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Circuit: San Pedro de Atacama, Torres del Paine and San Rafael Lagoon

15 days / 14 nights Code: VIS014

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Spectacular package designed to live the mystique of San Pedro de Atacama, the landscape of Torres del Paine National Park and the peace and tranquility of the cruise to San Rafael Lagoon

Itinerary

Day 01: Santiago

Reception at Santiago airport and transfer to hotel. In the afternoon city tour in Santiago visiting the main tourist attractions, such as, old district, San Francisco church built between 1572 and 1618. Government Palace, Main square, Central Post office, Santa Lucía Hill founded in 1541, majesticly located in the center of the city. The trip follows until San Cristóbal Hill where a panaromic view of Santiago city is appreciated. Finally we will visit the most modern district in the city. Back to hotel, lodging.

Day 02: Airport - San Pedro de Atacama - The Moon Valley

Breakfast in hotel and transfer to Santiago Airport to take flight to the city of Calama.

Reception and transfer to San Pedro de Atacama, from the airport to Calama.

In the afternoon, departure from the hotel to The Moon Valley. In the way which join San Pedro with Calama, stop for photographing the Salt Mountain from a viewing point. After in the moon valley, we will visit the salt statues “Las Tres Marías”, the salt mine, the salt caverns and we will look the evening since a big sand dune. Come back to hotel. Lodging.

Day 03: Altiplanic Lagoons Tour and Atacama Salt

Departure at 07:00 hrs. from the hotels. Visit the Toconao town, typical handicrafts in the Atacama zone, also the San Lucas Tower (National Monument and town symbol). The travel includes the visit to the Atacama Salt, check in to Los Flamencos National Reserve (Chaxas lagoon site). We will follow our trip to the altiplano for taking the Miscanti and Miñiques lagoons (4150 m.o.s.l.). In the middle of our route we will have a little stop in the Socaire (3.200 m.o.s.l.) town to acclimate and for photographing the little San Bartolomé church. Come back to San Pedro at 19:00 hours approximately, lodging.

Day 04: Cejar and Tebenquiche Lagoons

Breakfast at hotel and free morning to visit San Pedro de Atacama.
At 15:30 Hrs. we start our trip to Cejar and Tebinquiche Lagoons. The first gap is Cejar, an intense emerald bordered by salt crystallized, where you can swim and enjoy the gravitational effects produced by condensed salt, the body easily floats which produces a great mess. Going barefoot is not recommended because the shore has very sharp peaks of salt which can cut skin.

Continuing on this path, you reach the Tebenquiche Lagoon, which has similar characteristics to the Chaxa Lagoon, its waters are dependent on snowmelt and rain of the year. Here you can see some flamingos, foxes, and varieties of birds in small quantities.

Around 20:00 Hrs. started back to San Pedro de Atacama. Lodging.

Day 05: Tatio Geysers - Airport

Departure at 04:00 am from the hotel. Arrive at 07:00 to the Tatio Geysers (4.320 m.o.s.l.). Breakfast and trekking to the different geysers and shower in the thermal swimming pool. Come back to San Pedro de Atacama by Machuca, a typical atacameñan town. Transfer to airport.

Reception at Santiago airport and transfer to selected hotel, accommodation.

Day 06: Santiago - Punta Arenas - Puerto Natales

Breakfast at hotel and transfer to airport to take flight to the city of Punta Arenas.

Reception at Punta Arenas airport (we recommend the first flight to reach Punta Arenas before 12:00 hrs.). Transfer to the city, free time (lunch on behalf of passengers). After lunch departure to visit Seno Otway Penguin Colony, transfer to the local terminal to take regular bus bound for the city of Puerto Natales. Duration 03:15 hrs. Arrive to the city. Transfer from terminal to hotel, accommodation, dinner and lodging.(D)

Day 07: Torres del Paine National Park

Breakfast. At 7:30 hrs. departure from your hotel to begin the full day excursion with a visit to the imposing Cave of the Milodon (Natural Monument) and finishing in Torres del Paine National Park where we will have a nice panoramic view of Paine Mountain. In this park we'll admire lakes as Sarmiento, Nordenskjold and Pehoe. Its fauna will be present through huanacos and foxes, among others, like big variety of birds of easy observation during the trip. A short trek will take us to a big waterfall called "Salto Grande", which is part of the hidrographical net of the park. Then, returning to the main road accessing the administrative headquarters of CONAF to continue to the "Lago Gray, where after a trek (30 minutes) through a millenium forest, we'll arrived to its beach to admire a great number of icebergs over the lake. A box lunch is included in the service. At approximately 19:00 hrs. we estimate our arrival to Hostería inside the park. Dinner and Lodging.(B,BL,D)

