Andean Splendor: Chile & Argentina

 

Destinations >> Argentina/Chile >> Andean Splendor: Chile & Argentina

Immerse yourself in Andean Splendor through the vibrant culture and stunning landscapes of South America. Begin your adventure in Santiago, Chile, where modern sophistication meets rich history. Explore the artistic streets of Valparaiso and savor exquisite wines in the renowned Casablanca Valley. Next, venture into the surreal Atacama Desert, where dramatic salt flats, steaming geysers, and unique rock formations create an otherworldly experience.

 

Cross into Argentina and marvel at the colorful hills of Purmamarca, a quaint village known for its breathtaking Hill of Seven Colors. Continue to the historic city of Salta, where colonial charm meets lively markets and rich traditions. From there, head to the renowned wine region of Cafayate, where you’ll enjoy world-class wines amidst picturesque vineyards framed by rugged Andean peaks. Finally, conclude your journey in the cosmopolitan capital of Buenos Aires, where tango rhythms, gourmet cuisine, and historic neighborhoods offer a captivating end to your Andean exploration. 

 

This itinerary promises a perfect blend of natural wonders, cultural immersion, and culinary delights, showcasing the diverse splendor of the Andes in both Chile and Argentina.

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This sample itinerary is just the beginning. Fully customizable for individuals, families, and groups of all sizes, let it serve as an inspiration for your next adventure. Price subject to change.

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Discover the vibrant culture and history of Santiago, followed by a visit to the artistic streets and colorful hillside houses of Valparaiso, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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Experience the surreal landscapes of the Atacama Desert, with guided tours to dramatic salt flats, steaming geysers, and unique rock formations.

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Marvel at the breathtaking Hill of Seven Colors in Purmamarca, a picturesque village that showcases the natural beauty of the Andes.

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Explore the historic city of Salta, known for its well-preserved colonial architecture, lively markets, and rich cultural heritage.

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Enjoy world-class wines in Cafayate, touring picturesque vineyards set against the rugged Andean peaks and learning about the region's winemaking traditions.

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Immerse yourself in tango rhythms, indulge in gourmet cuisine, and explore historic neighborhoods of Buenos Aires.

Welcome to Chile!

On arrival at the airport in the early morning, you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel by private car. Arrive at the hotel and check in.

Begin your exploration of Santiago with a walking tour, starting from your hotel. Situated in the bustling Lastarria neighborhood in the center of old Santiago, you can reach a diverse range of attractions within minutes, including the Parque Forestal, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Plaza de Armas, Castillo Hidalgo, the Metropolitan Park of Santiago, the Fine Arts Museum and Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral. Let your guide know what interests you!

 

Meals: -

Accommodation: Hotel Ismael (4*)

After breakfast, begin your full-day tour. Located fifty minutes west from Santiago, explore the Casablanca Valley, home to more than 20 vineyards specializing in Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Visit the boutique Villard Winery and enjoy a private tour and tasting.

Continue on to Valparaiso - one of the main ports of Chile. Named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2003, walk through the city's beautiful streets. Valparaiso is known for its lovely bay and colorful hills - an inspiration to many famous painters, architects, musicians, and poets like Pablo Neruda.

 

Meals: B

Accommodation: Hotel Ismael (4*)

This morning, transfer from your hotel to the airport for your flight to Calama.

Moon Valley at Sunset

Early afternoon pickup for a shared, small-group excursion to Moon Valley. In the afternoon, one of the most anticipated moments is the sunset and the best place to appreciate it is in the Cordillera de la Sal, with its Valleys of Mars and the Moon. These salt and clay formations are the product of mineralogical folding which occurred hundreds of millions of years ago. The result is the sculptural forms that at sunset resemble a Lunar landscape.

 

Meals: B

Accommodation: Altiplanico San Pedro de Atacama (4*)

Salar de Atacama & Altiplanic Lagoons

After breakfast, depart on your shared, small group, full-day excursion to Salar de Atacama & the Altiplanic Lagoons. Start at the great Atacama Salt flat, a white and rugged surface where the lagoons are home to a great number of flamingos that choose these waters for nesting.

Then make your way up to 14,800 feet (4500 m) and experience the spectacular beauty of Miscanti and Meñique Altiplanics Lagoons. The varied shades of the lagoons are exquisite and the local flora and fauna are singular, as they exist only in these protected areas. You are close to mountains and volcanoes around you, some of which are sacred and have inspired beautiful legends of the Desert of Atacama.

Explore the town of Socaire, where the ancestral traditions are still alive today - shepherds and farmers that cultivate the "pachamama" using the old system of Andean terraces. Lunch at a restaurant in Socaire village.

 

Meals: B

Accommodation: Altiplanico San Pedro de Atacama (4*)

Tatio Geysers

Very early morning pickup for your shared, small group, full-day excursion to Tatio Geysers. Explore the highest geothermal field in the Andean Cordillera at 14,100 feet (4,300 m). The drama of the steam fumarole jets, which reach 160 feet in height, are enhanced by the stunning beauty of the Andes in the background. Witness the multiple colors and varied fauna that have adapted to live in these climatic conditions and extreme geographies. On the way back to San Pedro de Atacama, nature provides a moving landscape of high mountains and volcanoes.

