From the museums and parks of Santiago to the extraordinary Atacama Desert, and the Chile Lake District, Chile is an active family paradise with a wide range of both soft and more strenuous adventure opportunities. The featured activities and accommodations can be tailored to suit your personal wishes and all tours and excursions are conducted on a private basis (private transport with a private guide).
Santiago de Chile
Your 8-day family adventure begins with a tour of the historical and modern sights of Santiago de Chile. Start at the main avenue, the Alameda Bernardo O’Higgins, and head to La Moneda, the Government Palace. Walk through the pedestrian streets of Huérfanos and Ahumada, and visit the famous main square of the city, the Plaza de Armas, aond the Metropolitan Cathedral.
From there, continue to Santa Lucia Hill, which is a great vantage point for viewing the city. Stroll around the cultural and artistic neighborhood of Bellavista, and take the aerial tramway to San Cristóbal Hill for panoramic views of the city. Finally, visit Providencia with its top restaurants, elegant shops, and modern high-rise buildings.
Venture north to the Atacama Chile Desert, the driest desert in the world, surrounded by an incredible scenery of mountains, lakes, and rock formations, guaranteed to impress everyone in the family. Stay at the Tierra Atacama Hotel and Spa, enjoy some spa therapies, and choose your excursions a la carte. One option would be to visit the Tatio Geysers, where columns of water vapor reach over 40 feet in height from several of the pools of boiling water.
The return trip offers the opportunity to spot local species: vicuñas, foxes, vizcachas and Andean ostrich, and visit the picturesque village of Machuca. Or you could choose to explore the otherworldly Death and Moon valleys, and be amazed by the lunar-like depressions, and pink-striped mountains.
Another option is the High Plains Lagoons tour, at more than 13,000 feet above sea level. See the remote Aguas Calientes and Tuyajto lagoons amidst the amazing colors and contrasts of the salt flats, as well as the area of Piedras Rojas (Red Rocks) with its impressive, inspiring geological formations.
The Chile Lake District
Head to the delightful AndBeyond Vira boutique hotel for your Chile Lake District tours. This stunning area abounds with family-friendly activities. In Pucon, the country’s Alpine adventure capital, you can take to the water on a kayak, experience the thrill of white-water rafting, or climb the Villarrica Volcano with its startling open lava pool crater at the top.
At the end of the day, head to the hot thermal pools for a relaxing soak. If you’re a family that enjoys outdoor adventures, spend a day in the Huilo-Huilo Biological Reserve. From clear waterways to ancient trees and puffing volcanoes, you’ll relish the spectacular views and abundant wildlife. Enjoy more opportunities for white-water rafting, as well as hiking, ziplining, and biking. Nearby parks include Vicente Perez Rosales and Alerce Andino, where you’ll find more outdoor adventures including fly fishing. You could even opt for a beautiful sunset helicopter flight over the Araucanía Region.
Itinerary & Prices
Arrival & City Tour Santiago
Upon arrival in Chile, you will be picked up at the airport and taken on today’s excursion, we explore the historical and modern sights of Santiago de Chile. We start our trip at the main avenue, the Alameda Bernardo O’Higgins, and head to La Moneda, the Government Palace, where we will learn about the historical and contemporary role it plays in Chilean life.
From there we take a walk through the pedestrian streets of Huérfanos and Ahumada, where the main commercial activity of the city is concentrated. Afterward, we visit the famous main square of the city, the Plaza de Armas, around which are several important historical buildings, including the Metropolitan Cathedral. From there we continue our trip on to Santa Lucia hill, the mount upon which the Spanish founded Santiago in 1541. It is a lone steep rock, covered in vegetation and a great vantage point for viewing the city.
Moving on, we cross the Mapocho River to get to Bellavista, the cultural and artistic neighborhood of Santiago and home to many artists, actors, and young bohemian people. Bellavista lies at the foot of the San Cristóbal Hill, the highest in town, and is situated in the middle of the Metropolitan Park. We venture up the hill to explore the surrounding areas all the while enjoying beautiful panoramic views of the city. Finally, we visit Providencia with its top restaurants, elegant shops, and modern high-rise buildings. After this amazing tour, we will call it a day and return to the hotel.
Arrival at Tierra Atacama
We pick you up after breakfast and take you to the airport in Santiago for your flight on to the Tierra Atacama Hotel and Spa.
At this beautiful property we offer an all-inclusive stay, meaning full American/continental breakfast, all lunches and dinners and an open bar with soft drinks, mineral water, juices, house wines, beer, and liquors. We also include two half day excursions or one full day excursions of your choice, and for those that want more they are free to choose from the a la carte options.
As mentioned, excursions at this hotel spa are a la carte and while it is impossible to do all the trips in three days, we have listed some possibilities for in the modules of the next few days. Please note that this is not a fixed itinerary and you can choose your excursions upon arrival, or even the day before so there is no need to worry about that prior to arrival. Do remember that you are in a spa and to leave some time to enjoy the hotel facilities such as the gardens, pools, saunas and jacuzzies.