Day 08: Torres del Paine National Park - Puerto Natales

Breakfast. Morning free to take optional excursions in and around the hotel (Hiking, Horseback Riding or Navigation on Lake Grey) or simply to enjoy the scenery. Lunch. At 15:30 hrs. return to Puerto Natales, dinner and overnight in Puerto Natales.(B,L,D)

Day 09: Puerto Natales - Punta Arenas

Breakfast. Regular bus from Puerto Natales to hotel n Punta Arenas, lodging.(B)

Day 10: Punta Arenas – Puerto Montt

Breakfast in hotel and transfer to the airport to take the flight to Puerto Montt.

Reception at the airport of Puerto Montt and transfer to Cruise Navimag offices for check-in.

Our adventure continues in Castro, the most ancient city of the Chiloe Island. It was founded in 1567 with the aim to use it as base for the evangelizing process of the aborigines of the zone. It is characterized by its coloring pile-dwelling, its cultural identity related to the mythology and the ancient peoples with the traditions of great navigators kept until today. The Cathedral has a gothic and classic design with a construction based on local tradition, with the use of noble wood, such as the cypress, coihue, and the larch. It was named Heritage of the Humanity by the UNESCO in 2000.

A welcome drink invites you to leave behind Castro on board of the M/N Mare Australis and to enjoy the hospitality of the crew. We sail along Castro's estuary, the Channel Lemuy, Chonchi, and the channel Yal to come to Punta Centinela, and to prepare the crossing of the Gulf of the Corcovado.

Day 11: Cruise

The sunrise arrives in Melinka's small port, the capital of the archipelago of the Guaitecas, to go into the Channel Perez Norte, setting off toward Jechica, with the view in the Velberde, García, and Garrao islands. We cross the Puntilla Chonos to arrive to our destination through the tideland Chulle.

Jechica is a Natural Sanctuary in the heart of the Chilean Patagonia, where the exuberant nature is in its primitive condition. The Turberas de Sphagnum contributes as the unique ecosystem for the carbon storage.

The disembarkation is programmed after the breakfast, realizing a trekking through the Centenary Forests of Cypress of the Guaitecas (Pilgerodendron uviferum), Coihue de Chiloe (Nothofagus nitida), Notros (Embotrium coccinium), and Mañios (Podocarpus nubigena), among other species. At the same time, we discover some of the 50 species of terrestrial and marine birds of the archipelago, such as the Carpintero Magallánico (Campephilus magellanicus), Fío – Fío (Elaenia albicep chilensis), thrush (Turdus falklandii), Cometocino Patagónico (Phrygilus patagonicus), Carancho (Caracara plancus), Albatroz of Black Eyebrow (Thalassarche melanophris), Cormorant of Red Leg (phalacrocórax gaimardi), and finalizing with a great Patagonian lunch with fresh seafood of the zone and the inevitable “corderos al palo” (lamb cooked in a stick on the fire),with an impressive view of the landscape of this navigator’ shelter where the waters of the Pacific Ocean meet the exuberant vegetation.

We will set sail in the middle of the evening navigating the Channel Baeza and Perez Sur with course to the Tuap Island and Puerto Aguirre arriving at about the midnight.

Day 12: Cruice

The sunrise is in front of the Mogote islands, crossing the estuary Elefantes to face the Paso Quesahuen and De Vidt to arrive at the Laguna San Rafael after the breakfast. We will be witnesses of an impressive spectacle. San Rafael is unhooked of the mountains and is part of the Campo de Hielo Norte, the most equatorial marine snowdrift of the world and declared World Reservation of the Biosphere in 1979 by the UNESCO.

The disembarkation -according the climatic conditions- will be realized on board of powerful MKV Zodiac Boats allowing us to come closely together from the thousand-year-old ice under the more strict safety procedures, admiring the different tonalities -from the deep blue up to the absolute transparency- and maybe we will be witnesses of some the falls of these colossal blocks of ice where the deafening noise breaks the quite while it enters to the water with great force.
The hot chocolate and the Whiskey wait for us on board to attack the cold and to share experiences. We raise anchors in the middle of the evening to prepare our navigation course to our next stop.