 

Meals: B

Accommodation: Altiplanico San Pedro de Atacama (4*)

After breakfast, your guide will lead you to the bus station for your bus from San Pedro to Purmamarca. This day trip crosses the Andes at one of its widest points. Enjoy the spectacular views as you drive across the vast Altiplano or Puna, then down the Cuesta de Lipán to Purmamarca.

Arrive in Purmamarca during the afternoon where you will be met by your Argentinian guide and transferred to your hotel for check-in.

Enjoy the rest of the evening at leisure.

 

Meals: B

Accommodation: La Comarca de Purmamarca (4*)

Early morning walk, climbing up to a viewpoint to see the sun light up the Seven Color Hill. The rest of the morning is free to explore the small town, probably the best place in the trip to buy some woven crafts. Depart to Salta after an early lunch, check in to hotel near the main square in the city center. Visit the MAAM/High Mountain Archaeological Museum that showcases the bodies of three Inca children who were buried on the Llullaillaco Volcano summit.

 

Meals: B

Accommodation: Solar de la Plaza (4*)

Begin the exploration of the Argentine Northwest with a scenic drive southwest, over the Calchaqui Sub Andean range of mountains, where we enter Los Cardones National Park at the Piedra del Molino high pass. We’ll pass by the famous cactus woodlands that the park is named after before arriving in the sleepy village of Seclantas, where friendly weavers make beautiful ponchos out of sheep’s wool.

After an hour of driving through the stunning desert, reach the oldest working commercial vineyard in Argentina, Colomé, producing wine since 1830. Dinner (not included) will be in the hotel this evening, after a short wander through the extensive biodynamic garden that supplies the kitchen.

 

Meals: B

Accommodation: Estancia Colomé (4*)

Leave early this morning on what is a truly spectacular drive south along the much-celebrated Route 40. The road stretches all the way south to Patagonia and is one of the longest roads in the world. It is also one of the most remote and makes for an unforgettable journey as we pass stunning rock formations, colonial churches, and gauchos working the land.

We’ll have a brief stop for exploration on foot of the famous Quebrada de las Flechas and its bizarre rock formations. Continuing south, we drive through the small town of San Carlos before reaching the hotel in the colonial town of Cafayate, famous for its torrontes - grapes producing aromatic dry white wines.

The town of Cafayate, the epicenter of high-altitude viticulture located in the province of Salta, is a favorite destination of tourists for local crafts (pottery, textiles, and silver) and unique gastronomy.

 

Meals: B

Accommodation: Patios de Cafayate (5*)

Morning 3-hour, 7-mile hike in the mountains west of Cafayate.

While the most famous grape from this area is the Torrontés, other varietals are also grown here, such as Malbec, Tannat, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Bonarda. Grapes grown here gain unique flavor from the dry, sunny climate. The broad temperature ranges in the area are also key to the production of high-quality wines that convey the Valleys’ unique personality through their color, aromas and flavors.

After your hike, arrive at a small family owned vineyard for a delicious lunch and a wine tasting.

 

Meals: B

Accommodation: Patios de Cafayate (5*)

Morning drive from Salta to Cafayate through the stunning Quebrada de las Conchas. After visiting the Amphitheatre, we drive on to Talapampa for a light lunch before arriving to the Salta Airport for your flight to Buenos Aires during the early afternoon.

Welcome to Buenos Aires!

Cosmopolitan Buenos Aires, the birthplace of the tango, is a dynamic melting pot of a city on the banks of the Rio Plata Estuary. With a decidedly Italian undercurrent, the city has many interesting neighborhoods to explore filled with restaurants, cafes, and bars.

On arrival at the airport, you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel by private car. Enjoy the rest of the evening at leisure.

 

Meals: B

Accommodation: Legado Mitico Buenos Aires (4*)

Morning tour Buenos Aires, in vehicle and with local guide, deigned to suite interests: history, art, contemporary life, architecture. Mingle with the locals or porteños. Stop for lunch with your guide at a restaurant of your choice or sample the local street food.

Take a walking tour of Palermo in the afternoon with your guide. Palermo is Buenos Aires’ largest barrio and also one of its most walkable, with tree-lined streets dotted by casas chorizo, long, narrow single-story houses built in the late 19th century and lots of restaurants, cafes and bars to explore.

Meals: B

Accommodation: Legado Mitico Buenos Aires (4*)

All too soon it's time to say goodbye to Argentina! Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

 

Meals: B

Accommodation in listed hotels or similar

Meals (B/L/D) as indicated

Private transportation in air conditioned vehicles

Activities as listed in the itinerary

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Expert local guide

International and domestic airfare

Optional tours, activities, and entrance fees not included in the itinerary

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