* Not included: Spa treatments, bottles of wine ordered from the premium wine list, telephone calls, laundry and other personal expenditures.
Meals (B, L, D)
Atacama's Geyser Fields
Today we have a full day, so take advantage of the excellent breakfast served at the hotel and head out on your excursions of choice. One example of the most popular half day combination is as follows:
An early morning departure will take us to the Tatio Geysers, located at 4,300 meters (14,200 feet) above sea level, and one of the few places in the world where Geysers exist.
This geothermal field includes more than 80 active geysers where columns of water vapor reach over 12 meters in height from several of the pools of boiling water. Breakfast will be served as dawn breaks. Our return trip offers the opportunity to spot local species: vicuñas, foxes, vizcachas and Andean ostrich. We will stop in the picturesque village of Machuca before returning to the hotel at noon.
Meals (B, L, D)
Moon Valley & Lagoons
One of the most popular areas in Atacama is Moon Valley.
Just to the northeast of San Pedro de Atacama lies the Salt Mountain Range and the surreal landscape of the Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley) at 2,500 meters/ 8,200 feet. These strange and beautiful rock formations are the result of water and wind erosion as well as extreme desert temperatures. They bring us into close contact with the Atacama Desert’s otherworldly dimension. Since most people visit this area in the afternoon, we set out in the morning, which allows us to have the beauty and silence of the desert almost to ourselves.
The above is a half day tour, leaving you time to relax and make use of the spa, but if you want a full day then we suggest the High Plains Lagoons tour, at more than 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) above sea level, we will arrive at the remote Aguas Calientes and Tuyajto lagoons and their awesome surroundings, making this excursion one of tranquility and peace amidst the amazing colors and contrasts of the salt flats. We will also visit the area of Piedras Rojas (Red Rocks) with its impressive, inspiring geological formations. We will take luncheon at Tuyajto amidst the autumnal colors of the beautiful backdrop.
Meals (B, L, D)
From Deserts to Lake District
We bid farewell to the beautiful Tierra Atacama Hotel and Spa and head on to another beautiful Chilean property, the AndBeyond Vira Vira.
Again, here, we have a selection of a la carte excursions to choose from and the concept here is very much that you are the author of your own stay. At the AndBeyond Vira Vira you can tailor-make your own adventure and choose from a range of 39, awe-inspiring outdoor and cultural experiences, with everything from dog sledding and snowmobiling to helicopter rides over volcanoes and thermal baths.
The 4 day program includes all meals – made from ingredients from the hotel’s farm (breakfast, lunch & dinner) – an open bar including a wide selection of Chilean wines and all guided excursions and activities together with other guests.
Meals (B, L, D)
The Joys of Chile's Lake District
Today the choice of adventure is yours, with a sumptuous selection of a-la-carte excursions available. Examples include cheesemaking tours and yoga to extreme skiing or kayaking, depending on the season.
One of the staple activities during your stay is enjoying one of the many hikes on offer at the hotel. The area around the hotel is the homeland of the indigenous Mapuche people, and this land offers a vast selection of hiking and trekking excursions. In the company of one of our experienced guides, explore national parks that showcase beautiful forests, shimmering bodies of water, waterfalls, hot springs, and the breathtaking terrain of majestic volcanoes draped with snow-capped peaks.
With a number of different trekking options to choose from, the list may seem daunting; however, your guides will expertly help you to tailor-make your adventures according to your personal preferences and level of difficulty. The shortest hike is around two and a half miles in total on easy terrain in the Huerquehue National Park, but you can undertake a hike of around 10 miles, in difficult terrain. There is of course an awful lot of choices in between that cater for all ages and skill levels.
Meals (B, L, D)
Let's Hike a Volcano
Another of our personal favorites is the trip up to the summit of the Villarrica Volcano.
Measuring an impressive 2 847 m (1.7 mi.), the Villarrica Volcano features the perfect cone shape with a startling open lava pool crater at the top. This makes climbing the volcano one of the most memorable activities in the whole of the country. The views from the top are a wonderful mix of textured landscapes, mountains, volcanoes, and countless lakes.
Technical details: Equipment: Mountain boots, walking poles, ice axe, crampons, helmet, trekking backpack (all gear provided), hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen
Distance of trekking: 10 km (6.21 mi.) return
Elevation gain: 1 427 m (0.88 mi.) 1 440 m 2 847 m.
If the above full day trip looks daunting, then why not opt for two half day trips, with the latter being a beautiful sunset helicopter flight over the Araucanía Region, an area comprised of dazzling landscapes, all basking in the golden light you can only experience in sunsets a long way from the equator. Top it all off with a glass of champagne as you delight in the breathtaking sunset.
Meals (B, L, D)
Farewell to the Lake District
After breakfast, we bid farewell to the astonishing AndBeyond Vira Vira with memories of a lifetime. You are transferred to the airport for your flight home or on to your next adventure.