Day 13 and 14: Cruise

The sunrise is in Bahía de Tic Toc, in the heart of the National Park Corcovado, a privileged ecosystem that shelters Fiords, Bays, Rivers, and Volcanoes. We make a pause in this Natural Amphitheatre to enjoy the landscape, to take photographs and if the conditions allow to see whales, since the great quantity of existing nutrients make of this zone of fiords and channels one of the more important areas of feeding and breeding for the blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) in the whole South Hemisphere, at least during the summers and autumn.
The well-deserved pause are followed by few hours of navigation to Chaitén, where we will land to be witnesses of the devastating effects of the eruption of the Volcano Chaitén in May, 2008 and February, 2009, after centuries of inactivity. We will cross forests consumed by Piroclasto's Flows that going down for the valleys, to go by foot for a few paths through a former larch wood, one of the few ones that has escaped of the predator effect of the human being. There, we will be able to contemplate the beauty of these giant protagonists of the pass of the time.

We come back to the ship and prepare ourselves to enjoying of the last night crossing the Gulf Corcovado to go through the Channels Quehui and Lemuy to Castro. Return to the offices of Navimag Cruise and transfer to hotel in Puerto Montt. Lodging.

Day 15: Puerto Montt – Santiago

Breakfast at hotel and transfer to Puerto Montt airport to take flight to Santiago.

End of services.

Activities

Departures:
- December 2011: 01-05-09-13-17-25-29.
- January 2012: 08-12-20-28.
- February 2012: 05-13-23-27.
- March 2012: 02-06-10.
Rates for a minimun of 02 passengers.
The excursion to Otway Inlet Penguin Colony can be done until March.
Includes:
- Transfers.
- National Parks Fees.
- Regular Services with Spanish / English guide.
- Breakfasts.
- Excursion detailed in the itinerary.
- 3 nights lodging in San Pedro de Atacama.
- 2 nights lodging in Puerto Natales.
- 1 night lodging in Torres del Paine National Park.
- 1 night lodging in Punta Arenas.
- 1 night lodging in Puerto Montt.
- 1 night lodging in Santiago.
- 4 Cruise Nights on board.
- Tour to Torres del Paine with box lunch.
- Alimentary supply indicated in program (B=breakfast, L=lunch, BL=box lunch, D=dinner).
- In Cruise:
      - Breakfast (08:00 hrs.), lunch (13:00 hrs.) and dinner (20:00 hrs.)
      - The food service starts with dinner in Day 1 and in Day 5 ends with breakfast with vegetarian menu option.
      - On board activities.
      - Open bar national menu according to program (12:00 to 15:00 hrs. and 19:00 to 00:00 hrs.)
      - Self-service of coffee and tea throughout the day.
      - Open bridge during navigation.
      - Bilingual tour guide.
      - Car custody service in Puerto Montt, Castro and Puerto Chacabuco.
      - Zodiac excursion to the glacier San Rafael (If the weather conditions, safety, schedules, daylight or other permit.)
Does Not includes:
- Air tickets.
- Meals and extras not specified.
- Tips.
- Personal travel insurance.
- Transportation from Puerto Montt to Castro (US$25.- per person)

They recommend us

  • "It was nice to count with you during our trip. "

    March/2013

    Maikol Andrés Campillay

  • "Excellent attention, from you and the guide. Just the best words for you agency and I would recommend VisitChile. "

    January/2013

    Alejandra Quevedo Mariñan

  • "This is the first time I made a reservation in a hotel with VisitChile and it was a good experience. The hotel where I did made my reservation wasn't avaliable in other similar websites (booking.com, etc…"

    March/2013

    Verónica Schenke

  • "My friend and I took Undurraga and Concha y Toro tour on Tuesday 5th of February and all we can say is that we had an excellent service. The guide, the driver, the transportation and tour were great, and…"

    February/2013

    Martha Herrera

  • "Dear Mariangel and Verena, I wanted to just thank you for everything. The trip has been great in every way. He returned to Argentina, Chile knowing much more than I thought, thanks to my travel companions,…"

    February/2013

    Gustavo Javier Busso

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