the Los Lagos trail and spot native trees species. From a viewpoint at an altitude of 1,500 metres, you’ll spot monkey-puzzle trees and three glittering lakes.
On day nine, enjoy a leisurely morning or try one of the town’s adventure sports before heading off for your solar eclipse experience. Perhaps you’re an eclipse chaser and have experienced the magnitude of a total solar eclipse before? If not, you’re in for an incredible experience as the moon moves between the sun and earth to create total darkness for around two minutes in the afternoon of 14th December 2020.
Activity and Adventure
After a city tour of Punta Arenas, you’ll go to Puerto Natales and the hotel Indigo by Noi. Today there's an optional tour to explore more of Chile’s natural wonders. To reach it, you’ll set sail through Puerto Bories and the Last Hope Fjord, where you can see soaring mountains and fascinating Patagonian birdlife. You’ll continue to the Balmaceda Glacier then disembark and take a one-hour trek by the lake border, through a forest and toward the Serrano Glacier. Afterwards, it’s on to Eberhard Fjord for more exhilarating trekking, before visiting Estancia Perales for a Magellan barbecue feast.
On day thirteen head to Torres del Paine National Park for a private tour. It’s the most famous of Chile’s national parks, and rightly so – turquoise lakes, emerald forests and eerily glowing glaciers await you here in a mesmerising natural spectacle. En route you’ll stop at the town of Cerro Castillo for a coffee and perusal of local handicrafts. In the park, you will explore Nordenskjold Lake Viewpoint from where you can see the highest mountain in the park, the Paine Grande at 3,050 metres. Next, hike to a dramatic waterfall that empties into Lake Pehoé, then after lunch, you’ll walk over the hanging bridge, wander on a beach and enjoy spectacular views out to the floating floes of Glacier Gray. On the way back home stop at the Milodón Cave Natural Monument where the remains of a humongous herbivorous mammal were once found.